Jennie Golding


Jennie Golding graduated from St Hugh's in 1971.


- What is your connection with Oxford Mathematics?

I read Mathematics at St Hugh's from 1971, and stayed to do an MSc (which was by research in those days - I have a tiny result in functional analysis). St Hugh's at the time was of course a women's college - no JCR bar in 1971, and strict curfews. 

- What do you do now?

Jennie Golding graduated from St Hugh's in 1971. After a long, varied and satisfying career based in schools I recently moved to UCL Institute of Education, doing and supervising research in mathematics education, developing beginner and more experienced teachers, and supporting the growth of what we think is 'best practice' in a variety of schools and systems across several continents. I also work on the development of mathematics education policy in several arenas, and am President of The Mathematical Association 2016-17. A friend understandably labelled me a 'maths ed junkie'!

- When you were a student, did you imagine you'd find yourself doing what you do now?

I wanted to teach - but didn't realise how much fun it could be with the range of students, or how challenging/interesting/satisfying: my passion for it grew as I gradually came to understand how little I knew, or know, but that the quality of teaching, and of relationships, does make a difference to young people's lives. 

- What has been your biggest career challenge so far? 
Completing a Doctorate as a mature student working full time.

- What advice would you give your student self? 
Decide what matters to you and go for it - you only have one life.

- What would you do differently if you were starting your career again? 
I'd hope to relax more at the 'young family' stage: to me getting 'to the top' isn't important but living life to the full is.

- How much maths is there in your day job?
It's there all the time - and an amazing thing about this subject is that I can, and do, still go into a classroom and see a new idea or understanding in elementary mathematics.

- What do you like/miss/remember most about Oxford Mathematics?
I remember the luxury, and real privilege, of living in a high-quality multi-disciplinary community where we struggled with difficult mathematical ideas sometimes into the small hours, but also played hard - experiences, and friends, which/who have enriched my life for the last 44 years and counting...

- Are there things you find frustrating about your work/life balance?
Of course there are always compromises to be made, but so many opportunities....