Thomas Woolley became interested in maths as he found it fun and it was a common language across the sciences. But it was during the third year of his Master’s degree that he found his real calling, Mathematical Biology. This discipline uses mathematical tools to unravel mysteries such as how animals get their skin patterns or how infections travel through populations.
Thomas decided to undertake a DPhil, researching the effects of noise and randomness on stripe and spot patterns. He now uses maths to try to understand cellular motility.
Making maths understandable to non-mathematicians is part of Thomas’ research, and he has extended this to the public in projects such as Maths in the city and Marcus’ Marvellous Mathemagicians (M3)
Thomas has worked with the BBC and other production companies on programmes such as “Dara O’Briain’s School of Hard Sums”. He also provided illustrations for Marcus du Sautoy’s recent book “The Number Mysteries”. He went on to develop the book’s themes into a further education course for Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education.
About his research, Tomas says “Being part of an interdisciplinary field means I have to translate ideas between the mathematical and biological communities, and trust me, they speak very different languages!”