Who are we?

The course Statistics: Unlocking the World of Data is brought to you by Mairi Walker, Ruth King and Chris Sangwin from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Mathematics. Mairi, Ruth and Chris have been supported along the way by teaching assistants Valentina Assi and Sabrina Chang.

Dr. Mairi Walker



Mairi Walker is the Mathematics Engagement Officer at The University of Edinburgh. Her job involves coordinating outreach and public engagement activities for the School of Mathematics, as well as undergraduate teaching and postgraduate skills development. She is the course lead for Statistics: Unlocking the World of Data.

Mairi studied mathematics at The University of Warwick from 2008 to 2012, specialising in the history of mathematics in her final year. She completed her PhD in December 2015 at The Open University, writing her thesis on the interplay between geometry and the theory of numbers.

Prof. Ruth King


Ruth King is the Thomas Bayes’ Chair of Statistics at the University of Edinburgh. She took up the position in 2015, after working as a lecturer and reader in Statistics at the University of St Andrews from 2003-15; and as a research associate from 2001-03 at the University of Cambridge.

Ruth’s research interests lie in the area of applied and methodological statistics, with particular applications to the areas of ecology and epidemiology. She frequently presents her work at international conferences and seminars and was one of the London Mathematical Society’s 150th Public Lecturers. Ruth is an active member of the scientific community, and is currently a faculty fellow of the Alan Turing Institute. She is co-author of two academic textbooks in the area of statistical ecology.

Personally, Ruth is married with two young sons.

Prof. Chris Sangwin


Chris Sangwin is Professor of Technology Enhanced Science Education at The University of Edinburgh. From 2000-2011 he was seconded half time to the UK Higher Education Academy “Maths Stats and OR Network” to promote learning and teaching of university mathematics. In 2006 he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. From 2013-2015 he was a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University.

His learning and teaching interests include automatic assessment of mathematics, particularly using computer algebra. The development of the STACK system is one practical outcome of this work. He is also interested in problem solving using Moore method and similar student-centred approaches. Chris Sangwin is the author of a number of books, including “Computer Aided Assessment of Mathematics”; and the popular science book “How Round is Your Circle”, which illustrates and investigates many links between mathematics and engineering using physical models.