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Personal profile

Research interests

My research is in applied probability. In many real-life situations probability distributions of interest are tricky to handle, but can be well approximated by distributions which are much easier to work with (such as a Gaussian or Poisson distribution). I specialise in establishing approximation results, often with explicit error bounds, which then allow us to better understand statistics of interest arising from stochastic systems. In particular, I am interested in establishing probabilistic approximations in settings with complex dependence, including random graphs and Markov processes.

Much of my work has been in the theory and application of Stein's method, which allows the quality of such probability approximations to be explicitly evaluated in a wide variety of settings without relying on assumptions of independence.

Roles & Responsibilities

I am Director of the Scottish Mathematical Sciences Training Centre (SMSTC), which offers graduate-level training in mathematics and statistics to students from a consortium of nine Scottish universities.

I have previously served as programme director of the MSc Financial Mathematics (run jointly with the University of Edinburgh), and as vice chair of the Applied Probability section of the Royal Statistical Society.


I completed a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Nottingham in 2008. I then spent around 18 months at the University of Zurich and three years at the University of Bristol. I took up my position at Heriot-Watt in August 2013.


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