Profile
William Pettersson
Curriculum Vitae

Education:
Grace Lutheran College, Queensland, Australia

Qualifications:
B.Sc (Hons), B.IT, B.Eng (Hons), PhD

Work History:
University of Queensland, and RMIT University (both Australia)

Current Job:
Research Associate

Employer
University of Glasgow

About Me
A mathematician and computer scientist, from Sweden and Australia, and now in Glasgow

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I’m from Sweden, and then Australia, but now live in Glasgow, UK. I enjoy cycling, and live in my apartment with two bicycles. My pronouns are he/him/his, and I like baking yummy treats and then eating them all.

How I Use Maths In My Job:
My work is in algorithms, which is to say that numbers and algebra form a constant part of all of my work. I often have to do arithmetic to make sure that my algorithm will run as designed. My algorithms cover a broad range of areas, and knowing geometry has been useful for some of these.

My Work
I design and write computer algorithms

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I design and write new computer algorithms to solve interesting problems. One example of such a problem is to do with kidney donations. In this problem, we will have hundreds of patients who need kidneys, and need to be matched with any one of hundreds of donors. However, each donor has a friend who is a patient, and the donor will only share their kidney if their friend is given a kidney. Since each kidney shared is potentially a life saved, I must make sure that we find the absolute best possible way to share kidneys. This means I have to not just write programs to determine the sharing of the kidneys, but I need to be absolutely sure that the algorithm is correct, and also is the best possible algorithm.

My Typical Day
I get to work around 9am, and my morning is spent checking emails and recent advances in research. I then design, compare and check algorithms, and leave work around 5pm.

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I get to work around 9am, and first I will check my emails. I then check journals and publications to keep up to date on what other researchers in my field are doing. The rest of my day is much more varied, depending on where I am with my research. Some days I will design new algorithms, often using pen and paper. Other days I might be actually writing the code for my algorithm, or running tests to see if my new algorithms are correct and fast. Or I might even be somewhere else entirely, at a conference presenting my work or in meetings.

The CHRISTMAS LECTURE related to my work:
Lecture 2: How to bend the rules at 16:20

My Interview

My favourite CHRISTMAS LECTURES memory is:
Matt Parker being cheesed
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
curious, explorer, questioner
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Prof. Peter Adams
What's your favourite use for maths in everyday life?
Finding the best way to do my chores
What did you think about Maths when you were in school?
I always liked learning how maths explained the world
What did you want to be after you left school?
A computer programmer
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I rarely got caught
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Consultant
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Hilltop Hoods
What's your favourite food?
Pancakes
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Snowboarding
