I am a Research Fellow in the Mathematical Institute at Oxford University, as part of the Quantum Mathematics and Computation research group. I am on leave from my position as Lecturer in Mathematics in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

My research is about low-dimensional topology and mathematical physics, with a focus on topological quantum field theory (TQFT).

Some recent seminar and colloquium talks

Some recent invited talks at workshops and conferences

General interest talks / Fun talks

  • Random matrices and the Riemann zeros,
    Talk given in the Stellenbosch postgraduate seminar, 5 March 2009.
  • Preprints



    Older physics publications

    I enjoy teaching. I am interested in all the various teaching methods, from "chalk and talk" to using technology. Here are some videos of me explaining a limit problem from James Stewart's Calculus, or the memo for a tutorial test. Here is a sample exam I set for Multivariable Calculus.

    I try to keep classes interesting by adding bits and bobs of enrichment. For instance, illustrating the difference betweeen rational and irrational numbers by going over Pyhtagoras' original proof of the irrationality of √2, or by learning about the difference between equal temperament and Pythagorean tuning in music. Or, learning about conic sections using Mathematica demonstrations.

    Students studying math also need some inspiration. For instance, a speech by Jim Simons, or by Tim Gowers. Or that being a mathematician was rated the best job in America in 2009!

    List of courses taught


    Hilary 2016

    • Multivariable calculus tutorials, Merton College
    • Differential equations II tutorial, Merton College



    • Introduction to De Rham Cohomology (Graduate Course)


    • First year Mathematics for Biology Students (W124)
    • Second year Multivariable Calculus (W244).
    • Introduction to De Rham Cohomology (Graduate Course)


    • First year Engineering Mathematics (IW115).
    • Second year Multivariable Calculus (W244).
    • Fourth year Real and Complex Analysis 713
    • Introduction to De Rham Cohomology (Graduate Course)


    • First year Engineering Mathematics (IW115 and 145).


    • First year Engineering Mathematics (IW115 and 145).

    AIMS courses

    Courses given at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences:

    • 2012 - Representations of finite groups (with Arnold Keet)
    Current PhD students
    • Gerrit Goosen. Gerrit's project is to implement a string-net (in the sense of Kirillov) version of the isomorphism (due to Balsam-Kirllov and Turaev-Virelizier) between the Reshetikhin-Turaev and Turaev-Viro-Barrett TQFTs.
    AIMS Postgraduate Diploma Essay students Undergraduate student projects

    Some blog posts in recent years:

    I also have a Math Overflow account.
    • Mathematics of Planet Earth public lecture by John Baez, 30 Oct 2012 [poster, video, slides].
    • Ken Hughes Fest, AIMS, Nov 2010 [programme].