Profile
Katie Severn
Curriculum Vitae

Education:
I finished my Alevels in Leicester 2013 and then went to the university of Nottingham. I graduated in 2016 and started my PhD which I finished last November.

Qualifications:
Gcse 9 A* and 3 A, Alevel four A* (Maths, Further maths, Chemistry and Physics), a first class degree in maths and a PhD in statistics

Work History:
My first job was delivering papers for a local shop. I then did some maths tutoring for students and also volunteered at a cancer research store. I then did my PhD and now my job is an assistant professor!

Current Job:
Assistant professor in maths

Employer
University of Nottingham

About Me
Hi I'm an assistant professor in statistics at the university of Nottingham!

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Hi I live in Nottingham with my boyfriend, I have no pets but desperately want one update I now have a 9 week old kitten Lilo! When I was younger I wished for a pet Giraffe but have settled with visiting them at Chester zoo instead!
My favourite food is ice cream I don’t understand how people can ever say they only eat ice cream in the summer, I need it all year long. I love musicals (especially Hamilton & lion king) and Disney (especially Hercules, frozen, tangled,… ) I also love computer games I have played WoW, I currently love stardew valley and really want to buy a switch so I can play animal crossing!
I love going away, and am very lucky as my job means I get the chance to conferences all over the worlds my current highlight was travelling to Zanzibar
I am a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and minorities in Stem. I have organised many women in maths events and am an editor of women and pride in maths newsletter. My pronouns are she/her.

How I Use Maths In My Job:
I use statistics and probability in my job everyday. I currently focus on how we can use statistics to identify women in Tanzania whose health or human rights are at risk. We can use this to directly help these women.
A lot of statistics you learn at school is still vital in my work. When I get new datasets (often with tens of thousands of entries) the first things I do are find the means for certain variables, look at percentages, and create barcharts, box and whisker plots and scatter plots to explore the data. These methods are very useful in communicating results to industry partners I work with.
I also teach statistical machine learning to students at university machine learning and AI is a really cool field people often think it is all about teaching a robot to think. It has many other applications you are likely to use daily, like predictive text and Netflix & spotify recomendation systems.

My Work
I work with really large sets of data that motivate me to research new statistical methods

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My PhD looked at statistics of network data particularly how we can represent text as a network (see picture for an example)
. Network data isn’t as simple to use as your standard list of numbers which meant I had to adapt standard methods to this tricker data set (think about it how do you find the mean of a networks?!)
I now use really large data sets on maternity data for women in Tanzania to predict pregnancies at risk. This data is challenging to work with as it is very messy and sparse ( what this means is some data is missing and some data is just incorrect for example when I see a data point that says a 30 year old women has had 100 children, I’m thinking that’s probably wrong). I have to use clever methods to work with these challenges plus many more. Whilst it may sound hard its really rewarding work with such a positive application and impact

My Typical Day
Each day is very different. I may be teaching students or meeting with them. I sometimes have to do a lot of reading, and teaching myself new things. I spend a lot of time on the computer coding as well. One thing for sure is that I'll finish work before tea time and having the evening to relax I need a proper break :D

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My job is very flexible and each day really is different to the previous one.
I normally will spend a large amount of my day on or by my computer. I like to code a lot the data I use can be so large I have to use code to run statistical methods. For one data set just finding the mean took around an hour on a computer!
I sometimes do some teaching, sometimes this is teaching students how to code other times I will meet one to one with students and go through maths questions as well as checking on how they are feeling.
With my job it is important to be learning new methods and ideas and so I often have to read a lot to teach myself maths I may not be as familiar with. I also spend a lot of time googling things to help learn.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
This is difficult, maybe kind, caring and clever
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My parents they have always been so supportive. Also my grandma was a female mathematician which meant I had an amazing female role model in maths!
What's your favourite use for maths in everyday life?
Computers
What did you think about Maths when you were in school?
I really liked it it probably helped I was good at it, but even when I got stcuk I liked the challenge
What did you want to be after you left school?
A baker I loved decorating cakes, I even made my sisters wedding cake
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Nope!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
A counsellor i am really passionate about improving everyone's mental health
Who is your favourite singer or band?
If disney counts then anything Disney, if not Arctic monkeys
What's your favourite food?
Ice cream
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Skiing
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be?  be honest!
Have a pet, be better at running, that we could remove discrimination (racism, sexism etc)
Tell us a joke.
Sorry for this haha: What did the triangle say to the circle? “You’re pointless.”
