Norman Fenton

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Norman Fenton
Norman cc.jpg
Born1956 (age 65–66)
Scientific career

Norman Fenton (born 1956) is a British mathematician who is Professor of Risk Information Management at Queen Mary University of London and is also a director of Agena, a company that specialises in risk management for critical systems.


Fenton was a student at Ilford County High School for Boys (1967–1974) and studied mathematics at the London School of Economics (1975–78) gaining a first class Bachelor of Science degree and also winning the 'School Scholar' prize in 1976 and 1977. He gained his Master of Science at the University of Sheffield (1978) winning the "ATM Flett Prize", and Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield (1981) under the supervision of Peter Vamos. His thesis was Representations of Matroids". In 2007–2008 Fenton completed a course in expert witness training with Bond Solon under the auspices of Cardiff University Law Dept.[citation needed]


Between leaving school and attending university, Fenton worked for Hedge and Butler Wine Merchants (1974–1975) and also worked there in subsequent summers (1976 and 1977). After his PhD in 1981, Fenton joined University College Dublin (Mathematics Department) as Post-Doctoral Research Fellow.[citation needed] From 1982 to 1984, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Oxford University (Mathematics Institute), and also member of Wolfson College. In 1984, he joined South Bank Polytechnic (now South Bank University) Dept. of Electrical & Electronic Eng., first as senior lecturer and then reader.[citation needed] He set up and was director of the Centre for Software & Systems Engineering before leaving in 1989 to join City University (Centre for Software Reliability).[citation needed]

In 1993, Fenton was appointed professor at City University (aged 34). In 1989, Fenton, along with Martin Neil and Ed Tranham, set up the company Agena Ltd in Cambridge. Fenton was CEO between 1998 and 2015 and remains a director. In 2000, Fenton joined Queen Mary University of London (School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science) where he is working as professor (part-time). He is director of the Risk and Information Management Research Group.[1]


Fenton currently works on quantitative risk assessment. This typically involves analysing and predicting the probabilities of unknown events using Bayesian statistical methods including especially causal, probabilistic models (Bayesian networks). This type of reasoning enables improved assessment by taking account of both statistical data and also expert judgment. In April 2014, Fenton was awarded a European Research Council Advanced Grants to focus on these issues.[2][better source needed]

Fenton's experience in risk assessment covers a wide range of application domains such as legal reasoning (he has been an expert witness in major criminal and civil cases), medical analytics,[3][better source needed] vehicle reliability, embedded software, transport systems, financial services, and football prediction.[4][5][6][7][8][better source needed]

In March 2015, he presented the BBC documentary Climate Change by Numbers.[9][better source needed] Fenton has published 7 books and 230 referred articles and has provided consulting to many major companies internationally.[citation needed]

Since June 2011, Fenton has led an international consortium (Bayes and the Law)[10][better source needed] of statisticians, lawyers and forensic scientists working to improve the use of statistics in court. In 2016, he led a 6-month programme[11][better source needed] on probability and statistics in forensic science at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge.[citation needed] In addition to his research on risk assessment, Fenton has published work in software engineering.[12][better source needed] The third edition of his book Software Metrics: A Rigorous and Practical Approach was published in November 2014.[13][better source needed]


  1. ^ London, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science | Queen Mary, University of. "Risk and Information Management (RIM) research group | School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science | Queen Mary, University of London". Queen Mary University of London. Archived from the original on 31 December 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Home". Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  3. ^ Constantinou, A; Marsh, W.; Fenton, N.; Radlinski, L. (2016). "From complex questionnaire and interviewing data to intelligent Bayesian Network models for medical decision support". Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. 67: 75–93. doi:10.1016/j.artmed.2016.01.002. PMC 4839499. PMID 26830286.
  4. ^ Constantinou, A.; Fenton, N.; Neil, M. (2013). "Profiting from an inefficient Association Football gambling market: Prediction, Risk and Uncertainty using Bayesian networks". Knowledge-Based Systems. 50: 60–86. doi:10.1016/j.knosys.2013.05.008.
  5. ^ Constantinou, A.; Fenton, N.; Neil, M. (2012). "pi-football: A Bayesian network model for forecasting Association Football match outcomes". Knowledge-Based Systems. 36: 322–339. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/j.knosys.2012.07.008.
  6. ^ Neil, M; Fenton, N.; Forey, S.; Harris, R. (2003). "Assessing Vehicle Reliability using Bayesian Networks". Global Vehicle Reliability, Edited by J. E. Strutt and P.L. Hall. Professional Engineering Publishing.
  7. ^ Constantinou, Anthony Costa; Yet, Barbaros; Fenton, Norman; Neil, Martin; Marsh, William (2016). "Value of Information analysis for interventional and counterfactual Bayesian networks in forensic medical sciences". Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. 66: 41–52. doi:10.1016/j.artmed.2015.09.002. PMID 26395654.
  8. ^ Constantinou, Anthony Costa; Freestone, Mark; Marsh, William; Fenton, Norman; Coid, Jeremy (30 November 2015). "Risk assessment and risk management of violent reoffending among prisoners". Expert Systems with Applications. 42 (21): 7511–7529. doi:10.1016/j.eswa.2015.05.025.
  9. ^ "Climate Change by Numbers – BBC Four". BBC. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Bayes and the Law". Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Probability and Statistics in Forensic Science | Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences". Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  12. ^ Fenton, N.; Neil, M. (1999). "A critique of software defect prediction models". IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. 25 (5): 675–689. doi:10.1109/32.815326.
  13. ^ Fenton, N.; Bieman, J. (2014). Software Metrics: A Rigorous and Practical Approach (3rd ed.). CRC Press. ISBN 9781439838228.