Matthew Penn

DPhil in Statistics student

About Me

Every year, before the St Anne's 2nds' final football match of the season, the captain will ask who is leaving, so that we can try and make sure they get a goal in their final match (though this rarely works). In recent years, it has been increasingly obvious that they are waiting, with quite some level of excitement, for their slightly calamitous goalkeeper to say yes. However, Oxford has been my home for the last five years, via an MMath and now DPhil degree, and I still have a couple more years' worth of mistakes left in me (hopefully confined to the football pitch, rather than in my research!) I also (slightly) more successfully, spend quite a lot of my free time as an analyst for Oxford City FC, a semi-professional football club based just outside the city centre in Marston, and even sometimes partake in non-football activities - I enjoy cooking, and am a member of Trinity Church Oxford (who maybe enjoy me cooking slightly less). Do drop me an email if you want to chat about research / football (always up for going to a match at Oxford City, which does free student tickets!) / anything else!

Research Interests

My broad area of research is mathematical epidemiology, with a particular interest in applying rigorous mathematical techniques to epidemiological models to improve our understanding of their properties and of the behaviour of epidemics. Recently, I have been focusing on using branching process theory to examine the aleatoric uncertainty of epidemics - that is, the level of variation that you would expect if an epidemic "happened again". I have also written papers on properties of multi-group SIR models, proving that vaccination reduces total infections (a very unsurprising result that takes a very surprising amount of algebra), and examining some special cases of the optimal vaccination problem through asymptotic analysis. Outside of epidemiology, I have published papers on football prediction (I promise I do have other hobbies) and optimal loading of drugs in hydrogels. I am, however, always open to new collaborations in any field - I love a good proof, even if it isn't disease-related!

Contact Details

Office: G.01