I am a lecturer at the School of Computer Science at The University of Manchester. I am a member of the Mathematical Foundations Group together with my colleagues Peter Aczel, Richard Banach, David Rydeheard and Harold Simmons, some PhD students and RAs. I'm also in the Formal Methods Group.
Before coming here I briefly was a lecturer at the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham, and before that a research associate at the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics (known in short as DPMMS) at the University of Cambridge where I worked with Martin Hyland on an EPSRC project entitled "Uniform Game Semantics for Computational Reasoning". This started research that is still continuing.
My work is in foundations of computer science, or, if you will, in the area between mathematics and computer science. I am interested in modelling logics and (programming) languages, and mathematical structures that arise as such models. `Categorical methods in computer science and logic' summarizes the area in which I have been most interested of late, game models being a particular focus.
In the course of doing some teaching various issues to research students I have written some notes on topics in my research area.
If, after reading the description of my research interests, you think you might want to pursue a PhD in the area, and if you have a background in mathematics and/or logic, you are welcome to contact me at A.Schalk at manchester.ac.uk. Here is some general information about research degrees in the department.
In the Computer Science department I am the course leader for COMP11120 Mathematical Techniques for Computer Science.
In the past I have taught on COMP11212 Fundamentals of Computation and COMP34120 AI and Games, as a result of an earlier course unit COMP30191, Theory of Games and Game Models. Links to the material for these course units remain available here for interested parties.
Harold Simmons and I used to teach MATH63171, Mathematics and Computation on the MSc in Mathematical Logic and the Theory of Computation.
CM TutorI am the programme tutor for all joint honours computer science and mathemtics students in the department. If you have any questions about this programme, including which course units to choose, what to do when you fall behind, what your career chances are, and how to change programmes, then please get in touch. You can either email me at A.Schalk at manchester.ac.uk or come to see me at my Open Hour which takes place on Wednesdays from 12.30pm in my office. There is also a general webpage about the programme.
Innovation in Teaching
I am always interested in ways to improve my teaching. I am a member of the schools `Gang of 7' (now 5) which is charged with looking into teaching in the School. A couple of years ago I taught on CS2121, and since I wasn't happy with the way the first year had gone I made a few changes which had an amazing effect on the exam results for my part of the course. My part of the course was about teaching abstract concepts and I've written a report that describes the changes I made, and also includes an account of a successful experiment in making traditional `lecture theatre' teaching more active.
Here's a study I found particularly impressive, regarding the teaching of mathematics in secondary school. The best way of preparing students for tests is to drill them on tests, or is it? This is in particular interesting given the latest Ofsted report into the teaching of mathematics. There's a brief summary of the report available on the BBC webpage.
New! What else?