Mathematical Sciences

Tom Harris

Course:
MMath Mathematics
Tom Harris's Photo

“I saw that there were a wide variety of modules in separate areas, which allows you to study topics in pure and applied maths and statistics simultaneously. ”

My experience

Q: Why did you choose to undertake your studies with the University of Southampton?

I chose to study at the University of Southampton simply because I liked the course and I liked the campus. I was unsure which areas of mathematics I was most interested in, and after researching the course I saw that there were a wide variety of modules in separate areas, which allows you to study topics in pure and applied maths and statistics simultaneously. I came to visit the university before taking a place and found the campus very pleasant with good facilities. During the same visit I met members of staff in the mathematics department, who were friendly and ready to help with my questions.

Q: What do you enjoy about studying at Southampton?

In my first two years I enjoyed studying topics in both pure and applied maths and liked that I had the freedom to pursue interests in both. When it became clear that I liked pure maths better I found that there were enough courses for me to concentrate on that, with still enough variation so that the course did not become boring. I have particularly enjoyed studying for extended research projects in the 3rd year communicating and researching mathematics module and the 4th year the year long project. The CRM project, chosen from a list of available topics, was good training in how to research and write a mathematics report, and a useful exercise in time management in general. The fourth year project gives the opportunity to work at a high level in a very specific area of interest, chosen together with a supervisor, for an extended period of time.

Q: What have you been able to achieve as a result of studying at the University of Southampton?

One thing I have achieved during my studies at the University of Southampton was being a recipient of a Nuffield bursary. These are grants from the Nuffield foundation for students interested in pursuing a carer in research that give funding for the student to spend 6-8 weeks doing research with a supervisor over the summer. I spent the summer of 2009 working with Dr Bernhard Koeck on identities in lambda rings and as a result derived some useful formulae and gave a talk on my work to the pure mathematics group's lunchtime seminar.