Viv Dunstan (nee Moore)
What are you doing now?
After graduating I stayed on at St Andrews to start a PhD in persistent programming systems, with Ron Morrison and others. But I had to leave that, after falling ill with an incurable MS-like illness aged just 22. Very tough. I retrained as a historian, studying part-time, initially to take my mind off really difficult treatment, but in the end I picked up three more degrees, including a PhD researching reading habits in Scotland circa 1750-1820. I used SQL learned during my St Andrews computer science days in the history PhD, building large relational databases of library borrowing records, and writing SQL queries to analyse the borrowings by gender, class, age etc. of borrower. I can’t work with my illness, but am still active as an academic, writing peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters, and taking part in conferences in Scotland and overseas. My research interests are social, cultural, urban and reading histories in Scotland, particularly in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. I have an honorary research fellowship at the University of Dundee. I live on the edge of Dundee, with my husband Martin, also a St Andrews CS graduate. Near enough for frequent trips back to St Andrews, a place we both love so much.