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Nicholas Peatfield – Bath Spa University

Personal statement

After studying for his undergraduate degree at Leeds, Nick spent nine years working as a research mathematician. This included completing a doctorate in Mathematical Logic, two years lecturing at Pembroke College, Oxford, a year at the Universidade de Lisboa in Portugal, and two years as a Research Fellow at the University of Bristol.

Already hooked on the thrill of teaching, Nick then decided that the questions he found most intriguing were those about the nature of learning. While completing his PGCE he became interested in the contrasts and similarities between the mathematics of the classroom and those in the university.

Over the last ten years, Nick has taught at five different schools in Bristol, where he took on various management responsibilities, including for both KS3 and Post-16 teaching, and PGCE and NQT development.

He completed his Masters in Education at Bristol in 2012, with a dissertation on “Affective Aspects of Mathematical Resilience”. He moved to Bath Spa University full-time in September 2017.

His research interests are related to students’ problem solving and reasoning skills, and how government policy can help, or hinder, the development of classroom cultures that will promote these skills.

Academic qualifications

  • MMath (European) 1st (First), University of Leeds
  • DPhil (Mathematical Logic), Oxford University
  • PGCE Secondary Mathematics, University of Bristol
  • M.Ed. Mathematics (Distinction), University of Bristol.

Professional memberships

  • British Society for Research in the Learning of Mathematics (BSRLM)
  • Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM). 

Other external roles

  • HEI Advisor, Boolean Maths Hubs, Mathematical Thinking Project

Teaching specialisms

  • Education
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics Education 


Invited talks and guest lectures

  • "Pseudo-exponentiation and analytic Zariski Structures", Invited Lecture to the Berlin Humboldt University Logic Group (November 2006)
  • "Pseudo-exponentiation and analytic Zariski Structures", MODNET workshop in Model Theory, Oxford (September 2006)
  • "Zilber’s Programme and Pillay’s Conjecture", Heilbronn Lecture in Discrete Mathematics, Bristol University (May 2006)
  • "Hurewicz Theorems and Pillay’s Conjecture", Logic Seminar, Oxford University (February 2006)
  • "Hurewicz theorems for definable groups", a series of 2 talks to Seminário do grupo de Logica Mathemática at CMAF (November 2005)
  • "Generic functions and Analytic Zariski Structures", Invited Lecture, University of East An- glia, as part of a satellite meeting to Newton Institute semester on Model Theory and Applications (July 2005)
  • "Zariski Structures" a series of 5 talks to Seminário do grupo de Logica Mathemática at CMAF (February/March 2005)
  • “What is Mathematics?” Oxford University open day (July 2004)
  • U.E.A. Pure Mathematics Seminar, invited talk on analytic Zariski structures (March 2004)
  • Leeds Logic Seminar, invited talk on analytic Zariski structures (October 2003)
  • Meeting of the British Logic Colloquium, St. Andrews, Scotland, contributed talk on analytic Zariski structures (August 2003)
  • European Meeting of the Association for Symbolic Logic, Helsinki, Finland, contributed talk on analytic Zariski structures (July 2003)
  • London Mathematical Society Model Theory Meeting, University of Leeds, talk on analytic properties of Hrushovski structures (March 2003)
  • Series of 10 Advanced Classes on analytic Zariski structures, Oxford University (autumn 2002)
  • Oxford Logic Seminar on analytic properties of Hrushovski structures (May 2002)
  • London Mathematical Society meeting, Birmingham, poster presentation (March 2002)
  • Oxford Graduate Lecture Series: 8 lectures on Model Theory of Difference Fields (late 2000/early 2001).

Research publications

Book Chapters

  • "Invariance results for definable extensions of groups", Archive of Mathematical Logic 50 (2011) pp.19-31. Joint work with M.J. Edmundo and G.O. Jones.

Journal Articles

  • "Affective Aspects of Mathematical Resilience", in Adams, G. (Ed.) Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, 35.2, August 2015. British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics - available to download here.
  • "Counting, Perimeter and Dimension", Mathematics Teaching 244, January 2015
  • - with Alf Coles, "School and Academic Mathematics", For the Learning of Mathematics, Vol. 28.3, 2008
  • - joint work with B. Zilber, "Analytic Zariski structures and the Hrushovski construction (58 sides)", Annals of Pure and Applied Logic, 132 (2005), pp.127-180
  • "An analytic Zariski structure over a field (30 sides)", Archive of Mathematical Logic 45 (2006), pp.739-768
  • - joint work with M.J. Edmundo and G.O. Jones, "Sheaf cohomology in 0-minimal structures", Journal of Mathematical Logic 6.2 (2006), pp.163-179
  • - joint work with M.J. Edmundo, "0-minimal Cˇech cohomology", Quarterly Journal of Mathematics (2007), pp.1-8.

Areas of research supervision

  • Mathematics Education
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning
  • Policy

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