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My views of middle lane-hoggers

By |June 5th, 2013|Recent news|0 Comments

Today, the government announced measures to widen the scope of sanctions against careless driving for, among other things, middle lane-hogging.

BBC News also offered their analysis of these changes and why it is such a problem.

And here is mine.

As a driver, I place implicit trust in other drivers to drive somewhat predictably and, where actions are not predictable, adequate warning is given. In doing so, I have been able to avoid potential accidents, offer courtesy in congestion and drive economically, by anticipating the road ahead.

Middle lane-hoggers wilfully and flagrantly breach the Highway Code. In attempting to act predictably, they are creating doubt as to whether they adhere to any part of the Highway Code, or whether they just pick and choose the bits they like. Perhaps they do not indicate correctly at roundabouts, or perhaps they don’t really have a clue which set of lights they should be using. They probably don’t ever stop at zebra crossings.

An oft-heard claim is that middle lane-hoggers travel at 70 miles per hour and thus should not be causing any problems: those travelling faster are the nuisance. This argument is a case of “pot calling the kettle black”. You are a nuisance and — now — you’re a careless driver, too.

Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?

By |May 2nd, 2013|Recent news|0 Comments

It seems every religion is doomed to being twisted for the blood-hungry.

Science Matters returns…

By |March 29th, 2013|Recent news|0 Comments

Once again, I’m involved as a member of the organising committee for the Science Matters conference. It is a conference for the research students in the School of Science at Loughborough University. Staff in the School are also welcome.

There will be a poster competition and talks performed by students during the event on Wednesday 1st May 2013. For more information, visit the conference website.

Awakened by foxes

By |September 7th, 2012|Recent news|0 Comments

As I lay awake to the sound of mating foxes and postgraduate students (please be reassured that, so far as I can discern, they are purely intra-species relations), I look back at what has happened since my blog update.

The conference season has taken me to Brighton, Sheffield and Salamanca: to the BSRLM Day Conference, CETL-MSOR Conference and SEFI MWG Seminar, respectively. At each I presented my findings on lecturers’ use of computer-aided assessment.

Since then, I have been continuing with data collection; first interviewing students and, second, interviewing lecturers that do not use CAA. In this time I have also finished a first draft of a thesis chapter, which feels like a milestone passing despite the shortcomings I see in it.

I managed to squeeze in a holiday to Rome, which was very nice. I particularly liked the Vittorio Emanuele II monument for its ostentatiousness and sheer ridiculousness. It reached a dazzling 37°C while we were there: a feat so far unmatched by the drizzling United Kingdom. We, of course, remain hopeful of a late summer surge!

Science Matters 2012 Conference

By |March 22nd, 2012|Recent news|0 Comments

The inaugural Science Matters conference took place yesterday at Loughborough University. Its aim was to bring together the six departments in the recently formed “School of Science” in one place to talk about research.

We had some excellent keynote speakers, two careers workshops, a keenly contested poster competition and a vibrant group of participants in a discussion group at the end of the day.

Having been a member of the organising committee, I am quite relieved it is over in some ways! However, I was able to enjoy the day and I am quite proud for the small group of dedicated individuals from different departments that it passed over with few problems!

Loughborough University Research Conference 2012

By |March 7th, 2012|Recent news|0 Comments

I entered the poster competition, but unfortunately did not win any prizes. A few people (mainly judges) asked a little more about my project, which helps, but it’s a shame more didn’t.

I did enjoy the talk given by Professor Sir Michael Brady, however. He spoke of barriers that exist only in the mind in response to a question that referred to the borders between departments and disciplines. It made me think more about what my research might lead to.

Photo from

BSRLM Conference March 2012

By |March 3rd, 2012|Recent news|0 Comments

It was a fairly late decision to attend the BSRLM conference at The University of Manchester on 3rd March 2012, but I am glad I did.

Aside from meeting some familiar faces, I met some new ones: including some prominent researchers that are working with activity theory every day.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons, by Mike Peel (

First refereed publication

By |February 22nd, 2012|Recent news|0 Comments

Today I was notified that my current report on using focus groups to investigate formative feedback in CAA has been published on the Taylor & Francis website. This is my first published paper that has been peer-reviewed.

Naturally, this happened on the day I gave up using Twitter and Facebook for Lent!

Turner Prize 2011

By |December 31st, 2011|Recent news|0 Comments

Today I went to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (also known as Baltic Mill or “the Baltic”) to view pieces by the nominated artists for the Turner Prize 2011. I learned a few things.

One thing I learned is that it is not one installation that wins the prize. Rather, an artist is nominated for an exhibition made elsewhere, from which representative pieces are displayed in one gallery for us all to see. Another thing I learned is not to read what people write about art.

I most enjoyed George Shaw‘s pieces and his take on his own work given in a video interview displayed at the end of the exhibition. He paints the places he once held dear but have fallen into decline and dereliction – with Humbrol paints. It made me think…

Join us at the MEC

By |October 15th, 2011|Recent news|0 Comments

For further details in the original advertisement, visit the Mathematics Education Centre website or view the profile on the website.

There are many reasons why you might want to study on a PhD programme in the MEC. You might want to develop your research skills set. You could be inclined to spend a time of your life doing something that will ultimately make a difference in improving mathematics learning, teaching, recruitment and engagement or helping students with low confidence in mathematics. You may be persuaded to work in an internationally celebrated institution with leading figures in mathematics education.

You might also want to work with us in our friendly office. You are welcome to join our lunch club, with daily trips to one of the eating establishments on campus; you can join the tea/coffee club; and you could join the MEC Warriors – the incredible Thursday night pub quiz team.

Best of luck should you apply. Feel free to ask me about PhD life at the Mathematics Education Centre!