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 Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the persons scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

problem Social Sciences
Model Mathematics
model Social Sciences
market Social Sciences
Economics Mathematics
control Social Sciences
investment Social Sciences
mathematics Social Sciences

Research Output 2007 2017


Teaching Reciprocity as the Foundation of Financial Economics

Johnson, T. 9 Jul 2017 Post Crash Economics: Pluralist and Heterodox Ideas in Teaching and Research. Feraboli, O. & Morelli, C. J. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Financial mathematics

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


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

nineteenth century

Mathematics and Finance: Where is the ethical malaise?

Johnson, T. 2015 In : The Mathematical Intelligencer. 37, 4, p. 8-11 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate



RCUK "One Hundred Big Ideas for the Future"

Timothy Johnson (Recipient), 16 Jun 2011

Prize: Other distinction

Activities 2007 2016

Richard Stockbridge

Johnson, T. (Host)
1 Mar 20161 Sep 2016

Activity: Hosting an academic visitor

Discourse Ethics for Debt Markets

Johnson, T. (Speaker)
25 Jun 2016

Activity: Oral presentation

Reciprocity as a foundation of financial economics

Johnson, T. (Speaker)
25 Jun 2015

Activity: Invited talk

Reciprocity as a Foundation of Financial Mathematics

Johnson, T. (Speaker)
19 Jun 2015

Activity: Invited talk