Welcome to my new homepage on GitHub. This page is under construction (and probably always will be!)
I am a quartertime Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of St Andrews, and an Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Queen Mary, University of London. In addition, I am an associate researcher at CEMAT, University of Lisbon, Portugal.
I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
About me
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With Marina AnagnostopoulouMerkouri and Enoch Suleiman, I defined a concept for finite permutation groups lying between transitivity and primitivity, which we called "preprimitivity". It has the property that it is logically independent of quasiprimitivity, but together with quasiprimitivity it is equivalent to primitivity. So it throws some light on the gap (which confused Galois, who devised both concepts) between quasiprimitivity and primitivity. We proved various things about preprimitivity. The paper is here.
In subsequent work with Marina, I have defined an even weaker concept, which we don't have a name for yet, tentatively the OBS property. The term comes from experimental design in statistics, where an orthogonal block structure is a set of partitions of a finite set which forms a lattice (with top element the partition with a single part and bottom element the partition into singletons), such that any partition in the set is uniform, and any two commute (as relations). A transitive permutation group has the OBS property if the partitions invariant under the group form an orthogonal block structure. This property lies between transitivity and preprimitivity, and almost all transitive groups appear to satisfy it. This is still under investigation.
Old research snapshots are kept here.
I am Honorary EditorInChief of the Australasian Journal of Combinatorics, an international openaccess journal published by the Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia. 
School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of St Andrews North Haugh St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS SCOTLAND 
Tel.: +44 (0)1334 463769 Fax: +44 (0)1334 46 3748 Email: pjc20(at)starthurs(dot)ac(dot)uk [oops – wrong saint!] 
Page revised 17 March 2023 
A (total) ordering of a finite vector space is called compatible if every orderpreserving bijection between subspaces of the same dimension is linear.
It is straightforward to show that every finite vector space has a compatible ordering: for example, choose any ordering of the finite field F; then the lexicographic ordering of F^{n} is compatible, for any n.
Problem: How many compatible orderings does the ndimensional vector space over the field of order q have? (Formulae are known for the cases n = 1 and n = 2.)
Old problems are kept here.