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Principal of St Mary's College+44 (0) 191 33 45946
Professor, Principal of St. Mary's College in the School of Education+44 (0) 191 33 48340


Adrian Simpson is Principal of St. Mary's College. He is also Professor in the School of Education.

Research Interests
Adrian’s research interests revolve around aspects related with the school-university transition in mathematics, particularly in how students come to understand the nature of formal argumentation in university mathematics and different ways in which students understand abstract mathematical structures. He has also published papers in cognitive psychology about abstract and contextual reasoning as well as patterns of assesment in higher education (and in university mathematics in particular).

Recently he has been working on notions of 'evidence' in educational research and policy-making, taking a critical stance towards the widespread mis-use of so-called 'scientific' and quantitative methods in the field.

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

Adrian is interested in supervising doctoral research studies in any area of mathematics education or in educational policy making. He has previously supervised students on postgraduate studies in mathematical reasoning, cognition, proof and argumentation, the school-university transition, students' understanding of key advanced mathematical concepts (such as analysis, algebra, trigonometry and logic). In addition he is interested in supervising doctoral studies in assessment in higher education or the use of evidence in evaluating educational interventions or policy making..

Research interests

  • Assessment in Higher Education
  • Evidence in educational research
  • Mathematics Education
  • Psychology of Reasoning

Esteem Indicators

  • 2014: Editor: Research in Mathematics Education
  • 2013: Editorial Board Member: Editoral Board member, Research in Mathematics Education
  • 2013: External Docen Supervisor: External Docen Supervisor, Charles University, Prague 2011-12; External Doctoral Supervisor, University of Grenada 2013
  • 2013: Keynote speeches: Keynote speaker at:

    Delta 2013 conference, Kiama, Australia

    RUME 2010 conference, Raleigh, NC, USA

  • 2013: External Examiner 2007-2013: Undergraduate mathematics education, Leeds University, 2007-11 MSc (Mathematics Education), Leeds University, 2009-12 MSc (Science Education), Leeds University, 2010-12 PhD (Mathematics Education), Loughborough University, 2013
  • 2000: Reviewer: Reviewing: Journal for Research in Mathematics Education; Educational Studies in Mathematics; Research in Mathematics Education; European Journal of Psychology of Education; International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education; Handbook of International Research in Mathematics Education; Journal of Mathematics Behavior; Mathematical Thinking and Learning;


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article