Hoa Bui is a PhD student in Mathematics at Federation University Australia. She obtained her B.Sc. (in Mathematics) from Ho Chi Minh city, University of Pedagogy, Vietnam in 2016. Soon after her graduation, she came to Australia to pursue her higher education in Mathematics. Her major fields are variational analysis and non-smooth optimisation. Besides variational analysis, she is also working on combinatorial graphs theory and convex analysis.
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 studying variational analysis, which has a direct application in optimisation.
You attended AMSI Optimise, what drew you to this event? What was the most valuable part of AMSI Optimise for you in terms of furthering your career in mathematical sciences?
I want to see more and know more about real-life models and understand how it works. AMSI Optimise was a good opportunity for me to study this. It absolutely benefits my career.
Did this event lead to any new projects, collaborations? What were some outcomes in terms of your work?
Yes. Thanks to this conference, I found many researchers who have the same interests as me. We are starting some potential collaborations.
The key aim of Optimise is to strengthen research-industry collaboration within this key mathematics innovation space. How effective was this event in stimulating such discussion and opportunities?
With regards to this purpose, the event has done a very great job. There were lots of discussion between academia and industry people during the presentations as well as break times. There is also opportunities for PhDs students to do an internship with industry.
What do you think are the key challenges for Australian industry-research collaboration within optimisation? What needs to happen to strengthen these linkages?
There is a gap between academic research and industry research everywhere within mathematical sciences, not just in Australia and not just with optimisation. To fill the gap, conferences and workshops like AMSI Optimise are necessary to bring these people together.
How important was receiving a CHOOSEMATHS grant in terms of your ability to attend and fully participate in the AMSI Optimise 2018 sessions throughout the week?
For PhD students, travel funding is limited so cost is always a consideration when deciding which conferences to attend and how many sessions you can participate in. Without this grant, I would not have been able to stay in Melbourne for all 5 days and participate in all of the sessions.
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?
The CHOOSEMATHS grant helped me a lot. Receiving funding to attend AMSI Optimise, allowed me to network with people in my field.
The CHOOSEMATHS Grants are part of a broader program being delivered by AMSI Schools with support from BHP Billiton 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?
The benefit of studying maths in undergraduate or high school is not easily foreseen. Maths is usually thought of as a subject only for smart people, thus it’s value is often underestimated. Consequently, a lot of students lose interest and drop maths. I think this is a big issue in Australia.
The biggest problem for women studying maths is that they normally have some duties with their families, and sometimes a long break due to parental leave. As doing research requires a lots of time and energy, for some women they have to sacrifice their personal lives.
Where do you see yourself in five or ten years time?
I would like to work as a senior researcher in an institute.
Any other feedback/comments you would like to provide on the CHOOSEMATHS grant or AMSI Optimise?
I am really grateful with your support from CHOOSEMATHS grant.