Professor Simon Goodwin

PhD Pure Mathematics, 2015
Professor of Pure Mathematics, University of Birmingham

During some parts of the year, I focus on my research in pure mathematics and pushing the frontiers of our knowledge. My research is in an area called Representation Theory, which gives a mathematical language for understanding symmetry and has important applications throughout the physical sciences. At other times, I focus on the education side of my job in which I really enjoy lecturing my first and second year algebra modules. It is a real pleasure to be able to share my enthusiasm when introducing students to some interesting topics in pure mathematics.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

Grappling with new mathematics is great fun and it so satisfying when I have really understood it and can prove a new theorem that will be significant for years to come.

What made you interested in your current role?

Mathematics was my favourite subject when I was at school, and my interest in mathematics grew stronger as my studies progressed. This led to me go into PhD research in pure mathematics, and once I started this research, I knew that I wanted to continue doing research in this area.

Simon Goodwin

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

After completing my PhD, I moved to a postdoctoral research position at the University of Aarhus, and then to a junior research fellowship at the University of Oxford. During this time, I was able to strengthen my research, which enabled me to secure a permanent position back here at the University of Birmingham. I’ve been here for sixteen years building both my research and teaching portfolio, and have progressed to the position of Professor of Pure Mathematics.

Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?

I wanted to pursue PhD research in Algebra and the University of Birmingham had a world-leading research group. Having visited I knew that this was a place I would fit in and enjoy becoming part of this vibrant research community.

What are your fondest memories of the university?

I enjoyed being part of the community of Mathematics PhD students, and made some lasting friendships, but the best part was the excitement of doing research that led to publications in international journals.

What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?

Enjoy your time embarking on research and take advantage of opportunities to broaden your knowledge and horizons. Aim to get to know other researchers in your area, as such connections may be important for your future career.


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