My research revolves around measuring communications networks and their users. My PhD looked at measuring networked game servers and game players, but more recently I have been investigating ways to measure mobile and wireless networks and their users. I attempt to use the results of this network measurement to build more usable networks. By this I mean networks which support the functionality that users desire. For instance we can use network measurement to improve security and privacy so that people can use pervasive sensor networks. Or we can measure network behaviour and use this to inform the design of future networks.

I am also particularly interested in the dissemination of results and the sharing of data for use by other researchers. This both promotes good science (reproducible results) and has interesting research issues, for instance, how to anonymise or sanitise data to remove private information while still making the data useful for research. Interested? Then see my CCR rant and please visit our wireless data archive CRAWDAD:



Here is my list of publications. Or for a slightly easier-to-read format, try the St Andrews Research Portal, CiteULike, or the ACM.


My research interests span various parts of computer science (as well as other disciplines!). Within our School I am a member of the Systems, AI and HCI research groups. Within these groups, I am fortunate to be working with a talented group of researchers:

  • Janis Wong (PhD student 2018-)
  • Chris Norval (postdoc 2016-2017, now at Cambridge)
  • Yuchen Zhao (PhD student 2013-17, now a postdoc at Southampton)
  • Luke Hutton (PhD student 2011-15, now at BBC R&D)
  • Iain Parris (PhD student 2008-14, now at Sky)
  • Fehmi Ben Abdesslem (postdoc 2009-11, now at SICS)
  • Greg Bigwood (PhD student 2007-11, now at Springer)

Prospective students

I am happy to entertain informal enquiries from keen and hard-working research students. But please:

  • Think about which areas of Computer Science interest you the most. If you would like me to supervise your PhD, then obviously it would be best if you were interested in similar things to myself. Take a look at these pages and my recent publications to determine whether we would be a good fit. Note that I am not the only person at St Andrews who does networking: for instance I recommend that you also look at Professor Bhatti’s web pages and the School’s Research pages.
  • Think about particular problems that interest you. I will be far more impressed if you contact me with a draft research proposal, or at least by saying “I want to examine this problem…” rather than “I want to do a PhD - what should it be about?” I will ignore the latter. In any case you will need to have a tentative research proposal to complete the application form (next item). Don’t worry; we won’t hold you to this topic. The nature of research means that your ideas and areas of interest are likely to change as you progress through the PhD. I started out looking at network economics for my PhD and ended up submitting a thesis on multiplayer networked games.
  • It is of great use (to you and to me) if you can show me what you are capable of doing. If you have github or bitbucket repositories of interest, send me pointers! If you have written mobile apps, send me pointers! If you have written papers, send me pointers!
  • Get in touch once you have considered the above. Note that I do not take kindly to badly-written, misinformed or form letters - these will be ignored. Include a CV and some sort of description of your proposed research.
  • Once you have spoken to me and I have agreed that I might be interested in working with you, then complete an application form, obtainable through the School, and list me as a potential supervisor.
  • Check out my list of resources for research students.
  • If you are from outside the EU, note that it will be difficult for me to fund you. So please take the initiative and start investigating sources of funding by yourself.
  • I receive various requests from people saying that they have read my web pages. To demonstrate that you have done so, please include the password “The purple water runs uphill” somewhere in your message.