Mr Chris Smith, MBE

Published on: 02 January 2024

The Scottish Mathematical Council (SMC) is delighted to congratulate Associate Council Member, Mr Chris Smith, on being appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year Honours list for services to mathematics education and to the community in East Ayrshire.

Chris graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics in 2003 and took on PhD study under renowned academics Prof. Stephen Wilson and Dr Brian Duffy. During this time, he caught the teaching bug and swapped his studies for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education programme. Soon after, he landed a permanent teaching post at the Grange Academy, Kilmarnock, where he still plies his trade. Chris was an immediate success, and won Scottish Teacher of the Year in 2018.

Not only a success in the classroom, Chris provides the mathematical community with regular updates of whose turn it is to buy the milk for the department via his weekly newsletter (there may also be plenty of mathematical news, puzzles, and titbits for the 4858 subscribers). He has made available a vast amount of resources via his TES pages and if anyone is looking for Pi Day inspiration then they should check out his YouTube channel (@chrissmithmaths ). This channel also hosts Maths Week Scotland videos which were created in partnership with the SMC and the Scottish Government.

Regarding the SMC, Chris has held two terms as a Full Member, and now sits on the Council as an Associate Member, responsible for liaising with the Secondary Enterprising Mathematics in Scotland team. He opened the SMC’s 2017 conference (with help from daughter, Heidi, who turned nine years old that day!) and regularly provides entertaining workshops at our, and other, conferences.

In addition to all things mathematical, Mr Smith also tours the country with his ceilidh band Jiggered, and plays a leading role at Townhead Church in Ayrshire; running bible study evenings, quiz and curry nights, treasure hunts, gala days, and summer camps. The Church, and by extension Chris, is an integral part of the local community.

Despite this incredibly hectic lifestyle, family life is a priority for Chris. His household is always a lively and welcoming place, and it is clear that this is a family who work, learn, and play together. This was exemplified when he, teacher wife Elaine, and daughters Daisy and Heidi won the BBC’s Family Brain Games competition in 2019 (son Logan unfortunately too young to take part).

Whilst the above is just a snapshot of the vast array of activities which Chris undertakes, we hope that it illustrates why he is so deserving of this MBE appointment. The Council congratulate him wholeheartedly, and look forward to working with him for many years to come.

Dr Alan J Walker

Chair | The Scottish Mathematical Council