Dr Matthew Craven

Dr Matthew Craven

Lecturer in Applied Mathematics

School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics (Faculty of Science & Engineering)


  • Lecturer in Applied Mathematics in SoCEM.
  • Shortlisted for SSTAR awards in the categories of "Inspiration Teaching" and "Sensational Programme Lead" in 2017.
  • Lead of the Plymouth GPU Research Center.
  • Research interests in many aspects of Mathematics (see 'Research' section for details).
  • Programme Manager for the (six) Foundation Year programmes in SoCEM.
  • Stage tutor for four of the above six programmes.
  • Senior Personal Tutor.
  • One of two SoCEM disability champions.
  • Admissions Tutor for BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Statistics with Foundation Year, and assistant Admissions Tutor for year 1 Mathematics programmes.
  • Teaches across several schools, including service teaching, Mathematics degree students and 3rd year project supervision.
  • Enjoys speaking at outreach events, having given several Mathematics Masterclasses in collaboration with the Royal Institution.
  • PGCAP mentor for new staff.
  • Applied Mathematics seminar organiser - if you wish to give a seminar then contact me!

Professional membership

Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
London Mathematical Society
Foundation Year Network

Teaching interests

Postgraduate: 1 PhD student in Financial Mathematics


2017-18 Sem 2:
MATH2604 Mathematical Methods and Applications
MATH3628 Final Year Projects

2017-18 Sem 1:
MATH051 * Mathematical Methods I
MATH055 Mathematics 1
MATH3628 Final Year Projects

* denotes module leadership.

2013-2017: STAT008* Statistics for Extended Science; MATH051* Mathematical Methods I; MATH1015* Mathematics with Applications 1; MATH236 Engineering Analysis; MATH2501 Advanced Calculus and Transforms; MATH2604 Mathematical Methods and Applications; MATH3501/3602 Final Year Projects

I also have a large amount of teaching experience in many different venues and levels, from foundation year to MSc levels and PhD workshops.

Research interests

Current research projects:

Copulas and combinatorial optimisation in financial mathematics for business
Combinatorial enumeration methods for approximation of optimal solutions
Hyperheuristics in symbolic computation
Group-theoretic cryptology
Visualisation and performance analysis of algorithms (particularly Evolutionary Algorithms and variants)
Structure-preserving mappings and algorithms
Social networks
Mathematical education

(In many of the above I make use of parallel computation on an HPC cluster and/or GPUs.)

Other research

I am an external member of the Cybersecurity research group at the University of Abertay Dundee.

I am always interested in hearing from prospective PhD students in the areas specified in my research section, and in particular, Group-Theoretic Cryptography and Financial Mathematics.

Grants & contracts

In July 2014, Plymouth University was selected as an NVIDIA CUDA Research Center, with myself as the principle investigator. Seven CMS staff and one colleague in Computing carry out research ranging from Particle Physics, Industrial Engineering to Cryptanalysis supported with hardware from NVIDIA. This status was successfully renewed in July 2015 and July 2016.

Research groups

  • Centre for Mathematical Sciences (CMS)

Reports & invited lectures

  • (with J. Sharp) Exploring the Frontiers of Foundation Years in Mathematics - An Update on a Work in Progress, FYNAC18, Nottingham, UK, 5th-6th July 2018.
  • (with D. J. Walker) Visualising the Operation of Evolutionary Algorithms Optimising Water Distribution Network Design Problems, HIC 2018, Palermo, Italy, July 2018.
  • (with D. J. Walker) Toward the Online Visualisation of Algorithm Performance for Parameter Selection, EVOIndustry, Parma, Italy, 4th-6th April 2018.
  • The Plymouth GPU Research Centre, Big Data Group, University of Plymouth, 19th March 2018.
  • (with W. Dash) Exploring Botnet Evolution via Multidimensional Models and Visualisation, STM (track of ESORICS) 2017, Oslo, Norway, 14th Sept 2017.
  • Exploring the (Efficient) Frontiers of Portfolio Optimization, GECCO2017, Berlin, Germany 15th-19th July 2017.
  • BBIOS: A Characterization of Evolutionary Algorithm Stability, GECCO2017, Berlin, Germany 15th-19th July 2017.
  • (with J. Sharp, M. Lavelle and C. Christopher) Exploring the Frontiers of Foundation Years in Mathematics - An Enhanced Transition, FYNAC'17, Warwick, UK, 13th July 2017.
  • Group Cryptography, University of Plymouth, 14th Dec 2016.
  • Portfolio Optimisation in Financial Mathematics, University of Plymouth, 23rd Nov 2016.
  • (with J. R. Woodward) The Mappings Project, University of Stirling, 28th July 2016.
  • How to Break Cryptographic Schemes with Monte-Carlo Methods and High-Performance Computing, University of Stirling, 15th July 2016.
  • Big Data: Machine Learning, Heuristic Methods and the Future of Cybersecurity in HPC Environments, Invited keynote funded by SICSA, Big Data in Cybersecurity Conference, Napier University, 10th May 2016.
  • Monte-Carlo Attacks on Cryptographic Protocols, University of Hull, 27th January 2016.
  • Information Security and Evolutionary Techniques, University of Stirling, 5th June 2015.
  • A Smörgåsbord of Applied Mathematical Treats, University of Plymouth, 12th Nov 2014.EA Stability Visualization: Perturbations, Metrics and Performance, GECCO2014, Vancouver, Canada, 12th-16th July 2014.
  • Evolutionary Algorithms in Group Theory with an Application to Public Key Cryptography, University of Plymouth, 27th Jan 2014.
  • An Overview of Evolutionary Algorithms and their Applications, University of Plymouth, 19th Dec 2013.
  • An EA for Portfolio Selection over Multiple Investment Periods with Exponential Transaction Costs, Poster and short paper at GECCO2013 Conference, Amsterdam, Holland, 6th-10th July 2013.
  • Evolutionary Methods in Public Key Cryptography, Abertay University, 6th Nov 2012.
  • A Dynamical Model of Cancer Chemotherapy with Disturbance, Poster and short paper at GECCO2012 Conference, Philadelphia, USA, 7th-11th July 2012.
  • Building on Workplace Simulation within the Context of First Year Undergraduate Civil Engineering, Abertay Conf. Workplace Simulation in Educational Pedagogy, September 2011.
  • A Kolmogorov-Type Stability Measure for Evolutionary Algorithms, EVOSTAR’11 Conference, Turin, Italy, 26th-29th April 2011.

Other academic activities

  • I have taught many Royal Institute Mathematics Masterclasses, the most recent in March 2018.
  • I am on the editorial board for Applied Computational Intelligence and Soft Computing. Also I was a Review Committee member for GECCO 2009 (GA Track), a Programme Committee member for GECCO 2010 and GECCO 2011 (both GA Track), a Programme Committee member for the GECCO-UP Workshop 2013 and a Review Committee member for the VizGEC Workshop in 2015-2017.
  • I review EPSRC grant applications in cryptography.
  • I am the leader of the Applied Mathematics research group on Computational Algebra and Symbolic Computation, and run the Plymouth GPU Research Centre.

Additional information

I am always keen to hear from prospective PhD students. For informal enquiries, please contact me directly. To apply officially for a PhD position at Plymouth, please click here.