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Simon Bignold


This is me


About MeMy name is Simon, I am 26 years old and am currently studying a PhD in Mathematics as part of the MasDoc doctoral training program in Warwick University having just completed an MSc also as part of the MasDoc program.

I live in a small village called Swinford in South Leicestershire and have lived in Leicestershire all of my life. For the four years previous to being in Wariwick I spent most of my time in Durham studying for my undegraduate degree.

Apart from my interest in Mathematics, I am also interested in history and am a member of English Heritage and the National Trust. I also play the Saxophone. At Durham, I was a member of the college pool team but now I only play occasionally.

I also like to travel,during easter I visited Ethiopia, including the famous churches at Laibella. During my travels I have visited many countries including several in Europe and hold basic qualifications in English, French and German. I hope to be able at some time in my life to visit every continent (I am currently lacking one)


Previous to joining Warwick I undertook a four year MSci in Natural Sciences at Durham University (St Cuthbert's Society) taking exclusively modules in Mathematics and Physics primarily Mathematics.

My final year project was on the Higgs mechanism as part of Quantum Field Theory. See here for the extended version

(PDF Document)QFT

Awards During my time in Durham I recieved several awards for academic achievement

  • Durham University St Cuthbert's Society Charles Holmes Prize: Best Academic Performance of a Final Year Student (2011)
  • Durham University Peter Rowe Undergraduate Memorial Prize: Natural Science Student taking Options in Mathematics (2011)
  • Durham University Natural Sciences Award for Outstanding Achievement (2011)
  • Durham University Students in Residence Scholarship : Best Academic Performance in Faculty (2010)
  • Durham University St Cuthbert's Society Norton Prize for Outstanding Achievement in First Year of Studies (2008)

Summer PlacementsIn the summers of 2009 and 2010 I undertook three research studentships.

The first of these in the summer of 2009 was at Nottingham University where I worked for eight weeks. During this project I used Matlab to simulate the decays between states of a Rydberg atom, to test with these atoms would be suitable as a logic switch. The long term goal of the work of the department was to research the use of these atoms for quantum computers.

In July 2010 I worked for six weeks in the mathematics department of Durham University. During this project I used fortran to write code to build filament networks that could grow and shrink. The network also performed thermal oscillations and I implemented cross-linkers on the network which appeared probablistically when two filaments crossed and added rigidity to the network. I hope to continue this work by adding in a Monte-Carlo element to minimise the overall Hamiltonian of the network.

My final summer project in September 2010 was in the Bergische Universit├Ąt Wuppertal in Wuppertal, Germany. Here I worked in a department working as part of the Pierre Auger Observatory. This observatory is based in Argentina and is designed to detect the cosmic showers generated by high energy particles when they hit the atmosphere. The observatory detects these rays using both telescopes and ground based detectors. My work compared real and actual data from the then new HEAT telescopes using C++.

Mathematical InterestsHaving spent some of my undergraduate degree doing physics I am very interested in applied mathematics. I am interested in the processes involved in modelling physical phenomena with a slight preference towards the analytical and computational aspects.

SSLC During my first year at Warwick I was the first year representatative on MasDoc student staff liason commitee (SSLC) and also helped represent MasDoc on the Mathematics department SGSLC. I will be continuing both these roles this year, now representing second year MasDoc students to the MasDoc SSLC. I am now also Chair of the MasDoc SSLC.


During the second year of my PhD I acted as a supervisor for 1st year undergraduate students.

Contact DetailsI am usually to be found in D2.08 of the Zeeman building.

My email address is:


My PhD is funded as part of the MasDoc DTC grant number EP/H023364/1 provided by EPSRC.