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AMSI scholarship recipient profile: Andrew Buttigieg

Andrew Buttigieg

Monash University

Andrew Buttigieg is a passionate mathematics student who loves so many aspects mathematics has to offer. Growing up he slowly began to appreciate the multifaceted layered world of maths which was slowly nurtured throughout high school to the point where he realised, after the first semester of university, it was something he wanted to always do and he quickly fell all of his credit slots with all the maths units he could take. Andrew Buttigieg particularly fell in love with stochastics and appreciated how much it sewed together so many fields of mathematics. Upon finishing his bachelors he decided to pursue teaching to try to introduce the beauty and wonder of mathematics to future generations. While he loved teaching, the pull and drive to learn more maths had hold of him, and he then decided to go back to maths to learn more. The 2020 AMSI summer school was a good starting point to ease back into the world of higher mathematics before he could complete his honours year, which ended up being one of the best years of Andrew Buttigieg’s life. He is now undergoing a Master of Financial Mathematics at Monash as he wants to see how he can apply what he has learnt to the real world and he took the 2022 Summer school to help deepen his understanding of financial maths.

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

I study stochastics, and particularly its application to finance. More generally though I use tools to understand and manipulate data to predict future trends and believe these skills could be applied to a wide range of fields and the broader community.

How did you get into mathematics/statistics/data science? Was there someone or something that inspired you to this field?

I began to love maths in highschool, in particular learning calculus grabbed my interest more than anything I had learnt at school up to that point. From there I just kept falling through the rabbit hole.

You received a scholarship to attend AMSI Summer School 2022. How important was this in terms of your ability to attend, fully participate in the program and meet others studying in similar fields?

The AMSI scholarship was imperative to my ability to attend as I enrolled in the school being interested in a unit which I did not take for credit and the scholarship made it very much worthwhile.

The purpose of Summer School is to give students an opportunity to develop their mathematical skills, meet like-minded people and network with potential employers. What was the most valuable part of the program for you? Was it the course content or the people you met? Do you have new ideas for your work/research or see it in a new light?

For me the strongest part of the summer school was the unit itself. I believe I have learnt skills that will help with employability in the future.

Summer School included a special Careers Day program which aims to help give students an idea of the kinds of career paths available to maths graduates in industry and private sector research areas. Were you previously aware of the types of industry opportunities available to mathematical science graduates? Would you consider working with industry? Do you feel better equipped to explore career options in the mathematical sciences after attending AMSI Summer School?

I particularly appreciated the access the school gave me to a lunch time lecture by Adrian Dudek from Optiver math employability opportunities. His get a maths job guide is so incredibly useful and is a very good read for anyone in a similar position.

AMSI Summer School was held as a virtual event. What was the biggest positive from your point of view holding it in this format and/or the biggest challenge?

Living in Melbourne and attending the summer school hosted in Sydney from my own home was definitely a massive positive and something I would not have been afforded the opportunity for had there not been the option to attend virtually.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering applying for Summer School in 2023? Should they apply and why?

I would definitely suggest attending. Having now attended and completed two summer schools, I can definitely say it is worth it, particularly when you are able to complete a honours unit before starting honours as was the case in completing my first summer school.

Where do you want the mathematical sciences to take you? Where do you see yourself in five, ten years time?

I just want to opportunity to directly apply all the maths I have learnt throughout my university experience to a job I enjoy.

Any other comments you would like to provide ?

Thank you for providing me with this experience.