Anna Lena Phillips in American Scientist:
Chris Sangwin researches applied mathematics at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He is the author, most recently, of How Round Is Your Circle? Where Engineering and Mathematics Meet (Princeton University Press, 2008), which he cowrote with John Bryant. He is also author, with Chris Budd, of Mathematics Galore! Masterclasses, Workshops and Team Projects in Mathematics and Its Applications (Oxford University Press, 2001). His homepage and GeoGebra page offer videos and animations of applied mathematics in action.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm currently a lecturer in the School of Mathematics at the University of Birmingham. I grew up in Salisbury before going to Oxford and then Bath as a graduate student. I graduated and moved to Birmingham in 2000. At present my research work is in applied mathematics and also on computer-aided assessment. My hobbies include mountaineering and beekeeping. I've always been interested in the outdoors, so mountaineering was a natural choice. I took up beekeeping recently and am having a huge amount of fun, making some delicious honey and appreciating much more how important food production really is!
What books are you currently reading (or have you just finished reading) for your work or for pleasure? Why did you choose them, and what do you think of them?
I've just finished a very interesting biography of Léon Foucault (as in Foucault's pendulum)— The Life and Science of Léon Foucault: The Man Who Proved the Earth Rotates, by William Tobin (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and am in the middle of Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican (1632).