Fortrose Academy, a degree at Edinburgh University, Masters at Lancaster University and PhD at Glasgow University.
8 Standard Grades, 5 Highers and 2 Sixth Year Studies. BSc (Hons) in Maths & Statistics, MSc in Medical Statistics and PhD in Statistics.
Tesco deli, various temping jobs and childminding while at University. 2 years as a research associate at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, USA. 9 years at University of Glasgow as a medical statistician working in clinical trials.
University of Strathclyde
I am a statistician working in medical research at the University of Strathclyde.
I live just outside Glasgow with my partner and 2 children, aged 6 and 4. I always liked maths at school and was also interested in biology, so working as a statistician in medical research is perfect for me and always really interesting, learning about the medical side and getting to use my maths too. Outside of work I love cycling and reading, and I spend lots of time trying to grow herbs and vegetables in my garden (not always with much success!) and encouraging bees and butterflies. At the moment we are rewilding part of our lawn and have been really excited to see lots of wildflowers coming up.
How I Use Maths In My Job:
I use ratios, proportions and percentages a lot in my work, plus linear algebra to enable me to fit statistical models. Of course, I use lots of probability and statistics and one of the parts of my job I like the most is interpreting data and statistics so that people can understand their meaning, even if they don’t know much about statistics themselves. I have a strong belief that medical research is only useful if people can interpret, understand and use its results.
I use numbers to help doctors to work out if new medicines and other treatments help patients.
My Typical Day
My days consist of answering emails, reading reports about new medicines or different ways of analysing data, teaching students and working on projects with them, computer programming and writing about my results. Most days are different and depend on what I am working on at any particular time.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Outdoor-loving, honest, curious.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My maths teacher at school, Mrs Campbell. Also a course I did in my final year of University, which showed me how we can use numbers to work out how well different medicines work for different people.
What's your favourite use for maths in everyday life?
Using statistics to understand people.
What did you think about Maths when you were in school?
I always liked it but didn't know what I would be able to use it for in a job.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I didn't know!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Gardener or park ranger.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
First Aid Kit.
What's your favourite food?
Tofu Pad Thai.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Hiking down into a tributary of the Grand Canyon, called Havasu Canyon, and swimming in the beautiful lagoons there.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
A better memory, more decisive, more efficient at getting things done.
Tell us a joke.
What's the difference between a fly and a bird? A bird can fly but a fly can't bird!