• Question: To what extent do you think that your career will benefit the wider world (e.g, helping others, discovering important formulas etc.) ?

    Asked by PhoebeA on 24 Nov 2020.
    • Photo: Tom Ranner

      Tom Ranner answered on 24 Nov 2020:

      I don’t hold out much hope that my work will help others in the sense of making a big mathematical discovery that will change the world. I do hope that through my words and actions to make the world a better place for everyone around me though – especially for the students I teach.

    • Photo: Chris Budd

      Chris Budd answered on 25 Nov 2020:

      I have spent my entire career trying to find ways of using my mathematics to benefit society. At the moment I am fully engaged with using maths to help in the fight against COVID-19 for example. This involves using mathematics to help understand, predict, control and prevent the disease. I also do a lot of work in using mathematics to both understand climate change, and to predict the impact of climate change on humanity (including its impact on providing enough food for us all to eat, and on our future energy needs). I am proud to say that there are many other mathematicians doing the same. Mathematics (and mathematicians) is one of the main driving forces for progress in the 21st Century.

    • Photo: Alan Walker

      Alan Walker answered on 25 Nov 2020:

      A large part of my job is concerned with the training of new mathematicians. Hopefully some of these individuals will go on to use mathematics to better society.

      Meanwhile, some of my work is concerned with improving ultrasonic devices. Ultrasound is used for non-destructive testing, meaning that we can look at things which are hard to reach, without destroying tissue or structures around it: for example – looking at unborn babies in the womb – I’m sure that counts as helping others!

    • Photo: Sarah Brown

      Sarah Brown answered on 25 Nov 2020:

      My work is part of a larger project on asthmatic airways with collaborators in respiratory medicine and I definitely think that this has the potential to make a real impact in medicine. Learning about how the disease works and why some patients experience ‘severe asthma’ but not others, can help us to think about ways in which we might help to treat those severe patients who do not respond to inhalers.

    • Photo: Cesare Giulio Ardito

      Cesare Giulio Ardito answered on 25 Nov 2020:

      The most important direct impact of my career will be the one delivered by teaching. If I manage to get appointed as a lecturer in an important university, or even if I teach in a college or as a private tutor, I will teach fundamentals of mathematics to hundreds of young people that, I’m sure, will go and change the world into a better place.

      My research is very theoretical, so the way it might end up making the world a better place is very indirect and, honestly, unpredictable.

    • Photo: Christos Klerides

      Christos Klerides answered on 25 Nov 2020:

      I work in the water consultancy division. Part of what I am doing is finding inefficiencies in the water network and addressing them so that water is better distributed among households.

    • Photo: Francesca Iezzi

      Francesca Iezzi answered on 26 Nov 2020: last edited 26 Nov 2020 10:22 am

      I hope that through my work I can help young people (and in general everyone) to develop a passion for maths, or at least see mathematics under a positive light. I hope that in this way I can give a small contribution to empowering young people to build up the maths and numeracy skills they will nee during their life.

    • Photo: Sophie Carr

      Sophie Carr answered on 26 Nov 2020:

      The maths I do hopefully helps people – I’m working on a project at the moment to help food banks understand how many people they might need to help and also looking at how we can understand which homes might need help to be warmer e.g. using insulation