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The University of Southampton
Mathematical Sciences

Ruth Walton PhD Mathematical Sciences (Operational Research)

Ruth Walton's Photo

Southampton has one of the largest research groups in the country in this area, so staying here to do a Masters and PhD seemed like an obvious choice.

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

I did my undergraduate degree in Southampton (Maths with Spanish), and originally I chose it because it offered the chance to combine studying maths and a language, both of which I really enjoyed. Once I got here, I discovered this new area of maths, Operational Research, that I had never really heard of before and it immediately grabbed my attention. It just so happens that Southampton has one of the largest research groups in the country in this area, so staying here to do a Masters and PhD seemed like an obvious choice.

What is it like studying here?

It’s amazing to be working in such a large and active research group; the variety of work that goes on is huge, and it provides a great opportunity to get advice and feedback from people working in so many different areas. The campus itself also has a really nice atmosphere, and with so many sports clubs and societies, there’s so much to do alongside studying.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

Having the freedom to manage my own schedule and workload, it’s difficult at times but also very rewarding! I’ve also had the chance to attend a lot of seminars and even some conferences in my first year, which has enabled me to meet a lot of people working in a similar field, and learn more about some of the research that is going on at the moment.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ so far?

One of the biggest highlights has definitely been the variety of things to get involved in. I’m currently on the committee for both the Archery Club and the Acroyoga Society, and during my Masters I was also the Academic President for Maths, which meant I was in charge of student representation within the maths department. All of these have kept me very busy, providing welcome distractions whenever I need a break from work, and they have also given me some great experience and transferable skills, as well as many lasting friendships.

How has your time at Southampton helped you to grow as a person?

I arrived in Southampton as an undergrad knowing that I wanted to study maths, but with very little idea about where I wanted to go after that. My time here has helped me discover a whole new area of research, which has in turn helped me form ideas about my future, and the opportunities I have been given for further study mean I’m now working towards those goals.

What opportunities has studying at Southampton provided you with?

Between by BSc and MSc, I completed an internship in the University International Office as part of the Southampton Excel Internship Programme, which provided me with invaluable experience of working in a non-academic environment.

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