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Owen Daniel: Mathematics

Owen DanielOwen's passion for mathematics grew out of a fascination with magic: so much so that his PhD research is related to the topic of card shuffling (albeit in a somewhat obscure way)! Owen believes that mathematical results can be as surprising as an illusion is startling, and uses this to motivate his students. In some cases the analogy becomes reality, and Owen is able to use magic effects to describe phenomena in as diverse mathematical fields as probability and abstract algebra, providing the students with a real world hook on which to hang esoteric topics.

A particular challenge faced by teachers in the mathematics department is the broad backgrounds of students, as well as their various reasons for studying the subject. Owen has been very successful in overcoming these difficulties. By demonstrating for students how abstract topics can be seen in a broader context (both within mathematics, and applications) he manages to appeal to a wide audience. After all, anybody studying Markov processes should at some point be introduced to the Markov Garfield generator, Garkov! By combining reviews of fundamental topics, with more challenging applications of core material, Owen has been able to engage both the inexperienced, and seasoned student.

Staff highlighted his innovative approach to providing student feedback. Each assignment is returned with a compilation sheet outlining the different approaches taken by the class; this allows for peer learning, as well as providing students with an arsenal of techniques, and highlighting creative approaches to problem solving.

students say...

Definitely the most organised, inspiring, educating and generally best TA I've has in my 3 years here.

He engages students from all disciplines and all abilities.

staff say...

I’m impressed by his commitment to providing feedback in an individualised manner to all the students he taught.

For my module I was very lucky to have Owen as my TA.