Dr Matthew Craven

Dr Matthew Craven

Lecturer in Applied Mathematics

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


  • Lecturer in Applied Mathematics in SoCEM.
  • Nominated 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, and a qualified mental health champion.
  • Admissions Tutor for BSc (Hons) Mathematics 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 projects supervision.
  • Regular speaker at outreach events, including several Mathematics Masterclasses in collaboration with the Royal Institution.
  • PGCAP mentor for new staff.
  • Applied Mathematics seminar joint 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


2018-19 Sem 2:
MATH2604 Mathematical Methods and Applications
MATH3628 Final Year Mathematics Projects
PRCO304   Computing Projects

2018-19 Sem 1:
MATH051 * Mathematical Methods I
MATH055 Mathematics 1
MATH3628 Final Year Mathematics Projects

* denotes module leadership.

2013-2018: 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 many years of teaching experience in many different venues and levels, from foundation year to MSc levels and PhD workshops.

Research interests

Applications of artificial intelligence and HPC:

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
Mathematics education

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

Current PhD Students:

T. Alotaibi, Large Scale Portfolio Optimisation Using HeuristicAlgorithms Built Around Copula Financial Models (Director of Studies)

(2019) A. Verulkar, Game-Theoretic Approaches Towards Insider Threat Detection and Mitigation (2nd Supervisor)

Other research

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

Grants & contracts

Externally Funded Projects:

2014-2017: NVIDIA: "Award of NVIDIA GPU Research Center" (Principal investigator. Seven CMS staff and one colleague in Computing carried out research ranging from Particle Physics, Industrial Engineering to Cryptanalysis supported with hardware from NVIDIA. Successfully renewed in July 2015 and July 2016. Since then, the centre has continued as a pan-school initiative in the guise of the Plymouth GPU Research Centre.)

2016: Medicem: "Clinical Assessment of the WIOL-CF". P. Buckhurst, H. Buckhurst, P. Hewson, M. Craven.

Research groups

  • Centre for Mathematical Sciences (CMS)

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 2015-2018.
  • I review EPSRC grant applications in cryptography.
  • I lead the Applied Mathematics research group on Computational Algebra and Symbolic Computation, and also the Plymouth GPU Research Centre.

Additional information

I am always keen to hear from prospective PhD students in the areas specified in my research section, and in particular, Group-Theoretic Cryptography and Financial Mathematics.. For informal enquiries, please contact me directly. To apply officially for a PhD position at Plymouth, please click here.