• Question: What do you enjoy about your field of work the most?

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      • Find out more on the Maths Careers site:
      Asked by Mohammed A on 6 Nov 2020.
      • Photo: Hannah West

        Hannah West answered on 6 Nov 2020:

        Hi! I think it’s the fact that knowing what I do will have an impact in the real world. When I’m having a bad day I try and think about that. I also love working with lots of people who are passionate about their jobs and obviously doing the Maths is awesome.


      • Photo: Chris Budd

        Chris Budd answered on 6 Nov 2020:

        I have two answers. Firstly knowing that mathematics in general, and the work I am doing in particular, can make a very positive difference to peoples lives. For example I am working on the maths of how to make schools, shops, universities and trains safer in the COVID epidemic. Secondly I enjoy the challenge of doing maths and the fact that the answer is rarely obvious and you have to work hard to get it.

      • Photo: Nathan Turner

        Nathan Turner answered on 6 Nov 2020:

        I love that the same maths methods and techniques can be used to understand many different real world problems. For example, the same strange behaviour can be predicted in a model of a glacier and a model of the number of animals in a population. Maths is all around us and we continue to discover new ways to use it in the world. This is the ‘satisfaction’ I get out of using maths in the real world!

      • Photo: Alan Walker

        Alan Walker answered on 6 Nov 2020:

        I spend a lot of my day chatting to students and colleagues about mathematics, and ways to solve problems using mathematics.

        The really enjoyable parts are when students, colleagues, or I have the “lightbulb” moment when we realise how to solve a particular problem. Even if I have only helped a little bit, being part of a team solving important problems is really great fun.

      • Photo: Tom Ranner

        Tom Ranner answered on 6 Nov 2020:

        I really enjoy getting stuck into a difficult problem with others. Maths is certainly an area where working together makes things easier and more enjoyable. Part of this is explaining this to others helps clarify things in my mind – saying “I don’t understand” really helps everyone to go through that bit again to make sure we all understand properly. Finally, at the end of the discussion, no matter how heated it gets, the final answer involves someone saying: “Oh I’m sorry I misunderstood”.

      • Photo: Thomas Woolley

        Thomas Woolley answered on 6 Nov 2020:

        The freedom to think. Academics are extremely lucky to have few deadlines and hierarchical demands on their research. No one is checking up on you, no one is telling you what to think. This ability to follow whatever direction drives your interest in paramount to my enjoyment for my work.

        Deadlines and hierarchy on teaching and administration is another matter, but let’s stick with the good parts.

      • Photo: Thomas Holmes

        Thomas Holmes answered on 6 Nov 2020:

        For me, it’s seeing someone understand something that looks outwardly complicated, and indeed might well be, after I have explained it in my own terms. A lot of the time, this ends up being some mathematical equation backing up an algorithm or analysis process. If, after I’ve worked it through on the whiteboard or given a real-world example that contextualises the problem, the students I’m teaching “get it”, then I feel pretty happy.

      • Photo: Freya Addison

        Freya Addison answered on 6 Nov 2020:

        Hi, I love problem-solving. Working together with my colleagues to figure out an issue. This is definitely most fun, but also can be a bit stressful on fieldwork, where something needs to be sorted quickly but often leads to interesting solutions!

      • Photo: Kate Elliott

        Kate Elliott answered on 7 Nov 2020:

        I like that it is very varied and I get to learn about lots of different fields at the same time! Working in a hospital I get to see all sort of other professions and I like slowly realising how all our jobs are linked together and what other people are doing. My job itself has elements on computers but other bits are very practical and this week I was doing a programming course. I have to understand radiation and how it interacts with cells very well, but I also have to understand our machines and IT systems so I like that there is the opportunity to specialise in and really understand one thing well but to also have a broader view of lots of other things!

      • Photo: Chris Tognini

        Chris Tognini answered on 7 Nov 2020:

        I enjoy helping to build software that is new, unique and innovative. I really enjoy working in a great team: coming up with a solution to a difficult problem when deadlines are tight and projects are moving quickly is extremely satisfying.

      • Photo: Christos Klerides

        Christos Klerides answered on 8 Nov 2020:

        Hi, I really enjoy building tools and dashboards to present the data in an interactive way. I also like the variety of work and people I collaborate with.

      • Photo: Stephen Nand-Lal

        Stephen Nand-Lal answered on 9 Nov 2020:

        I love the variety in work, and knowing that I cannot predict what I will be working on, day-to-day. I love using my mathematics skills to benefit the real-world, and to have a positive impact on the world around us 🙂

      • Photo: Sarah Brown

        Sarah Brown answered on 9 Nov 2020:

        I personally really enjoy being able to share the love and interest of maths with others through going to schools or science fairs and talking about how maths is used all around us! Far too many people still think maths is boring and wonder where it is used – I am passionate about changing this. I also want to challenge the stereotypes that come with being a mathematician and help more people from under represented groups to get a future in maths!

      • Photo: Eduard Campillo-Funollet

        Eduard Campillo-Funollet answered on 9 Nov 2020:

        What I enjoy the most is discussing with my colleagues about how math can help them to answer their questions. I love it because it is a team effort: I don’t know enough biology, and they don’t know enough maths, so we really need each other to thrive!

      • Photo: Heather Collis

        Heather Collis answered on 17 Nov 2020:

        My favourite part of my work is the sustainability aspects. It really helps me to see the real world impacts of my work and by working across multiple disciplines it means I get to meet lots of new people who always have new and interesting ideas to try with my work.