Up until the end of 2010, Nick was Head of the Mathematics Department (the Mathematical Institute) at the University of Oxford and a tutorial fellow of Wadham College. Thereafter he served briefly as Acting Head of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division at Oxford, and then as Deputy Head. He is now an Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College and President of the Clay Mathematics Institute.
He did his undergraduate degree at Oxford, and returned in 1977 after completing a PhD in the Mathematics Department at King's College, London, under the supervision of F A E Pirani, and spending a period as a postdoc at Princeton, working for J A Wheeler. He was Treasurer of the London Mathematical Society until 2009.