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CHOOSEMATHS Grant recipient profile: Yuting Huang

Yuting Huang

Australian National University

I was so lucky to gain the grants from CHOOSEMATHS to support me to attend AMSI summer school. During the passing February, I took the course of statistical machine learning, learning about kinds of statistical techniques which can be applied in different fields, such as Monte Carlo, Maximum likelihood, and neural networks. What’s more, it was the first time to try programing. We used Matlab to do our assignment. However, I used to regarded programing as the most difficult things in my life. Finally I made it with the help of my classmates and my tutor. And I begin to have interest in coding gradually. I feel it is more likely for me to finalise my dream to be a fund manager of quantative portfolio. I made friends with many girls who are doing math as well. They showed me a big passion to math and research, which inspied me a lot. Meanwhile, I found it really useful to participate in the career afternoon. I gained many advice for my future works, such as what kind of jobs can I set as a target, what preparations do I need to make in advance. I really appreciated that CHOOSEMATHS give me the chance to join this activity, which encouraged me to continue my math career and give me a bright guidance.

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 some statistical techniques such as some common distributions and their use in mathematical modelling, as well as data assimilation using Z transform and Fourier analysis. In addition, I am learning the optimization process used in mathematical modelling which can be applied to make uncertain decision in different areas.

You received a CHOOSEMATHS Grant to assist your attendance at AMSI Summer School 2018. How important was this in terms of your ability to attend and fully participate in the sessions throughout the program?

Firstly, as a international student, it helps me relieve financial pressure of my family. Secondly, it provides me a comfortable study environment and give me the chance to communicate with many females in math area, which inspire me a lot. What’s more, receiving this grant makes me have a stronger desire to doing math well and help female in math.

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?

It is meaningful in changing the face of mathematics, turning around community attitudes towards participation in mathematics, especially for females. It equips students with necessary techniques to grasp all opportunities in future works.

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

I choose to take the course of statistical machine learning which will help me to broaden the horizon of artificial intelligence. I regarded it as a extremely difficult topic. However, as I know more about it, my interest in it grows.

What was the most valuable part of AMSI Summer School 2018 for you in terms of furthering your career in mathematical sciences?

The lecture and the career afternoon. And the communication with math peers.

A presentation on the AMSI Intern program was included as part of the Careers Afternoon. One of the aims of the AMSI Intern program is to maximise employability and help prepare research graduates to drive industry/private sector research. Are you hoping to work with industry? How important is this experience for researchers? Particularly in terms of offering career flexibility for women?

I aim to work in quantitive finance area. Statistical machine learning is a vital method in constructing a trading strategy. Sometime girls find it hard to deal with the coding part, but in AMSI summer school, people help each other. In this case, I was inspired and obtained a lot of advice from others.

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 population of females doing math is diminishing. Maybe it will be hard to seek for support especially for females who have children and family.

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?

I am not sure. I find math really useful but I also love other areas such as art and finance. But most likely I will work in math.  I take many applied mathematical courses such as ODE, PDE, mathematical modelling.

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

Plan A: fund manager

Plan B: math teacher

Any other feedback/comments you would like to provide on the CHOOSEMATHS grant or AMSI Summer School 2018?

The experience was really amazing.