To Math or not to Math

By Logan Haami, University of Technology Sydney

Throughout the summer of 2015/16 I was lucky enough to become an AMSI vacation research scholar by conducting my very own research project (which is my first). Not only did I do my own research but I got to do it with the help of my friend from university, Andy Chu. There are many avenues I wanted to complete this blog on, but I feel like it should be based off how I got to the position I am in today.

I’ll be frank with you, I never liked maths in primary school or high school, so much so it was my worst subject up until Year 11 and 12. Even in Year 11 and 12 I still struggled immensely with the bizarre concepts…particularly mathematical induction and probability. Mind you, even to this day I still struggle with probability! I’m constantly asked why I do maths at university and why not do easier courses like business? Sometimes I even ask myself this question. But, after three years of torturous mathematics I have come to love the subject. Mathematics opens your eyes to the world around you, allows you to understand what is largely misunderstood. Almost everything we use today, and do in a day, involves mathematics either indirectly or directly. But what brought about this sudden epiphany after three years in a mathematics degree? Calculus, in particular differential equations.

Differential equations are a personal favourite of mine. I love to study them and enjoy understanding them. Furthermore, understanding their applications in the world. For instance, they are heavily investigated in cancer research as these equations help to model cancer growth. Also, and a personal favourite of mine, they are used in finance particularly through the implementation of stochastic differential equations. Most famously Black-Scholes equation which finds a suitable option price in an attempt to ultimately make a profit by settling the current long/short position. My research conducted over the summer was largely based off the well-known partial differential equation, Helmholtz equation. My research has applications in renewable energy, in particular solar energy. Hopefully, that won’t be the end of my research into differential equations.

So thanks to differential equations my enjoyment of maths has grown…exponentially *drops mic*


Logan Haami was one of the recipients of a 2015/16 AMSI Vacation Research Scholarship.

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