The Plus Team

Plus people

Former Plus people


Editors — Rachel Thomas and Marianne Freiberger

Plus is edited by Rachel Thomas and Marianne Freiberger. Together they look after the day-to-day running of Plus, writing articles and news items, doing interviews, and copy-editing feature articles sent in by our wonderful and generous contributors. They also promote the magazine and the other activities of the Millennium Mathematics Project (MMP) to a variety of audiences.

Before joining Plus in 2001, Rachel was a maths consultant in Australia working for government and industry. She recently edited the Gazette of the Australian Mathematical Society and has developed and taught science writing workshops for graduate students. Currently she is also working with Marcus du Sautoy to create mathematical walking tours and a virtual mathematical tour guide of the world for Maths in the City. Rachel obtained her MSc in Semigroup Theory in 1998 from the University of Western Australia.

Marianne joined Plus in 2005 after doing a PhD and then a three year postdoc at Queen Mary, University of London. As a researcher she worked in complex dynamics, the area of pure maths that has given us the Mandelbrot set. During her time as a researcher she also held various teaching engagements. In the world of maths communication she has been Editor-in-Chief of the Mathscareers website and sometimes gives presentations to mathematicians about how to communicate their work to a wider audience, and to journalists about how to deal with maths in the media.


Charles Trevelyan

Charles Trevelyan is a freelance graphic designer who regularly produces images for Plus.

Although initially trained as an engineer, a gradual change of direction over several years has led Charles into a career as a freelance designer. He is a founding member of the design studio Viable London, and also continues to work on graphic design on projects such as Plus.


Owen Smith

Owen joined the MMP team in June 2002, he primarily deals with the technical development of all the MMP's websites (including Plus) and administration of our servers. Prior to the MMP, Owen worked for a Cambridge software development and hosting company. Owen's early career found him working as a sound engineer and building kit cars.


Mike Pearson

Mike Pearson is the MMP's senior computer officer. A long time ago he was a maths teacher, but he now attempts to educate machines. Until issue 18, he was the graphic artist on Plus, so you can blame him for any bad taste cartoons that made their way onto this site (or indeed the NRICH site). He still takes overall responsibility for the computing side of Plus, along with all the other MMP projects.

Mike worked in the computer and software industry for 20 years, mostly in software development but with a bias towards industrial control, networks and communications. Much of this time was spent as a home worker which gave rise to an interesting mix of hi-tech, goat keeping, ferret rearing, parrot mending, and wood carving. Oh, and child rearing...

One of the benefits of this experience is that he knows how to shear a sheep the hard way.


Robert Hunt

Dr Robert Hunt is a Lecturer in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, and is a Fellow of Christ's College. He is also a former Deputy Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences.


Robert studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge as an undergraduate and for his PhD, before a short stint teaching at St Catherine's College, Oxford. He returned to Cambridge and is now a Fellow at Christ's College, where he is Director of Studies in Applied Mathematics.

Until the beginning of 2002 Robert edited Plus. He then moved to an executive role, leaving day-to-day decisions to a new editor. As well as being a member of the Millennium Mathematics Project team Robert has responsibility for the computational course work component of the Mathematical Tripos (the Cambridge University degree course). His research interests are in Fluid Dynamics (Wave Theory and Wakes) and Special Functions. At the Isaac Newton Institute he assisted the Director in organizing major research conferences which are attended by experts the world over.

Outside academia his hobbies include music (piano playing and singing) and theatre (both from the audience and on stage, particularly in musicals), and he has been known to indulge in both Ballroom and Scottish Country Dancing.

Helen Joyce

Helen edited Plus from the beginning of 2002 to July 2005. She now works on the Britain section of The Economist.

After Helen finished her B.A. in Mathematics and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin, she spent a year at Cambridge University doing Part III in Pure Mathematics. She then did a PhD in Geometric Measure Theory at University College London under the supervision of Professor David Preiss. She worked for the Millennium Mathematics Project from September 1999 until July 2005, first on the MOTIVATE project, and then on Plus.

Helen was also founding editor of Significance, the quarterly magazine of the Royal Statistical Society, aimed at anyone interested in statistics and the analysis and interpretation of data. Its aim is to communicate and demonstrate in an entertaining and thought-provoking way the practical use of statistics in all walks of life and to show how statistics benefit society.

Marc West

Marc West has now sadly left the Plus team, after spending a year with us as Assistant Editor.

Marc now works in operations analysis in Sydney. Previously, he worked for the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, and completed a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication at the Australian National University and a Masters of Operations Research and Statistics at the University of New South Wales.

Marc has published freelance science articles with a variety of magazines and newspapers including The Helix Magazine and G Magazine, and can be seen on a variety of podcasts and blogs (just google him).


Mark Wainwright

Mark took a maths degree at Trinity College, Cambridge before becoming a technical writer, then a stonecutter, and then an editor. In 1999-2000 he was an assistant editor of Plus, and still writes for Plus occasionally. He is now working on his Ph.D. thesis in Linguistics.


Kona Andrews

Kona Andrews, until recently Kona Macphee, was a computer officer and editor with Plus from 1998-2000, and returned to the MMP part-time in late 2001. She is the Technical Director of Cambridge company break-step productions, and pursues a thoroughly non-lucrative career as a poet on the side.


William Janse van Rensburg

William Janse van Rensburg matriculated in Johannesburg , South Africa. He has provided frontline support and maintenance for numerous divisions within the Millennium Mathematics Project. He has also devoted creative influence, with graphic design and website maintenance for projects such as NRICH, NRICH Prime and Plus. Although born in Bloemfontein, William has also travelled and worked in Central, East and Southern Africa. He has developed various online projects and is presently in the United Kingdom to pursue further qualification and experience.