Institute for Mathematical Innovation

My internship proved to be an amazing opportunity to gain research experience

Tuesday 17 January 2017


By Anvarbek Atayev, MMath student at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Bath. 

Anvarbek AtayevLast summer I was fortunate enough to complete an undergraduate research internship at the University of Bath under the supervision of the wonderful Professor Jonathan Dawes.

IMI and SAMBa runs a research internship programme, of a duration of up to 10-weeks, where a student and a lecturer at the University of Bath collaborate on a small research project. At the end of the internship, you have to write a report/paper summarising the work and results.

My internship project titled “Thermal Convection in Non-Newtonian Fluids”, was aimed at studying the pattern forming instabilities that emerge when a thin layer of non-Newtonian fluid is heated from below.


What I did during the 10-week internship

The first thing I had to do was to try and understand the literature on this topic and figure out what exactly I would be doing during my 10-week internship. The initial work took around four weeks, although I continued reading literature throughout the project.

Over the next few weeks, I started to develop what is called an amplitude equation, which, I must say, was a pain to acquire. However, it was worth it in the end. The amplitude equation posed all the important information I needed to understand the instabilities in the fluid.

Having created the equation, Jonathan set me tasks to evaluate and study the equation, for example using techniques and results already developed by J. Burke & J. Dawes (2012), and H. Kao & E. Knobloch (2012).

There are quite a few reasons of why I decided to take part in the IMI/SAMBa internship. Firstly, I’m very much interested in undertaking a PhD after my studies, and doing a research internship proved to be an amazing opportunity to gain research experience as well as learn a specialist subject in some detail. Secondly, I wanted to extend my knowledge and learn something that I wouldn’t have by just taking courses at the University. Most importantly, though, I must admit that I am really passionate about my subject, and I am enticed by opportunities to learn and work at the same time.


Taking part in the project taught me many things

1. How to read, write and structure an academic paper. Although reading a paper may seem simple, it is rather difficult. Having now read a few, I find it a lot easier. I believe that it is a skill that all students (not just mathematicians) should possess.

2. How to manage my time (still working on that).

3. Introductory knowledge of convection and dynamical systems.

4. A broad range of mathematics which I had never come across before. A lot of the things I read, have since helped me gain a deeper understanding of the specific subject I have studied.

On top of that, it taught me that working with an academic is great! I learned a lot from Jonathan, and he gave me lots of useful advice both regarding the project, and my future academic career. It was also nice to work with someone who shares your passion for maths.

Ten weeks is not enough time to do a lot of project work, but it is enough to time to learn a lot, and it allowed me to further myself as a mathematician.

I would like to thank the London Mathematical Society, IMI and the University of Bath for funding my project, and especially Professor Dawes for being a great supervisor.

I’ve always wanted go into academia, and having now experienced what it’s like to do research in mathematics, I am even more determined to pursue a PhD.

Looking ahead, I am hoping to gain funding to do another research internship this summer, so I can continue my research and hopefully complete the research project I started last summer.

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Apply now to do an undergraduate research internship 

In the summer of 2018, IMI are offering approximately 15 internships to students who are supervised by one or more academics at the University of Bath. Your internship can last for up to 10 weeks and you will receive a stipend of maximum £200 per week.


Next steps

Find out more about how to apply for an Undergraduate Research Internship.