Colin signing copies of Cracking Mathematics at the Science Museum in London

Hi! My name is Colin, and I am a mathematician.

I write books and articles to make maths as clear as possible for as many as possible.

Writing about maths wasn’t originally part of the plan. I was an academic for a while – I worked on NASA’s Living with a Star program at Montana State University, keeping the world safe from solar flares((I think I did a pretty good job of that.)) – but grew disillusioned with writing papers that six people would ever read, and doing science that might possibly lead to breakthroughs a decade down the line.

So I came home in 2008 without much of a plan. I started blogging and tutoring to keep myself busy while I looked for a proper job((I had one for a bit. It didn’t take.)), and found before very long that helping people understand things (and working out the odd ninja trick) was way more rewarding than fixing other people’s broken code.

My writing was picked up by the For Dummies people and I wound up writing Basic Maths For Dummies in 2011, followed by several other books in the same yellow covers. A couple of popular maths books, Cracking Mathematics((known as The Mathematics Bible in North America; to paraphrase Russell, writing a bible is rather chic for an atheist.)) and The Maths Behind((Available stateside without an S.)) followed.

These days I live in Weymouth, on the south coast of England, with my partner and two young mathematicians. If I’m not writing or parenting, you can probably find me running at a slightly-slower-than-respectable pace along the excellent local system of cycle paths.


Do you tutor?

I do. I have very limited availability to help students with A-level, STEP, MAT and TMUA. Prices begin at £65 for a 75-minute online class or £100 for two hours. Send me an email if you’d like to discuss tutoring.

Can you answer a question about [x]?

Maybe! Make sure you read this post about asking for help first, though – the main rules are, ask a short, specific question, nicely, and tell me what you’ve tried and what’s holding you up. Then drop me an email at

Can you do my homework / sit my test for me?

Haha, no.

Can you recommend another tutor?

I know of a few people. Drop me an email at outlining what you need, and I’ll see if I can put you in touch.

Are you available for speaking engagements?

Currently, no. I’ve given several well-received public talks in the past, but I’m taking a break from speaking until the kids are a bit older.

Could you run a guest post or advert for our service?

Almost certainly not. FCM does not run adverts from external providers, and guest posts are only accepted from people I already know and like.

Do you need any help with your website?

No. Thank you, but I’ve got this. (That said, if you spot an error you think I should put right, please email I’m happy to thank you when I make the correction.)