David Bevan

Lecturer B

Personal Statement

I am a Lecturer in Combinatorics in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences.

My research interests are in enumerative and extremal combinatorics, particularly in relation to permutation classes.

Enumerative combinatorics is concerned with counting, either exactly or approximately, the number of discrete structures satisfying certain constraints. Extremal combinatorics concerns determining the size of the largest possible discrete structures having given properties.


In the 1980s, following undergraduate studies in mathematics at the University of Oxford, I undertook some computer science research. For my Oxford M.Sc. dissertation, I developed a model for the denotational semantics of the concurrent programming language occam. Following this, I spent two years in industry, during which I produced a paper that introduced weighted reference counting, now a key method for managing memory in distributed computer architectures.

This was followed by a career in software development, first as a developer, consultant and trainer, based in Papua New Guinea, and subsequently as a software engineer and development manager in the UK.

In my spare time, I carried out some independent mathematical research resulting in the publication of a paper improving on a long-standing extremal result of Erdős and Füredi in discrete geometry. In 2012, I left software development for full-time mathematical research, and in 2015 was awarded a PhD from The Open University. The topic of my thesis was the growth of permutation classes. Following a year as a Visiting Research Fellow and Associate Lecturer at The Open University, I took up my current position in September 2016.


Teaching Interests

My current teaching includes the following:

CS103 Machines, Languages and Computation

Propositional logic and proofs using natural deduction; normal forms and satisfiability; computational complexity, P and NP; finite state automata and regular expressions, the Brzozowski algebraic method and the pumping lemma; Turing machines, undecidability, the halting problem and the Entsheidungsproblem.

CS104 Information and Information Systems (Module 1: Information Theory)

Data and information (syntax and semantics, text encodings, Unicode and UTF-8); error detection and correction (repetition codes, parity bits and Hamming codes); data compression (run-length encoding, Huffman coding and LZW); measuring information (entropy) and Shannon's Source Coding Theorem.

Research Interests

My research interests concern aspects of enumerative, asymptotic and extremal combinatorics, particularly with relation to permutations.


Recent publications

Details of all my publications can be found on my Google Scholar page.

Slides from talks

Mathematica demonstrations

  1. Large butterfly Cayley graphs and digraphs

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  2. Staircases, dominoes, and the growth rate of 1324-avoiders

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewConference Contribution

View all »
  1. 26th British Combinatorial Conference

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganiser of major conference

  2. Permutation Patterns 2015

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganiser of major conference

View all »
David Bevan

View graph of relations