Martin Geddes

Martin Geddes

Martin studied Mathematics and Computation (aka "Mathematics and yet more Mathematics") as an undergraduate from 1989-92.

He learnt the fundamentals of what it means "to compute", the foundations of logic, and how to formally prove program correctness.

- What do you do now?

I am a network performance scientist. I work alongside a team of applied mathematicians who have made basic conceptual and practical breakthroughs in our understanding of packet networks. I help to turn them into buyable services to improve network performance and cost. We are the first people to drive packet networks to their theoretical limits of performance. I am an interlocutor that turns their profound insight into something more accessible to a general technology audience.

- What success in your life are you most proud of?

I am doing my best to stop measuring myself by external ideas of success - however expressed. Being present and content in the moment is success, doubly so if it involves chocolate. That said, seeing my daughters have joy in exploring the world is the pinnacle of any achievement that I would wish to lay claim to.

- What advice would you give your student self?

This answer may jar in the context of mathematics, but coming to terms with issues of mental health and intimate relationships, and having the courage and space to make these issues speakable, would have saved me considerable heartache. Our intellectual pursuits cannot be separated from the rest of our wellbeing.

- How much maths is there in your day job?

In terms of Greek squiggles, not a lot. I get to type "ΔQ" rather often, but in the midst of prose. However, the skills of understanding formalisms, distinguishing truth from convenient fiction, and intellectual rigour of the highest order are in frequent demand during my working days.

- What do you like/miss/remember most about Oxford Mathematics?

I liked the sense that no problem was supposed to be beyond my intellectual reach (even if, as it happens, some of that complex analysis course turned out not to be my calling in life). My memories are of exceptionally intelligent tutors, and the raising of the level of possibility of intellectual achievement higher than I had ever considered possible when at school.