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Mathematician makes some NOISE

16 Oct 2009

A lecturer from The University of Manchester is making a racket about mathematics after being appointed as ambassador for his subject.

NOISEmaker John Moriarty
NOISEmaker John Moriarty

John Moriarty has been appointed as a NOISEmaker, with the job of enthusiastically communicating the importance and relevance of his research to a wide public audience.

NOISE (New Outlooks In Science & Engineering) is a UK-wide campaign funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

By providing media and public engagement training, the initiative aims to provide early-career researchers with the tools to communicate their work effectively.

John has already taken part in science busking activities at the Underage Festival in London this year, and will soon be heading for the Manchester Science Festival ( with fellow NOISEmakers on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th October.

John said: “Attending the festival as a NOISEmaker involves demonstrating some simple but engaging experiments at the stand, which ideally link to our own research in some way. These are then used as a starting point to talk to the festival visitors about careers in science and engineering.”

John specialises in probability and statistics and looks at applying these disciplines to biology.

He added: “The information we get about DNA from sequencing machines can be jumbled up, because of the technology we use - but inside are very important messages, for example about serious diseases like cancer.

“I particularly enjoy thinking about ways to find the information we're looking for despite these difficulties. It's something like looking for a needle in a haystack.

“I'd like to make a decent contribution to science through maths - understanding beautiful pieces of maths and then spotting new ways to use them can be a real buzz.”

In his spare time John, who lives in the centre of Manchester, plays saxophone and goes with a six-piece band to play at the Cork Jazz Festival each year. He also keeps fit by taking part in squash, football and yoga.

Now in its third year, the Manchester Science Festival is packed with over 150 events, exploring anything and everything to do with science, technology, engineering and maths.

The Festival has a particular focus on the relevance of these topics to our everyday lives and the history and work taking place in our region. It is supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), MOSI and Siemens.

Notes for editors

For more information please contact Alex Waddington on 0161 275 8387 / 07717 881569.

John is available for comment on request.