The fourth annual Advanced Mathematics Day was held last Friday, 18 September in the Scientia Gallery. Almost 100 students hailing from our Advanced Mathematics program, along with research students of the School, attended sessions throughout the day.
The first and second year cohort arrived in the morning, and after a welcome by Head of School Bruce Henry, they heard from the Heads of each Department - Daniel Chan (Pure), Scott Sisson (Statistics) and Wolfgang Schief (Applied). The students also listened to current PhD student Gordana Popovic talk about her experiences as an Honours student, and the current MathSoc President Treves Li spoke about the Maths Society's activities and encouraged their participation.
The cohort then broke for morning tea, where students and staff mingled until the next session commenced.
A small but engaged group attended the next session of the day, tailored for the third and fourth year students. An Honours panel discussion was facilitated by Honours Coordinators Catherine Greenhill and Feng Chen. Panel members Barton Lee and Vivian Zhong (current Honours students) plus Anna McGann (current PhD student, former Honours student) answered questions about their experiences undertaking the Honours year. They attracted a steady stream of questions over half an hour.
Next up was Annelies Tjetjep from SAS who spoke to the students about her career trajectory and her work in data analytics. UNSW Maths graduate Portia Cerny was next on the agenda. Portia is now Associate Director of Ernst and Young, and she revealed her key influencers (which included our Professor James Franklin!), and the importance of building and nurturing a network.
Lunch was held on the sunny Scientia Lawn, where students, staff and speakers were seen catching up and forging new connections. Among our lunch guests were three of our Canberra "Cousins", Warrick Lawson, Harvinder Sidhu and Tristram Alexander, from the School of Physical, Environmental & Mathematical Sciences at UNSW Canberra.
Following lunch, around 50 Honours, Masters, and PhD students heard about life and opportunities post-degree. First up was Ron Elazar, another of our graduates. Ron, who completed a Master of Financial Maths and a Graduate Diploma in Statistics with us, is now a Senior Analyst at Deloitte. He gave tips on how to stand out from the crowd when seeking employment, and he also charted his own employment history which has seen him work with some of Australia's largest banks before his current role.
Ben Waterhouse, a fomer PhD student of the School, then took the stage and opened up about his career path and spoke about his company, Model Solutions, which focusses on the pharmaceutical industry, data analytics and forecasting. He highlighted the growing importance of mathematics and statistics graduates in an increasingly connected world, where we are entering a "golden age" of numbers, and are developing immense abilities to capture data.
School members Moninya Roughan and Josef Dick then gave the students an academic perspective - both have gone on from their studies to develop fulfilling research careers which have taken them to many different corners of the globe, and both have attracted several accolades and other types of recognition of their respective work.
The students were then treated to drinks in the Scientia Foyer, rounding off a very enjoyable day.
Thanks to all attendees, and a special thanks to all of our wonderful presenters who enriched the day with their stories and experiences.