Academic Staff

Dr David B Penman

Position in departmentSenior Lecturer in Pure Mathematics
Staff positionDeputy Dean Education
Telephone01206 872839
Office hoursOpen Door Policy in relation to queries about mathematics

I am originally from Edinburgh. I studied at Cambridge University for my first degree in Mathematics and Part III (essentially a Master's course in pure mathematics), and subsequently attempted (unsuccessfully) to write a Ph.D thesis on algebraic number theory there. I subsequently became involved in probability, taking an M.Sc. and subsequently a Ph.D at Sheffield University, the Ph.D thesis being on Random Graphs with Correlation Structure. I had various part-time and/or temporary lecturing jobs at Sheffield, the then UMIST (now part of the University of Manchester) and the University of York. I have been at Essex since 2000, where I have taught a broad range of modules and have supervised eight  research students, including six  Ph.D. students, through to completion (all but one passed).  I have two  research students at present.   I am also Editor of the British Combinatorial Bulletin and as such an ex officio member of the British Combinatorial Committee.

During the period Autumn 2013 to summer 2019, I will be Deputy Dean (Education) for the Faculty of Science and Health and as such will be less involved in Departmental activities.   

Research interests

  • probabilistic combinatorics, especially random graphs with correlation structure 
  • Paley graphs and other pseudo-random graphs
  • extremal Ramsey graphs
  • aspects of posets, quicksort-type algorithms
  • fixed point polynomials of finite permutation groups
  • aspects of additive combinatorics such as sets with more sums than differences
  • sandpile groups of graphs

Member of the Algebra and Discrete Mathematics Group.  

Teaching responsibilities

I will not have departmental teaching responsibilities (other than supervision of research students) in 2016-17.

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