EducationBristol 1958-1961, University London 1964-1966, Columbia University 1968- 1972
QualificationsB.S. Physics, M.Sc. Nuclear Physics, Ph.D. mathematical psychology
Work HistoryElliott Automation, Schools and Colleges, University of Hertfordshire
Current JobEmeritus Professor
Freelance statistical consultant, postgraduate workshop facilitator Unoversity of Hertfordshire
Favourite thing to do in my job: Experiments & mathematical models. How people decide: accuracy, bias, speed
About Me: Life-long scientist, curious about everything, active mentally and physically.
I live alone in London, since my inspiring husband died 4 years ago. I continue his interest in art and bric -a-brac and unusual objects from boot sales and even laboratories that are de-cluttering old but fascinating equipment.
Committed to community activity and volunteer to help older people get new skills: tablet, smartphone, computers. Also concerned about wider community, UK Europe and worldwide. Strong remainer. Good for British sicence and the planet. So concerned about climate change, energy consumption and well being for all people.
Interested in using science and engineering to improve UK infrastructure in health, transport and telecommunications – broadband for ALL before current 6 th formers graduate or finish apprenticeships.
Love travel, reading, talking and indoor rowing in the gym – and oc course science.
My Work: Mathematical models of decision making; statistics, wearable computer,for life enhancement
Currently engaged in several research projects and statistical consultancy
Project 1. Science for all: Transparency of Data
- Ensuring EVERYONE has access to results of science
- Using big data to inform policy. e.g. impact of obesity on health, costs and benefits of ‘stop and search’
Project 2. Decision making: bias and accuracy
- Applied data: More stop and search leads to more knives found, ‘hits’, but more resentful innocents, ‘false alarms’. How to improve accuracy not just hits? How to set ‘best bias criterion for all?
- Lab data: Improve mental arithmetic. Faster,but less accurate. How to determineoptimalsetting
Project 3. Wearable computers
- How can wearable computers and associated apps be used to help people achieve well specified goals: health athletc, intellectual, dramatic performance
Meta analysis, combining the results of many existing studies, to get better evidence for medical decision making and estimation of future needs.
- Application in health, organisationaland management, technology for disabled, etc.
My Typical Day: Projects on computer, home; talk colleagues, work/internet; gym
- Breakfast watching TV news
- Morning work with research assistant comparing ways of statistically analysing data. Use several statistical packages.
- Lunch with friends & colleagues, maybe bag lunch seminar
- Home writing and analysing results or planning new studies
- Discuss statistical work by phone or skype
- Hour at gym on indoor rower
- Talk or go out with friends
What I'd do with the prize money: Prototype design of transport wheelchair access
I live in London with an excellent but aging underground transport network. I also use local rail stations in Hertfordshire and elsewhere. Most stations do not have wheelchair access – and wheelchair type access would also be enormously useful to parent with kids in buggies.
In my view almost all stations have sufficient space to install foldable stairlifts like those made by Stanna for home use. My idea is to promote a nationwide competition to design such lifts and possibly have local communities adopt a station to install the lifts.
Obviously, assessing demand is key to the project. So it would start with a survey on feasibility, desirability and key features.
This would need to be taken further by live inspection of the stations and by asking station users whether (a) they are in favour and (b) if they might help crowd source the costs for their local station.
The £500 would be spent on employing a facilitator for 30 hours at £15/hour to engage with pupils at 9 secondary schools serving 3 different tube stations to get the pupils to perform the feasibility analysis at the stations, and also ask. The facilitator would start with a 3 hour briefing session making use of results of survey, cost £50, before approaching schools.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious, enthusiastic, socially commited
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Curiousity about how things work – from age 5 or less
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
For talking and distracting everyone
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
How awful – don’t know
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Viewed total eclipse from small aeroplane
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Health, long life, feeling useful
Tell us a joke.
I was reading a book on anti gravity – I found it hard to put down