Department of Mathematical Sciences

EPSRC logoMathématiciennes

Currently those undergraduates studying Mathematics at University of Bath are approximately 38% female – on a par with the UK average. However, the level of women in the department reduces significantly at PhD level, to below 30% (also in line with the UK average).

The last 30 years has seen an explosion of diversity in mathematics. This is as much about the people who have invested their talents in the field as it is about the intellectual breadth and depth that has arisen as a consequence. We want SAMBa to be the embodiment of this positive change.
Professor Andreas Kyprianou, co-Director of SAMBa

Why do these figures decrease so? No-one is really sure, but whilst science was once an almost exclusively male field, now, in response to positive societal changes, there is a natural proliferation of more and more women mathematicians. To accelerate this process, it is essential that awareness is heightened of the rich variety of opportunities that are open to all, and that the message that old stereotypes are a thing of the past is loud and clear. Our centre for doctoral training is a fantastic opportunity in this respect.

SAMBa is strongly committed to increasing the number of female postgraduate mathematicians and ensuring that moving from an undergraduate degree to a postgraduate degree is a natural step. The Mathematical Sciences Department provides a very supportive atmosphere and believes that diversity is a key factor for its success. Scroll down to see a number of case studies from successful female PhD students who have studied in the Department.

SAMBa aims to create an inclusive atmosphere, ensuring equal access to opportunities and helping all students to develop their full potential. We particularly encourage female students to apply to SAMBa and to contact us to see how we can work with you.

London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme logoSAMBa is a supporter of the Good Practice Scheme of the London Mathematical Society.

Our female alumni

Former female PhD graduates from the Department of Mathematical Sciences have progressed to a broad selection of careers including prestigious academic positions all over the UK and abroad.

karin-mora

The atmosphere is very enjoyable, everyone is very helpful and supportive.

Where did you do your undergraduate degree and why did you choose to come to Bath?

I obtained an MMath from the University of Reading (UK). Upon recommendation from the lecturers there I attended the open day at Bath, which allowed me to discover that the Maths department was engaging and supportive.

How would you summarise your research?

The purpose of my research was to illuminate some of the non-smooth phenomena found in piecewise-smooth continuous and discrete dynamical systems, which do not occur in smooth systems. I showed how such non-smooth phenomena arise in applications which experience impact, such as impact oscillators, and a type of rotating machine, which in turn can be used for design improvement, for example.

What did you enjoy most about your PhD?

My research topic excited me, in part because it combined mathematical theory and mechanical applications. Moreover, I enjoyed working with my supervisor and still do.

What were the highlights of your PhD life?

The atmosphere is very enjoyable and there are many great seminars given by interesting researchers (national and international). Many opportunities are available due to the strong interdepartmental collaboration, collaboration with other universities and public events. Overall, everyone is very helpful and supportive.

How do you think you benefited from studying at Bath?

I benefited from the departmental mentality, i.e. you are challenged, encouraged to ask lots of questions and to keep probing.

What advice would you give to students considering applying for a PhD in Bath?

Go to one of the open days, meet and grill the researchers you're considering working with, as well as the current PhD students.

What are you doing now?

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Technion (Haifa, Israel) studying micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems, which are components in Atomic-force microscopy and mass sensors.

jane-temple

The Mathematics Department at the University of Bath was very welcoming, with lots of social activities and so I really enjoyed the social aspect of doing my PhD. From coffee and cake on a Wednesday afternoon, to playing football on a lunchtime, to the regular Friday night drinks.

Where did you do you undergraduate degree and why did you choose to come to Bath?

I did an Undergraduate at Nottingham, and an MSc at Leicester. I Came to Bath because of the PhD advertised and the chance to be supervised by Chris Jennison.

How would you summarise your research?

My research was exploring ways to efficiently allocate patients to doses in dose response clinical trials. This involved exploring both frequentist and Bayesian adaptive design methodologies.

What did you enjoy most about your PhD?

I enjoyed the independence of learning new methodologies, and applying them through simulations whilst having the support of an experienced supervisor to guide me and give me direction. The mathematics department at the university of Bath was very welcoming, with lots of social activities and so I really enjoyed the social aspect of doing the PhD.

What were the highlights of your PhD life?

The highlights were completing the PhD and the sense of achievement which comes with that. I had left a full time job to do the PhD and so I really enjoyed the change in lifestyle. While it was not like being an undergraduate, it was nice to be a student again and be in control of my own timetable. The social side of being a post graduate student was also very enjoyable.

How do you think you benefited from studying at Bath?

I think doing a PhD has changed the way I approach a problem. I'm much more comfortable about doing research in general, and so I am not overwhelmed by new methods in the same way I may have been before doing my PhD. Bath offers a great place to do a PhD, as the maths department is a welcoming and supportive community. Bath as a city is also a beautiful place to study, and it was very hard to leave after my PhD.

What advice would you give to students considering applying for a PhD in Bath?

Bath is a beautiful place to live and the Maths Department is an excellent department to work in. I would advise visiting the department and meeting your prospective supervisor, as the supervisee/ supervisor relationship is key to enjoying doing a PhD.

What are you doing now?

I currently work for a large pharmaceutical company based in London. As well as actively working on clinical trials, I'm also involved in working groups that research methods for clinical trials and provide training to other statisticians. My expertise from my PhD has meant that I was immediately invited to join these groups and it has given me
lots of opportunities to influence management in my role.

andrea-fernandez

Bath provided me with a very high standard education level, surrounded by likeminded individuals always interested in discussions and learning. This combined with the friendly environment and beautiful city made the whole experience very enjoyable.

Where did you do you undergraduate degree and why did you choose to come to Bath?

I did my Undergraduate in Bath. I was offered one of the best degrees in a beautiful location so decided to stay.

How would you summarise your research?

I modelled chemical equations using different mathematical techniques spanning the areas of analysis, PDEs, numerical analysis and applied mathematics. I used theoretical approaches as well as more applied tools such as COMSOL Multiphysics.

What did you enjoy most about your PhD?

Above all it is the constant challenge that is working on novel problems and the opportunity to collaborate and communicate my research.

What were the highlights of your PhD life?

I was able to organise a conference and spend a month abroad as part of a research collaboration.

How do you think you benefited from studying at Bath?

Bath provided me with a very high standard education level, surrounded by likeminded individuals always interested in discussions and learning. This combined with the friendly environment and
beautiful city made the whole experience very enjoyable.

What advice would you give to students considering applying for a PhD in Bath?

Get ready for an adventure that will be tough at times but extremely worthwhile. Make sure not to miss out on the social activities!

What are you doing now?

I work as a business analyst for a large travel company in Germany.

Tatiana Kim

I enjoyed the sense of community: being part of the numerical analysis group meant there were always people around to talk to or ask questions.

Where did you do you undergraduate degree and why did you choose to come to Bath?

I did my undergraduate degree at Bath. I got to know one of my eventual PhD supervisors through my MSc research project, and he suggested a PhD topic that was in collaboration with industry - something that I was very keen on doing. Both my supervisors and the department were very helpful and supportive throughout.

How would you summarise your research?

During my PhD, I explored novel ways of solving acoustic scattering problems for cases when the frequency of acoustic waves is moderate or large. I used numerical and asymptotic tools to develop, implement and analyse methods to solve the scattering problems efficiently and accurately.

What did you enjoy most about your PhD?

I enjoyed the sense of community: being part of the numerical analysis group meant there were always people around to talk to or ask questions - and it helps that they are also highly motivated and talented people.

What were the highlights of your PhD life?

I was lucky enough to win an award for my PhD, which was a huge honour. I also enjoyed running a number of half marathons together with a fellow PhD student, raising money for a local charity. Regular social outings with all the PhD students in the department were definitely very memorable too.

How do you think you benefitted from studying at Bath?

The department is full of academics who are renowned researchers in their fields, and I hope that a little bit of that rubbed off on me! My supervisors were obviously a big influence and I owe them a lot. The department itself has a very good reputation, which helps when applying for jobs both in industry and in academia.

What advice would you give to students considering applying for a PhD in Bath?

It's definitely worth applying! It's hard work but rewarding too, and there are plenty of friendly people to help you along the way.

What are you doing now?

After I completed my PhD, for a little while I worked for the largest company in oil industry and then decided to return to Bath. I'm now working as a postdoctoral researcher on a project shared between the maths and mechanical engineering departments. We work together with a company that manufactures high-tech materials for aviation industry - making sure planes don't fall out of the sky!

More information

Equality and Diversity at the University of Bath

London Mathematical Society Women in Mathematics

European Women in Mathematics

Additional activities

The Department of Mathematical Sciences at Bath offers a number of activities outside of teaching and research and promotes a social atmosphere, from weekly coffee afternoons to sports activities.

The SIAM Student Chapter which aims to enhance links in industrial and applied mathematics, promote interaction between students at Bath and at other institutions and to provide a platform to present new ideas is currently run by an entirely female committee.