Jeff Waldock (2015) – bio

Dr Jeff Waldock has worked at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) since 1987, having previously spent six years as a research associate in Ionospheric Physics at Leicester University. This followed a first degree and PGCE in Mathematics, and a PhD in Physics.

Jeff has a keen interest in learning and teaching practice and in the application of technology both to support students and to increase their engagement in their learning by stimulating interest, providing motivation and deepening understanding. He believes that strong staff-student learning partnerships maximise engagement and achievement, and has been instrumental in creating a new shared informal learning space for Mathematics at SHU which combines staff accommodation with open learning space. This encourages group work, stimulates cross-level peer group support and helps students identify with the discipline and feel that they belong to a professional community. Virtual learning spaces are also important, and Jeff has developed an interactive departmental website to support student reflection, manage assignments and feedback, and facilitate staff-student communication.

Jeff is interested in all aspects of skills development, but particularly in encouraging Mathematics students to acquire better employability skills, and to take advantage of the wider, extra-curricular opportunities available at University. He has been actively involved in spreading practice in this area across the UK.

Having a long term interest in photography, Jeff developed a software tool for exploring the mathematics involved in post processing a digital image. This tool extracts the pixel values from the image into a spreadsheet, allowing students to implement mathematical algorithms to carry out a variety of visual effects. Activities based on this idea can be developed at a range of levels, and Jeff has done so both to degree students at SHU and as part of National Science Week, through his role as STEM Ambassador. In this way, students can bring a degree of artistic skills and creativity into their mathematical studies!