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Dr Andrew Foulkes

LECTURER IN MATHEMATICS
Mathematics and Computer Science
0151 291 3956
Science
foulkea@hope.ac.uk

I have been Lecturer in Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Liverpool Hope University since June 2013 and am responsible for the Level I (year 2) Mathematics course here at Hope. I enjoy teaching and in fact won an award for Best First Tutor in 2009/10 when I was at Liverpool, for which I was voted by my students.

Before taking up a place on a PhD course at University of Liverpool, I worked as a tax adviser for 7 years at a variety of forms of accountants, from the very large Big 5 accountants (as they were back then) right through to the smaller local accountancy firms. Though this career path was not for me, I learned a lot of skills from those years and met a lot of amazing people.

In 2005, I started to work with Prof. Vadim Biktashev at the University of Liverpool (now at Exeter) on an Applied Mathematics project looking at the dynamics of spiral waves. These waves occur throughout nature, but we were more interested in their application to cardiac dynamics. When waves of electro-chemical energy rotate as spirals in cardiac tissue, then this indicates a break in the hearts natural rhythm (arrhythmia) which in turn can prove fatal for the patient. Understanding the natural of these waves and in particular how they move and behave is a vitally important area of science.

After I had submitted my PhD thesis, I took up a role in the Computer Science department at Liverpool still working on Spiral Waves. This time, I helped in the development of software to solve a particular eigenvalue problem. The results of this work showed that we could predict the motion of the spiral waves using computational models much more efficiently than previously published methods.

Taking a slightly different direction in my research career, I was keen to show that my science skills could be transferable and spent 3 years working in Manchester in their psychology department working on a mathematical modelling project in visual perception. The flow parsing hypothesis describes a method by which is the brain is able to pick out moving objects in our field of view when we are moving ourselves. It was interesting to see just how much mathematics is involved in visual perception and psychology as a whole.

Other areas of interests are dynamical systems, migraines, and neurological diseases.


 

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