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Dr Andrew Foulkes


SUBJECT LEAD & SENIOR LECTURER IN MATHEMATICS
Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering
0151 291 3956
foulkea@hope.ac.uk

I have been a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Liverpool Hope University since September 2019, and a Lecture from June 2013 to September 2019. I am Assessment Coordinator for my School and have previous led the applications for IMA Accreditation of our mathematics programmes (which again I led in the validation process). I teach at all years on our programmes, meaning I need to have a wide mathematical knowledge base. I enjoy teaching and in fact won an award for Best First Tutor in 2009/10 when I was at the University of Liverpool, for which I was voted by my students, as well as being nominated here at Liverpool Hope for several Hope Star Awards.

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 on a project led by Dr. Irina Biktasheva, 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 on a project at the University of Manchester in their Psychology Department with Dr Paul Warren, and also Prof. Simon Rushton from Cardiff University, 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.

More recently, I have supervised to completion a PhD entitled "Analysis of Spiral and Scroll Waves using a Comoving Frame of Reference" in 2019, and have established research connection with specialists in bifurcation analysis of excitable systems.

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