I was born in 1941, and educated at state primary and grammar schools. After studying at Cambridge University, I became a professional mathematician and university teacher in 1963.
I taught at Southampton University and Royal Holloway from 1963 to 1988. From 1988 to 2006 I was Professor of Mathematics at the London School of Economics.
I have written 13 books and over 100 papers on mathematical topics, many of them in algebraic combinatorics and its applications. I have also written books and articles on the History of Mathematics, Numismatics and Metrology.
I became Emeritus Professor at LSE in 2006 and continue to teach MA318 History of Mathematics in Finance and Economics until 2022. My current publications are mainly in the History of Mathematics, particularly in areas which overlap with my interests in Numismatics and Metrology.
I held several administrative
positions at the LSE, and was a member of the Editorial Boards of several journals. I served as Newsletter Editor, Chair of Computer Science Committee, Librarian, and General Secretary of the London Mathematical Society
My hobby is collecting weights and scales made in the British Isles from Roman times to the present day. From 2009-2014 I was Chair of the International Society of Antique Scale Collectors (Europe). I am a member of the British Numismatic Society. and in 2014 I was Vice-President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics.