Stuart J. McKelvie, MSc in Mathematical Psychology, 1969

I enjoyed a 41-year academic career as a psychology professor and researcher at Bishop’s University in Quebec, where I continue professional and writing activities as Professor Emeritus.

 

Remembrance of Stirling Past: The Early Days of Mathematical Psychology

"Arriving at Stirling in’sixty-eight,
People were friendly right out of the gate.
Conversations and talks,
Refreshments and walks,
Kept us up in the night, often late.

 

Our band of math. psych. postgrads,
Kept nose to the grindstone, worked hard,
Equations and models,
Were no sort of dawdles,
But Michael Moore kept us focused, on guard.

 

With no desktops or laptops, we wrote in longhand,
But created stats programs in Algol or Fortran.
We champagned with Prin. C.,
And in committee
We took serious issues to heart. 

There were talks from people of fame,
Ali, Skinner, Ewing by name.
A moon trip was completed,
And De Gaulle was defeated,
And with “Laugh-in”, we took it all in the same.

So now I look back at that year,
To the many things in it held dear.
The Course was unique,
So many people were neat,
My connection to Stirling is clear."

 

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Rob Ranyard, PhD Psychology, 1971

After working for over 40 years in university teaching and research, Rob is currently a free-lance researcher and Visiting Professor affiliated to the Centre for Decision Research, Leeds University Business School.

 

"Viewed from urban Manchester, the prospectus promise of green fields, and a complete university in one aesthetically pleasing building, was enticing. We were not disappointed, and there were bonuses: the footy team welcomed all who enjoyed kicking a ball around (happy days at the King’s Park!) and library colleagues were most supportive and friendly – especially, for me, Margaret Hamilton. We were happily married from 1970 until she died in 2012 after developing leukaemia. Some memories in verse:

In the shadow of the Ochils I first met her
where brown-green hills rise by meandering Forth.
But though my journey had just begun there
my destiny, I knew, was a home in the North.

She sparkled and shone like the moon and the sun
and her mischievous eyes were full of surprise.
But I only surmised after year forty-three
she was everything a woman should be.

Happy days indeed!"

 

 

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Raymond Crozier, MSc Mathematical Psychology, 1969

After working for nearly 40 years in university teaching and research in psychology, Ray has been Honorary Professor in the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University since 2010.

 

"How tiny the university was compared to Queen’s, Belfast, where I did my undergraduate degree. The Prospectus listed only three psychology staff – Professor McEwen, M. F. Moore, I. MacFarlane – although others joined during my year there: Cliff Henty, Helen Ross. We got to know academics and postgraduates in other departments as well as administration and library staff, and were invited to the home of the Principal Dr Cottrell.

Parties at people’s houses were inclusive rather than exclusive. I made life-long friends even though I was there for only 12 months. Our group on the Masters course shared a large, convivial office and also enjoyed many social evenings at Alangrange and further afield along with fellow postgrads and my flatmate and lecturer, the greatly missed Ranald Macdonald.

How stunning the campus and its location were. I loved to have coffee in Pathfoot, looking out at the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle."

 

 

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Ken Gilhooly, MSc Mathematical Psychology, 1968; PhD Experimental Psychology, 1970

After Stirling, I taught and researched in cognitive psychology at the University of Aberdeen, the University of Hertfordshire and Brunel University London and am now an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Hertfordshire and a Research Professor at Brunel University London.

 

“I graduated from Edinburgh in Psychology in 1967 and  noticed a Masters degree in Mathematical Psychology, unique in the UK, being offered at the brand new, and yes, trendy, “Plate Glass” University of  Stirling. The course included the study of risky decision making, i.e.,  gambling, which was a youthful interest and folly.  

Course Director, Michael Moore assured me that the MSc featured Game Theory, and so I hastened to sign up.  I did enjoy the course but,  disappointingly, it didn’t help me in late night poker games with fellow Master’s candidate Ranald MacDonald and assorted disreputable PhD students.

 Being a very small department, postgrads were heavily involved in teaching - a great experience for us beginning academics. However, even as a newbie, I wondered about the experimental 0830 class starts and in a long career, never tried to replicate those elsewhere!”

 

 

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Roger Woodward, MSc Mathematical Psychology, 1970

Rodger went on from Stirling to become a Research Officer in the Department of Mental Health, Queen’s University of Belfast. He is now retired Senior Lecturer in Psychology University of Ulster.

 

"I came to Stirling in 1968, to read for an M.Sc.in Mathematical Psychology. Class size was small (5), as was the University (about 400 students). Classes were informal, and there was seamless interaction among staff, postgraduates and technicians. We usually worked late. One late night session was watching the first moon landing on the department’s TV.

 I was keen on sailing and was a founding member of University sailing club. Ever wondered why there is such a tall bridge over the loch on campus? When it was announced that the loch was to have a bridge we protested that it would restrict our sailing. Tom Cottrell, Vice Chancellor agreed to have the bridge built high enough that our boats could sail under! Tom invited us to sail on his yacht near Edinburgh. We had a great day, after which whiskies were set up for us in his yacht club."

Images of Mathematical Psychology

Ray Crozier, Ken Gilhooly, Stuart McKelvie, Rob Ranyard, Roger Woodward

Central in our image is the Greek letter psi, symbolizing psychology. With “legs” on each side the U-becomes “M” for Mathematics, Matrix theory and Michael Moore, who created the programme. The identity (=) sign is standard mathematical notation, but also captures our personal bond to Stirling. The sign and vertical line together form an “F”, Michael’s middle initial, giving us “MF”, by which he was affectionately known. “FM” stands for Fundamental Measurement, a key concept in the course. And the 50 captures the 50 years of Stirling.

Logo Redesigns

In addition to the image above, Stuart McKelvie has completed two redesigns for the 50th Anniversary. The image on the left, with its use of red, green and blue colours, represents the University coat of arms, and the grey line also runs through our Mathematical Psychology convocation hood. The second image in green alone represents the more modern logo.

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