David Acheson is one of the UK’s most well-known popularisers of mathematics, and his best-selling book 1089 and All That has now been translated into 11 languages.
He is an Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, where he taught applied mathematics from 1977 to 2008. His early research was in fluid dynamics, but in 1992 he discovered the ‘upside-down pendulums’ theorem, which is loosely connected with the legendary Indian Rope Trick and eventually featured on BBC television. This brought David into the world of mathematics popularisation, and he now lectures widely on the subject, to members of the general public of all ages, often with a demonstration of applied maths on his electric guitar.
In 2004, David became Oxford University’s first winner of a National Teaching Fellowship, and he served as President of the Mathematical Association for 2010-11. In 2013 he was awarded an Honorary D.Sc. by the University of East Anglia for his outstanding work in the popularisation of mathematics.
His latest ‘popular’ maths book, The Calculus Story, was published in November 2017 to widespread acclaim, and was immediately chosen by New Scientist magazine as one of its top ‘picks for Christmas’.