If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research interests

My broad interests are in the field of optimal decision making under uncertainty, my research focuses on optimal stochastic control. I also have an interest in pricing and risk-management of energy derivatives. Specifically I do research in the field of applied probability on optimal stochastic control, focusing on stopping problems in a generalised setting. The most obvious application of this work is in the pricing of American options, with complex payoff functions, or in the area of so-called ‘real options’. I have a subsidiary interest in the historical development of financial mathematics and the impact finance has had on the development of science.


I completed my PhD in Financial Mathematics at King's College London in November 2006, supervised by Prof. Mihail Zervos. The thesis was The Optimal Timing of Investment Decisions. I have a BSc in physics from Imperial College and worked in the energy industry for 16 years. I obtained my MSc in Financial Mathematics from King's College in 2002. I joined Heriot-Watt in September 2006 as the UK Research Council's Academic Fellow in Financial Mathematics. As an academic fellow I have a responsibility to explain the science of financial mathematics to the general public. In 2009 I held a for Public Engagement Fellowship and organised a panel discussion as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival. I was co-organiser on the workshop Mathematics in the Management of Energy Systems, held on 29th January 2008, a direct descendent of this was the Energy Systems Week held at the Isaac Newton Centre in 2010.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Timothy Johnson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Stochastic Control Mathematics
reciprocity Social Sciences
Finance Mathematics
Optimal Stopping Problem Mathematics
Explicit Solution Mathematics
Economics Mathematics
mathematics Social Sciences
Singular Control Mathematics

Research Output 2007 2018

Teaching Reciprocity as the Foundation of Financial Economics

Johnson, T., 2018, Post Crash Economics: Pluralist and Heterodox Ideas in Teaching and Research. Feraboli, O. & Morelli, C. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, p. 199-230 32 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access
Renewable Energy
Compressed Air
Stochastic Processes
Quantitative finance
Financial markets

Discourse Ethics for Debt Markets

Johnson, T., 31 Oct 2016, In : Finance and Society. 2, 1, p. 62-85 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

Open Access
Discourse ethics
Financial system

The Necessity of Multi-disciplinary Scholarship for Finance: On Ayache and Roffe

Johnson, T., 19 Dec 2016, In : Finance and Society. 2, 2, p. 189-204 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Open Access
nineteenth century


RCUK "One Hundred Big Ideas for the Future"

Timothy Johnson (Recipient), 16 Jun 2011

Prize: Other distinction


Activities 2007 2018

Rebuilding Macroeconomics

Timothy Johnson (Invited speaker)
23 Jan 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Insights into practical reasoning from finance’

Timothy Johnson (Speaker)
21 Sep 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

The sincerity of Credit Default Swaps

Timothy Johnson (Speaker)
20 Oct 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Edinburgh International Science Festival

Timothy Johnson (Invited speaker)
9 Apr 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in Festival or Exhibition

Richard Stockbridge

Timothy Johnson (Host)
1 Mar 20161 Sep 2016

Activity: Hosting a visitorHosting an academic visitor

Press / Media

Mathematicians must get out of their ivory towers

Timothy Johnson


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

BBC World Service Business Daily

Timothy Johnson


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Maths and Markets

Timothy Johnson


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Newsnight Scotland

Timothy Johnson


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research