Wollaston Secondary School (GSCEs), Northampton School for Boys (A levels), University of Birmingham (Integrated Masters), University of Nottingham (PhD).
14 GCSEs at A* to C including an A* in Maths. A levels in Maths (A*), Further Maths (A*), and Physics (A). Integrated Masters 1st Class.
Volunteer (British Heart Foundation Charity Shop), Student Ambassador (University of Birmingham), Research intern (University of Birmingham), Data Assurance Intern (PwC), Equality & Diversity Intern (The London Mathematical Society), Postgraduate Teaching Assistant (University of Nottingham).
University of Nottingham
I am 3rd year PhD student using maths to study how plants grow. In my spare time I enjoy playing netball and going open water swimming.
I live in Nottingham with a friend I met during my undergraduate degree at the University of Birmingham. I live within walking or cycling distance of the university and enjoy being able to get some fresh air on my morning commute.
I am part of the University of Nottingham Staff and Student Netball team and have recently taken up open water swimming (though haven’t been brave enough to try this in the colder weather).
How I Use Maths In My Job:
I use standard shapes like cylinders to approximate the shape of plant stems so that I can use equations that describe how water flows down a plant of a set length, with a set volume, over a certain time period.
I use maths to understand how plants grow.
I take microscope images of plants and use computer software to convert these into template roots and data that I can then us in my own computer simulations. My computer simulations look at how important hormones (yes plants have hormones just like humans) move around the root of a plant and affect how it grows in different environments.
My Typical Day
I usually spend my day working at my computer. Sometimes I am coding, some times I am reading about exciting new research, and sometimes I am just responding to emails. I usually have one meeting a day relating to some part of my work and try and take an hours break at lunch time everyday.
09:00 – 09:30: Settle at my desk and check my emails. Write a To Do List for the day.
09:30 – 11:30: This is when I am most productive so I work on the most important task for the day. This is usually when I will be coding or conducting my own research.
11:30 – 12:30: Task relating to my additional roles such as being a Student Rep.
12:30 – 13:30: Lunch
13:30 – 14:30: If I have an teaching I need to prepare for I do it here
14:30 – 15:30: Meeting with my supervisor (sort of like my boss). This happens once a week. Sometimes in this time slot I may be teaching.
15:30 – 17:00: Any easier research related task such as reading or reviewing my write-up (this is when I’m least productive so I schedule my easier task here).
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Organised, chatty, and relaxed.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My undergraduate project supervisor Rosemary inspired me to pursue a PhD in Math Biology.
What's your favourite use for maths in everyday life?
Baking! A great way to practise ratios if scaling a recipe up or down and there's always a tasty treat at the end.
What did you think about Maths when you were in school?
I liked maths because I was good at it but I didn't really understand all the amazing applications it has.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I always wanted to be an astronaut - I thought going to space would be really cool.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really. I tended to stick to the rules, it just suited my personality better.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
If I wasn't a PhD student I would like to work in science policy. This means helping non-scientists understand the important aspects of scientific concepts so that they can make laws and rules based around science that will help the population.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
It's not really a singer/band, but the Greatest Showman soundtrack is unbeatable for getting me through a tough day at work.
What's your favourite food?
Baked beans on toast.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I want sky-diving after I graduated from university.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I would like to procrastinate less, spend more time outside (especially in winter), and be able to grow my own vegetables.
Tell us a joke.
Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9!