I always loved science at school. I remember sitting in my GCSE classroom, and understanding what redshift was. I thought it was like magic, the way the waves appeared to change colour depending on what speed you were travelling at when observing them. There was another point, when I was watching my mum cooking and I said to her that the only reason the food was hot was because all the atoms were vibrating really quickly.
I think the realisation that science could explain the world around me, as well as very big phenomena, was what hooked me. Science teaches you to look at things differently.
My GCSE mathematics teacher, Mrs Iyengar, was also a big influence. I really learned to love mathematics through her. When I was doing my exams at degree level, I always used to think that the long mathematical derivations were like writing poetry across the page. When you are trying to solve a problem, it is like exploring. You have to be brave and just have a go. When you find a solution, it’s a huge buzz. You think ‘I did that’.
I always get very confused when people say they hate mathematics. I don’t see how you can’t love something that makes so much sense.