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Specialist Staff – Maths & Computing

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Our Maths and Computing department is full of specialist staff who dedicate their time to ensuring their students reach their full potential. From Cambridge graduates to industry experts; read below to meet some of our department staff and find out why they love teaching their course at Long Road! 

Wayne Steel, Head of Maths and Computing Department

Wayne studied a BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics at the University of Leeds where his main interests were stellar Evolution and Time domain events i.e. Supernova because he “thinks stars are cool!”

Wayne then went on to achieve an MEd Maths and Science at the Open University with a “particular focus the development of algebraic thinking in late teens (published in Teaching Mathematics (Journal of the ATM)) and communication of scientific concepts to non-specialist audiences.” Following his MEd, Wayne was awarded a Graduate Diploma in Maths from Birkbeck College, the University of London where his main areas of interest were “multi-variant partial calculus for modelling phase spaces (war games, population equilibria, etc)”.

Wayne said“I enjoy applied mathematics most (I’m essentially a physicist at heart) and using of maths to describe real-world situations. I think we offer an environment where all students can find their particular strength in a supportive environment”

Stephen Warr, Maths and Further Maths Course Team Leader

Stephen began his higher education with a BSc(Hons) Mathematical Sciences from the University of Bradford, remaining at the University of Bradford to complete his PhD in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He then moved to the University of Cambridge where he worked as a Post Doctoral Research Associate for the Department of Physics, Cavendish Laboratory. Turning his focus toward education, Stephen remained at Cambridge to complete his PGCE.

“I’ve always enjoyed maths and my maths degree allowed me to specialise in a range of pure and applied topics (statistics, mechanics, operational research and numerical methods). I was less keen on doing just pure maths and my degree has given me a firm base for teaching the whole range of content at A-level. My PhD and research experience has also given me valuable experience of how maths is used in research, where problems are less clearly defined and maths and experimental work have to be combined.

I have been teaching for over 20 years and really enjoy working with young people, supporting them to gain confidence and become independent when solving hard problems. I also enjoy challenging our most able further mathematicians, discussing difficult problems and pushing them to achieve high grades. 

The maths course at Long Road is really well resourced and students are given the time in class to build understanding and consolidate their learning. We have well-qualified staff and provide resources (test feedback sheets and unit review booklets) to help students become more independent by monitoring and evaluating their progress against clear objectives. We also offer plenty of additional support (workshops and individual one-to-one support sessions), for those students experiencing difficulties or requiring a harder extension.”

Christopher Lewoski, Level 2 Mathematics Course Team Leader

Chris began studying at the University of Cambridge with an M.Ed Mathematics Education before studying his PGCE Secondary Mathematics at the University of Manchester; finally achieving a BSc(Hons) Physics from the University of Sheffield.

“Prior to teaching, I spent 20 years in industry in the High Technology Sector. I have an interest in the application of Mathematical ideas and models in order to solve contextual problems. My industrial experience has included custom silicon chip design, Digital Signal Processing systems, Signals Analysis, Telecommunications Switching and Neural Network applications. The continued expansion of Data Analytics as a specialism offers many new and exciting possibilities for Advanced Mathematics students.” 

Edward Wyncoll, Teacher of Mathematics

Edd has a BA Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.

“I really enjoyed the breadth of mathematics available to me at university. I was able to look at really abstract pure maths one day, and then tackle practical problems in computer programming the next. Throughout the whole course, we focused on proving all our results from some really basic ideas, which was amazing as I knew that everything we’d looked at was definitely true and would never change. I particularly loved applied mathematics and being able to see where the methods I’d learnt predicted real-world behaviour. I spent a lot of my final year looking at how fluids move and wave patterns, which were fascinating and meant I got time in world-class laboratories seeing this maths in action.

Mathematicians all love solving problems, and it’s great as a teacher that I get to help give students the tools to overcome these problems themselves. I love helping students solve really complex problems, and then seeing the satisfaction they get once they’ve reached the answer.”

Katie Binks, Teacher of Mathematics

Katie achieved a BSc(Hons) Mathematics and PGCE from the University of Bristol. She has extensive experience working in education; previously teaching at schools across Cambridgeshire and Bristol, as well as tutoring Hispanic high school students for a voluntary organisation. Before starting her university studies, Katie spent a gap year working for IBM and after graduating she coupled her teaching work with writing A level teaching resources with the University of Cambridge Undergraduate Mathematics team.

“I love pure maths and problem-solving. I enjoy teaching classes with such varied students in them. In the same class I can have students wanting to go into many different courses at University; going on to apprenticeships in anything from Accountancy or business to Mechanical Engineering; going off into employment or planning to delay one of these paths and heading off for a gap year.”

Photo: IT students trip to BETT 2019.

Richard Cowley, ICT Course Team Leader

Richard left school at 15 with 7 O levels to start work as an Electrical Apprentice for British Steel, completing ONC in Electrical Engineering. Richard then began working as an Electronics Design Engineer, taking HNC in Engineering (Maths, Physics (Nuclear) Electronic and Mech Engineering). Following this, Richard began working as a Junior Test Engineers and studied a degree in Maths and Computing with the Open University.

Richard was soon promoted to Design Engineer and then Service Manager, where he computerised the data handling of a biomedical instrument. This success led him to be promoted to International Marketing and Service Manager on the Senior Management Team; in this role, he turned a dying produce into a £4 million success and spent 2 years training Service Engineers around the world.

After trying to buy the company from a Swedish parent, Richard made the bold move to set up his own company specifying and supplying computer systems to SME’s. In 2005  Richard sold his company and retrained as a teacher of IT.

Richard believes his key career successes are “designed software for Independent Financial Advisors and I wrote the database for Hornby and Scalextric Club and also the World Travel and Tourism Council, I also had the contract for the Admissions office at Cambridge University where I merged the university network with UCAS.”