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Mathematics and Statistics

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is committed to providing a positive working environment for all staff, students and visitors.


The mission of the Mathematics Workplace excellence, Inclusion, Diversity, Equality & Respect (WIDER) Committee is to ensure the Mathematics department is a world-class working environment that is an open, diverse and safe community. The Committee aims to help each individual achieve excellence by advancing and supporting equity, respecting and valuing diversity, and promoting equal opportunity.

We currently hold a Bronze Athena Swan Charter award and are working towards our application to Silver in May 2024. We have championed policies around core hours and improved recruitment shortlisting policies to enhance the inclusion and diversity of the department.

If you have any queries or comments please contact a member of the WIDER committee or leave feedback here.

WIDER Committee Members

I am an Associate Professor in the Climate Dynamics group of the Mathematics and Statistics department, which I joined in 2017. My research is focused on high impact weather and climate in present and future climates in order to provide more robust information for adaptation and to improve climate resilience. My background is in physics and meteorology, and I came through my undergraduate degree believing that the lack of diversity was just the way it was. During my PhD I began to see more successful women and became committed to improving gender balance in my own discipline. In 2020 I took on the role of chair of the WIDER committee. My goal is to contribute to a culture of inclusion and celebrating diversity so that everyone can achieve their own ambitions. To achieve this, I am pleased that we have a diverse membership of the WIDER committee.

I am an E&S Associate Professor and passionate about course design and delivery. I’m particularly interested in education that makes learning fun and personalised by addressing the students’ individual needs and while taking into account their educational background and pedagogies used prior to university level. I have participated in the Women in Mathematics Day in 2014 and 2015 where my research on Computational Methods in Fracture Mechanics was presented, and was an invited speaker at the conference Women Count in 2017 hosted by Queen Mary University of London. I am also involved in leading the Autism Champions meetings, formed as part of the Education Incubator project The Exeter Spectrum Project, where academic and professional services staff across all colleges discuss approaches of providing effective support to autistic students and staff in higher education. Having two young sons, I’m aware of the challenges involved while working in academia and being a parent at the same time. Growing up in London and being part of a multicultural community has demonstrated the importance of EDI in the workplace and elsewhere, that all should feel comfortable, respected, and treated equally regardless of their ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and disability status.

I am a Professor of Climate Science in the Climate Dynamic group. My research focuses on the climate of the polar regions and how climate change at the poles is influencing weather and climate all around the world.

I have been at Exeter since 2013. Over that time I have worked on the research-only and research and education streams, starting as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and progressing to full Professor. For many years I worked compressed hours to manage childcare responsibilities. I am keen to use my personal experience to support staff with parental (or other caring) responsibilities. In addition, and drawing on the experiences of people close to me, I want to encourage more awareness of and efforts to reduce the challenges faced by the neurodiverse community. I’m also an advocate for maintaining a good work-life balance, and want to promote a healthy workplace culture at the university.

I’m a Physicist (Theoretical Physics, Lancaster degree: First including History minor, PhD 1994 and CPhys), Lecturer in Mathematics at Exeter and science communicator. How we identify and work together in our STEM work is I believe really important for our departmental and university community. A wider collection of ideas that is part of our more inclusive focus helps enable career paths and opportunity. I'm the Diversity Champion for CEMPS, with a specific focus on enabling "Our voices in CEMPS". I'm also a professional member of the UK and Irelands Institute of Physics (IOP) as Chair for the Physics Communicators Group and co-opted to the Women in Physics Group. I am interested in data analytics and how we can better identify and explain physical phenomena (chaotic and regular) in the climate system, especially its impact to the biosphere.

I joined the University of Exeter in 2007 and established the Exeter Climate Systems research centre. My research interest is in developing and applying innovative statistical methods to gain deeper insight and understanding of weather and climate processes.

I have had the pleasure of living and working at research organisations and Universities in several different countries (USA, France) and so have first-hand experience of what it is like to be a foreigner. I would like to use this experience to make the mathematics and statistics department a more welcoming and supporting department for people from diverse cultural backgrounds. I am also the divorced father of two young children so have experience of the difficulties of balancing parental duties with academic responsibilities, and would like to use this to make the workplace a truly family-friendly environment.

I am a Mathematics PhD student, studying the stratosphere and its role in the near-surface response to Arctic climate change. When I’m not sitting in front of my laptop, you can find me sharing science with the public around Exeter and beyond! As of June 2023, I am also the Royal Meteorological Society’s Youth and Early Careers Fellow. I believe diversity of thought and lived experience is what leads to good research and outreach, so I am always interested in being involved in work to develop and encourage welcoming and inclusive environments.

Matthew (Mat) Collins is Head of Department of Mathematics and Statistics and holds the Joint Met Office Chair in Climate Change in the Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy, University of Exeter. His research interests are in physical aspects of climate change, with a focus on future projections. He has served twice as Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on the Firth Assessment Report of Working Group 1 and on the Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. He has led several UK-funded large projects on physical climate projections including, ‘Emergence of Climate Hazards’ and ‘Robust Spatial Projections of Real-World Climate Change’. He is the Field Chief Editor of Frontiers in Climate. He has published over 170 peer-reviewed journal articles. He is a member of the CLIVAR Scientific Steering Group and a past co-chair of the Climate Dynamics Panel.

My research is in homogeneous dynamics, ergodic theory, number theory, geometry, and their interactions.  Previously, I held positions at the University of Bristol, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and The Ohio State University.

I have been the Department Manager in the Mathematics and Statistics since September 2023 and prior to that have held various positions at both the University of Exeter and a number of Universities in London.  I am committed to helping to make an inclusive and diverse working environment for all students and staff, as well as supporting all Professional Services Colleagues to develop and progress in their careers. I am a member of the Association of Higher Education Professionals (AHEP).

I am currently co-Director of Education and Student Experience for the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, and a Professor of Pure Mathematics. My research is in algebra and number theory. I was an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, received my PhD from the University of Manchester in 1990, and, after a couple of years as a Junior Research Fellow at New College Oxford, came to Exeter as a lecturer in mathematics in 1991.

I am a Professor of Mathematics within the Department with interests that span from more pure dynamical systems to computational modelling. During my time at Exeter I’ve taught on a wide variety of courses and been involved in a variety of research projects. I have also supervised many PhD students to successful completion. Over the years I have also held a variety of management posts, including Head of Department, Director of Education and I am currently Director of Research and Impact. I feel it is really important that the department aims to provide a supportive and nurturing environment, so that all its members can feel that their contribution is valued. I am happy to contribute to the WIDER committee, as a way to help ensure this.

Mandhara Brasika is a PhD student in the Department of Mathematics under the supervision of Prof. Pierre Friedlingstein and Prof. Stephen Sitch. He is also a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Marine Sciences at Udayana University, Indonesia. 
His current research focus is on the carbon cycle in equatorial asia. He applied a mathematical model on understanding the carbon process through land, atmosphere and ocean. The connection between carbon and major climate event such as El Nino. This also includes the land use change, forest fires and carbon sink into the ocean.

Terms of Reference for the WIDER Committee

The Maths & Computer Science WIDER Committee was established in November 2016, as the Athena SWAN Working Group. Its title and terms of reference were updated in November 2016, in response to the Athena SWAN Charter’s updated and expanded principles, and in order to include working environment concepts not included in the Athena SWAN Charter. In May 2020, Maths and Computer Science agreed to have separate Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committees.

The mission of the Mathematics WIDER committee is to ensure the Mathematics department is a world-class working environment that is an open, diverse and safe community. The Committee aims to help each individual achieve excellence by advancing and supporting equity, respecting and valuing diversity, and promoting equal opportunity.

The Committee actively seeks to identify aspects of the working environment that could be improved; to propose and implement new approaches, initiatives and policies inspired by best practice at local (EDI team, the Provost Commission) and national level; and continually strive to achieve the Universities’ EDI Vision 2019-2025 “Everyone Welcome, Many Voices, One Community”.

The committee recognises that whilst good policies benefit all, bad policies disproportionately affect minority groups in STEMM, including (but not limited to) women, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, and LGBTQ+. The Committee acknowledges the impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on deepening pre-existing inequality. It acts to minimise the effect on women, minority groups and those with intersectional characteristics of sexual orientation, age and economic class.

To achieve the mission as stated above the WIDER committee will:

  1. Actively seek feedback from staff and students, listen and engage with staff on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) related issues.
  2. Assess and analyse the basis of and best route for EDI related actions to be created and embedded within the Department. This includes undertaking further qualitative and quantitative analysis, reflective learning and consulting with staff and students in the Department on issues identified.
  3. Respond to the identified barriers to EDI within the department, in particular, those related to the 2010 Equality Act’s protected characteristics, by creating and undertaking actions to support and empower staff and students in their working environment.
  4. Measure the impact of the committee’s actions in part through overseeing the planning and submission process for future equality focused Departmental accreditations e.g. Athena SWAN, and supporting University level equality accreditations where possible i.e. Stonewall, Two Ticks, Mindful Employer and Time to Change.
  5. Implement, monitor and update the Departmental Athena SWAN Action Plan, assigning actions to individual leads on the team. On leaving the committee, members are responsible for officially handing over their actions to alternative members of the group.
  6. Learn from and implement best practice, by working closely with the institutional EDI team and Provost Commission. Subscribe to the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme. Seek best practice in EDI policies from other Universities and Departments.
  7. Disseminate information about EDI throughout the Department and liaise with other STEM/M Departments and the wider University on the actions the Department is taking.
  8. Champion the Wellbeing resources and relevant training opportunities available to staff and students e.g. women-only leadership training programmes such as Sprint, Aurora and Springboard.
  9. Promote relevant formal networks and schemes within the University such as the Dignity and Respect Advisors, Early Career Researcher Networks, mentoring opportunities and Parent and Carer Network. 

WIDER membership will be drawn from the existing student and staff population at Streatham and Penryn. Membership will be reviewed annually in September to ensure representation from all groups and consideration should be given to representing each location.

Regular members include:

  • Head of Department
  • Professional Services Representative
  • Members of staff from each of the three academic job families; Education and Research, Education and Scholarship and Research (ideally spanning grades and career stages).
  • Part time member of staff
  • Diversity champion
  • Undergraduate student
  • Postgraduate Research student

Guest members will be included in town hall style meetings to beheld once per term. Guests include representatives from (and not limited to):

  • EDI central groups
  • Provost Commission
  • Professional services
  • Students guild
  • positive working environment group
  • Parents and carers network rep
  • Other departments/colleges
  • Other Universities
  • Other organisations, e.g. Black British STEM (BBSTEM)

It is the responsibility of current members to attend monthly meetings; undertake any specific actions; disseminate information from the group; consult with colleagues/peer group in their relative area.

The group will aim to meet monthly in person or virtually (Teams/Zoom). Minutes of the meeting will be taken distributed by the HoD as appropriate.

Reviewed August 2020