In AMSI scholarship recipient

Kajal Gujarati

Murdoch University


I studied my Bachelor degree in mathematics at St. Xaviers’ college Ahmedabad, following this I have done master degree in mathematics from Gujrat University. I have completed a PhD in the area of fluid dynamics. I am particularly interested in mathematical modelling and numerical simulation.

Can you give me a quick overview of the type of mathematics you are studying and its potential impacts for the broader community.

I am working on the preparation of the mathematical model to solve the problem of secondary oil recovery. Using this mathematical model, we can arrive at an optimum water pressure to maximise secondary oil recovery. Model is considering various fix and variable parameters. Based on the actual field data, this model can be adopted and provide significant operational improvement. This model can be adapted to provide an environmentally friendly solution by changing parameters such as pressure and temperature to minimize the quantity of water used.

You received a CHOOSEMATHS Grant to assist your attendance at AMSI Winter School 2019. How important was this in terms of your ability to attend and fully participate in the sessions throughout the program?

I am thankful to Prof. Graeme Hocking for directing me towards the AMSI winter school program and CHOOSEMATHS grant.  Without the help of CHOOSEMATHS grant, I would not have able to attend and present my research at AMSI on Computational Modelling of Heterogeneous Media.  I am incredibly thankful to AMSI to give me the opportunity to gain knowledge and information. Getting the grant for kid’s day care enabled me to attend without distraction and worries.

How important are initiatives such as the CHOOSEMATHS Grants in terms of fostering the participation and achievement of women in mathematics, particularly in terms of access to networking opportunities and further training opportunities?

Definitely, women in mathematics need encouragement. CHOOSEMATHS grant really helped me to travel, connect, learn new ideas in research; with its all obstacles to pass though. It was great opportunity to meet mathematics professionals from national and international backgrounds.

In what ways has the experience impacted your maths studies? Has it influenced the direction of your research?

The presentations I attended were very intresting and relevant to my research area. Some of the problems presente during the winterschool progam were unique that I did not considered before. The program offered me a platform to collaborate with research  and industry, and realised how the research could apply to resolve industry issues.

What was the most valuable part of AMSI Winter School 2019 for you in terms of furthering your career in mathematical sciences?

AMSI Winter school provided me the platform to interact with the AMSI organising committee chair and dignified professionals through whom I could appreciate how my research can be applied to the real industry problems.

 A panel session on the APR Intern program was included on the first day of the program. One of the aims of the program is to maximise employability and help prepare research graduates to drive industry/private sector research.  How important is this experience for researchers? Particularly in terms of offering career flexibility for women?

Since the program is focused on current students, as the PostDoc I could not avail benefits from APR Intern program. I truly believe, this intern program is well structured and beneficial to students in the field of mathematics.

The CHOOSEMATHS Grants are part of a broader program being delivered by AMSI Schools with support from the BHP Foundation to turn the tide on Australia’s maths deficit and strengthen maths education and participation of women across the discipline. What do you see as the big challenges facing maths in Australia, particularly for women?

As a woman I have a very different experience during study and work in India, where I have never faced this challenge. The presentation of STEM data showed unbelievable gender disparity in Australia. Young mathematics female professionals needs role model in mathematics to inspire their career. CHOOSEMATHS Grant is a great step towards woman empowerment.

Did you always want to pursue a career in maths? Were you encouraged to study these subjects at school? Do any particular mentors come to mind? Any outstanding teachers?

Yes, because of a fantastic teacher of mathematics in my mid school and high school made me inclined towards a so-called difficult subject. I consider him the best teacher in my life who mentored me for very long time. I love mathematics because of the logic-based application, that was taught by my  teacher. My mother always gives me inspiration for my career in mathematics. She is a master mind for my future. After finishing my master in mathematics, I meet my PhD supervisor in one conference and I liked his topic, leading to further research in fluid dynamics. He gave me good support during my researcher career in India.

Where do you see yourself in five, ten years’ time?

I would love to do something challenging which is really useful to society and students in university. I can use my knowledge to do something which gives me pleasure, satisfaction of helping someone and purse my career in research which is applied to industry problems.

Any other feedback/comments you would like to provide on the CHOOSEMATHS grant or AMSI Winter School 2019?

I would like to express my gratitude to CHOOSEMATHS grant and AMSI winter school programme for the opportunity to participate in well-organised event. It was a great platform for industry and academia interactions.

What advice would you give to a student who is preparing/packing for their first Winter School program? What can they expect? What would you do differently if you participated in the program again?

I would always recommend to every student for their first winter school program. They can see how other researchers doing the research in same field  but different than you. You could learn other techniques in your area of the field, and how that technique works in the same field..