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I am a PhD philosopher of science (Western, 2013) and a PhD candidate in the applied mathematics department at Western University.

intellectual history

My intellectual interests began in science (physics and chemistry) at McGill University, where I was first exposed to the full range of physical theory. This sparked my interest in conceptual and foundational questions in science, taking me in the direction of philosophy. After a transitionary joint honours degree in philosophy and mathematics, also at McGill, I began my graduate education in philosophy at Western.

As my philosophical outlook has grown, I have increasingly been drawn to questions that lie at the boundary of traditional research areas. In particular, at the boundaries between philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics and mathematics itself. Since my overall interests concern the relation between our scientific concepts and the world, this has led me to seek solid grounding (in the form of doctoral degrees) in both philosophy of science and applied mathematics.

brief academic interests

My academic interests in philosophy centre on the ways in which mathematics allows us to gain insight into the workings of natural phenomena. This involves examining both how mathematical theories of nature are developed, and how a theory, once developed, is applied to model different phenomena. Some of my research in philosophy focuses on the mathematical methods used in applications, including techniques of formal manipulation and scientific computation. The main goal of this research is to deepen our understanding of how, in actual scientific practice, mathematics connects our theories of nature to nature itself. This clarifies both the nature and the limitations of scientific knowledge.

My academic interests in mathematics centre on the development of tools and methods that can be used to construct reliable models of natural phenomena. Applying mathematical models to the world means dealing with various forms of error and a good mathematical model continues to be accurate and/or useful in the presence of such error. Consequently, applications of mathematics require tools that are stablei.e., change only slowly, and continuous, i.e., change in an unbroken way, in the presence of error. My interest is in the development of both exact and approximate methods that are both stable and continuous, so as to ensure reliable results.

education

  • Ph.D. Applied Mathematics - Western University (2016-expected)
  • Ph.D. Philosophy - Western University (2013)
  • M.Sc. Applied Mathematics - Western University (2010)
  • M.A. Philosophy - Western University (2004)
  • B.A. Philosophy and Mathematics (Joint Hons.) - McGill University (2003)
  • B.Sc. Physics (Hons.) - McGill University (2001)