My thesis explores the role of communication and social interaction in shaping the development of new mathematical concepts. It asks whether the use of “natural” language (by which I mean any modern, spoken language) is integral to the conceptualisation and construction of mathematical languages. Specifically this project looks at the role of translating mathematical constructs into metaphorical concepts and asks whether this process of translation alters and shapes the ways in which the mathematical concepts themselves are represented. Does metaphor act as a bridge between worlds, by which I mean the abstract, imagined worlds of mathematics and the “real” world which social actors inhabit? In short this project aims to ask whether mathematical reality is built through human interaction and communication, and whether the social and mathematical realms are in fact deeply connected through natural language.
I am currently collaborating with Professor Ursula Martin at Oxford University, Dr. Alison Pease at the University of Dundee, Dr Rachel Jones at Instrata and Dr. Natasa Milic-Frayling at Microsoft Research on a project entiled "The Social Machine of mathematics".
This project works with mathematicians collaborating at the Isaac Newton Institute of Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge, to develop software which will facilitate the production of new mathematics, through collaborative means.
Also working for Microsoft in Reading on a separate project on visual impairment.
[2013-Present] PhD, Sociology, University of Edinburgh.
Thesis Title: Role of Metaphor in Building the Mathematical Mind
Supervised by: Professor. Donald Mackenzie
[2011-2013] MA (A+, Distinction), Linguistic Anthropology, University of British Columbia
Thesis Title: Analysing the Eye with a View to the Past: Exploring Image and Imagination in a 19th century North-west Coast Diary
Supervised by: Professor. Patrick Moore
[2007-2010] BA (Hons), First class, Archaeology and Anthropology, St John’s College, Oxford University
Thesis Title: Technologies of Communication and Exchange: Negotiating Change in Melanesia
Supervised by: Professor. Paul Dresch