Ethan Kelly

I can be reached at:

Please feel free to get in touch with any questions, queries or ideas for joint research at any time. Pandemic notwithstanding, I would normally be based in:

Room 502
Sir Alwyn Williams Building
University of Glasgow
G12 8RZ

Currently, I am of course working from home so email is the best way to contact me. If you're at the University (studying or employed), you can also reach me on MS Teams. There are further links under Additional Information that include more about me, if you're particularly interested!

Research title: Game-theoretic and probabilistic methods applied to spatial network models of contagion

Research Summary

Current research

I am working on using graph problems and games such as the Firefighter Problem to model scenarios such as disease spread and dissemination of ideas through communications networks. In particular, I am interested in how applying stochastic and game-theoretic methods to Firefighter may imbue the model with more realistic features representing agency-based considerations. For instance, we might introduce a probability of contraction as well as the usual probability of propagation, removing the assumption that entire populations are well mixed and have equal chance of passing on and contracting the contagion.

I am also interested in the ethical implications and payoff considerations when introducing various measures to limit the spread of disease or communications across a given network. Because my research is so context-driven, such considerations very important considerations to include in any published results.

Previous research

Below are other areas of study I have researched and would be happy to take up again.

  • Acoustics
    • Using mathematical techniques to describe acoustical principles, such as using solutions to the acoustic wave equation in different coordinate systems (and examining useful boundary conditions). I used this to help understand the mathematics of Helmholtz resonators.
  • Formal logic
    • On the more philosophical side, I enjoy the debates from the nature of the conditional operator to the utility of higher-order logic systems such as modal logic systems (see: Plantinga's S5 Ontological Argument for an interesting debate)
    • On the more mathematical side, I am interested in exploring the expressibility and complexity of different logical systems and how this can be used in modelling.


Lanfine Organ Studentship (2019-Present)

I am a Lanfine Organ Student at the University, which involves playing the organ on a rota at weekday services in the University chapel. This is a position I value a great deal, as the chapel organ is a remarkable instrument and I feel profoundly lucky to be able to play it for my own practice (and enjoyment) as well as under the Organist to the University, Dr Kevin Bowyer. More information here:

RUK Excellence Scholarship (2017-2020)

I benefitted from the University of Glasgow's Excellence Scholarship during my undergraduate studies here, which amounted to £1,000 per year of study and I obtained because of my performance in my A-levels (analogous to Scottish Advanced Higher). More information here:


 Current Teaching

I am currently involved in teaching the following courses:

  • COMPSCI 1017: Computing Science 1PX (Alternate Route) [tutor]
  • COMPSCI 2008: Object-Oriented Software Engineering 2 [tutor]
  • COMPSCI 4039: Programming [lab assistant].

Past Teaching

I have been involved in teaching the following courses:

  • COMPSCI1019: Foundations Of Professional Software Engineering (Graduate Apprenticeship) [tutor]
  • COMPSCI2001: Java Programming 2 [demonstrator]
  • COMPSCI2003: Algorithmic Foundations 2 [demonstrator]

If you are a current or prospective student, please feel free to get in touch if you would like to talk about University life, course content and so on. I am more than happy to chat!

Additional Information

About me

I grew up in the North East of England but I was born in London and lived there for the first few years of my life (I couldn't shake the accent)! I'm now a PhD student at the University and a graduate teaching assistant in the School of Computing Science. I completed my undergraduate degree (BSc) at the University of Glasgow in Mathematics and Philosophy.

Because of my undergraduate degree, I try and keep a foot in both Maths and Philosophy in my own time; conversations about either topic are always very welcome. In particular, I am interested in formal logical systems, epistemology and bioethics as well as applied maths. I am an associate member of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and now work mainly in mathematical and formal problems in Computing Science, with my main research being into developing meaningful models of contagion (disease, memes, fire and so on) using graph problems.

Outside of my regular work, I am a keen organist and usually play for several services in the University and across Glasgow, particularly in the West End. I have been a musician for many years (my principal instrument being the viola) but thoroughly enjoy playing, listening to, writing and discussing music at any and every opportunity. 

From 2018-2019, I was Science editor for the Glasgow University Magazine (GUM), which was a fascinating and enjoyable position in science communication. I was involved in a number of societies (from PhilSoc to the Alexandrian Society) and I would always thoroughly recommend involvement (so long as you have time)!

Academic and Professional Body Membership

Below are details of my academic and professional memberships (including my research group involvment).


Below are related links.

  • GitHub research repository : 
    • This is where I keep rough meeting notes, code I'm currently working on and any interesting reading I've done.
  • Personal website (hosted on GitHub Pages):
    • This is where I post more in-depth information, often in less technical terminology, about what I'm working on and also some generally interesting pieces perhaps a little more off-topic
  • Staff profile: 
    • Much like the page you're currently on, but this is my staff account (for my GTA positions) rather than a research profile