Peter Taylor

At heart I'm a mathematician. Of all intellectual pursuits, I have found mathematics to be the truest and the most faithful. Its structures are unbelievably beautiful; they display order and chaos, with always a hard diamond at their core.


Around 1975, the main thrust of my research switched from classical analysis to the evolutionary modeling of behaviour, principally following the huge body of work flowing from John Maynard Smith’s notion of evolutionary stability and Bill Hamilton’s formulation of inclusive fitness.


But also in the early 70’s I was developing a strong interest and commitment to mathematics education, particularly the development of rich activities at the high school and university level. When I told this to my Department Head, John Coleman, he warned me to give priority to my research program, pointing out that only when I had considerable momentum there, could I afford to spend significant time on education change.


Fast forward 50 years and I find that my commitment to this challenging question of what to teach and how to teach it has taken over my research agenda, in part because the need is great, and in part because I believe that I now have the experience and wisdom to make some real progress. Amazingly enough I have a wonderful community of scholars and students to share this journey with, and we are connected to a large number of teachers who are willing to bring new kinds of activities into their classroom.