Who is Richard Elwes?

Richard Elwes does things with maths. I write about it, research it, talk about it, and teach it. Once in a while I do other things too, such as play the piano and sit in trees. I am a Senior Teaching Fellow at University of Leeds, and am the Publicity Officer for the European Mathematical Society.

I have written 5 books, listed at the top of this page. If you would like me to come and talk to your class or group, start with this page.

If you want to get in touch, then please email r [DOT] elwes [AT] gmail [DOT] com, or pick a social medium on the right-hand side of the screen.

And now for a potted biography of my education and academic positions in reverse chronological order…


2011-2016, Teaching and Researching at the University of Leeds

I am currently working at the University of Leeds as a Senior Teaching Fellow, where I have taught courses on Geometry, Number Theory, Algebraic Topology, Combinatorics, Logic, History of Maths, and Computational Mathematics. In terms of research, I have recently acquired an interest in the evolution of complex and nonlinear systems, and in models of random networks.


2009-2011, Visiting Fellowship at the University of Leeds

I primarily worked as a mathematical writer, and occasionally speaker, largely aiming at the general public rather than specialists. In what time I had left, I did some research in Model Theory, an area which bridges mathematical logic and algebra.


2008-2009, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (with Qualified Teacher Status)

I obtained a PGCE (with QTS) in teaching secondary mathematics at the University of Leeds’ School of Education. During this year I taught at Dixon’s City Academy in Bradford and Calder High School in Mytholmroyd, of both of which I have very fond memories. Over this period I also coached a student for UKMT competitions, and wrote several staggeringly tedious pedagogical essays.


2006, Postdoctoral Scholarship at Albert-Ludwigs Universität

In the beautiful surroundings of Freiburg in the south of Germany, I did some research in Model Theory with the group led by Martin Ziegler.


2001-2005, Postgraduate Student at the University of Leeds

My PhD Thesis is entitled Dimension and Measure In Finite First Order Structures (pdf if you’re really interested) and was supervised by the delightful Dugald Macpherson


1997-2001, Undergraduate Student at the University of Oxford

MMath, 1st Class Honours, and I had a lot of fun doing it. Amongst many inspirational teachers were Peter Neumann, Martin Edwards, and Richard Earl.


What else can I tell you?

I’ve acted in 3 plays during my adult life (evidence), and was the president of the Oxford University Jazz Society for a year (1999-2000). I play the piano indifferently, and the bass worse, but neither is as bad as my singing. I speak Japanese at what is euphemistically termed an ‘intermediate’ level, and have a certificate from Leeds Metropolitan University to prove it. My Erdős number is 3. My mathematical genealogy traces back to Leonhard Euler apparently! I’m a vegetarian and a teetotaller, for unrelated reasons. I don’t like cricket. I was born in 1978, grew up in London and am currently based in Leeds in the UK, where I live with my wonderful wife and our twin sons.