I was born in Hungary. My father was also a mathematician, and I got interested in mathematics at an early age.

I won several prizes at mathematical competitions in high school, including a gold medal and two silver medals at the International Mathematical Olympiads from 1983 to 1985.

At the age of 17, I got a scholarship to the United World College of the Atlantic in South Wales. I spent two years there and did the International Baccalaureate.

I studied mathematics at the Bolyai Institute of József Attila University, Szeged, for one year.

I continued my studies at Trinity College, Cambridge. I started with Part IB, so I was able to do Part III in my third year, and I received both my B. A. and the Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics in 1990.

I did my Ph. D. at the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics in Cambridge. My Ph. D. supervisor was Nick Shepherd-Barron.

I was elected to a Research Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1993. I worked as a European Union Leibniz Fellow at the Max-Planck Institut für Mathematik in Bonn in the 1993-94 academic year, then I was an instructor at the Mathematics Department of the University of Utah from 1994 to 1997.

Since 1 July 1997, I have been a lecturer in the Mathematics Department of UMIST and in the School of Mathematics at The University of Manchester.