I received my Ph.D in Mathematics from the University of London in 1968 and was a lecturer in the mathematics department of Bristol University for two decades. During that time I co-authored a graduate text book on Cantor’s set theory, did research on infinite combinatorics and certain Boolean algebras, and taught the curriculum: linear algebra, Galois theory, functions of a complex variable, category theory, real analysis, and so on, down to remedial calculus for chemists. I also became interested in the psychology of mathematics and wrote a book about the then doyen of the subject, the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. In 1984 I quit the department and the academy and thrived as a full-on dad, avid reader of the Financial Times, student of the options market, writer of advertising copy, co-organizer of a poetry competition, and other ventures. Whilst out of the academy I wrote two academic books — a meditation (of sorts) on zero and a revisionary account of the mathematical infinite. See BOOKS. In 1990 I emigrated to the USA (Memphis, Tennessee) and I discovered I could be called an Independent Scholar and in that guise received fellowships from the NEH, ACLU and Stanford Humanities Center. Then (after teaching calculus at a Christian High school in East Memphis for a year) and re-tooled as a humanities professor, I entered the academy in a department of comparative studies and produced two more books; the first a collection of essays on mathematics, the second on the psychic and other effects of the medium of alphabetic writing. Now here I am about to exit academic employment once again.
I’ve been married to Lesley Ferris, a gifted theatre director and student of actresses, for half a lifetime. We have two wonderful progeny: Phoebe, her mother’s daughter, already steeped in the art, wants to manage a theatre (she will). Amie, her father’s daughter, has the tongue, and is a brilliant and passionate journalist. I love them dearly. They ask why don’t (won’t) I write books they can understand. Hmmmm … books. Maybe another play.
Well, Phoebe is an associate producer and Amie a prize-winning journalist and I did write another play A Land Without People about the coming into being of the state of Israel. It was produced by Palindrome Productions, directed by Lesley Ferris, and ran for 4 weeks in July 2015 at the Courtyard Theatre, London. See PLAYS.