In AMSI scholarship recipient

Marcus Flook

University of Queensland

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 differential geometry and geometric analysis. In particular, I am interested in a problem which considers prescribing curvature onto different smooth objects. Research into this problem has provided new tools in studying geometric flows.

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

I have always loved puzzles and so have always enjoyed mathematics. In my first year of university, I was given a small glimpse into analysis (thanks to Associate Professor Artem Pulemotov) and couldn’t wait to learn more. Since then, I have continued to explore various fields in pure mathematics and am now working on research with Professor Pulemotov.

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 scholarship enabled me to dedicate more time to understanding the material and talking to fellow students. This extra time outside of contact hours meant that I was able to more effective engage during the lectures and tutorials.

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?

I greatly benefited from both engaging with the course content and meeting new people. The lecturers did a fantastic job of introducing the concepts and results required for understanding some of the most influential papers in the field of interest. Working on problems with students from so many backgrounds was insightful as we were able to discuss similar concepts from other fields.

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?

The biggest challenge was communicating with other students through zoom. As most of us were familiar with this limitation, we were able to work around it and still get the most out of the program.

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

I would highly recommend the AMSI Summer School to anyone who wants to explore a mathematical topic in more detail. I would especially recommend the program to anyone who is still trying to figure out what they want to do after their undergraduate degree.

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

In 10 years’ time I hope to have completed a PhD and have the opportunity to continue researching geometric analysis, and pure mathematics more broadly. I would also love to continue teaching maths and physics and (hopefully) encouraging more people to explore mathematics.