Looking back and Looking forward
So Long 2018
As 2018 draws to a close I have been reminiscing about some of the amazing opportunities I have been given this year, as well as some incredible projects I’ve been a part of and of course all the fun with my friends in between! Coming into this calendar year I would never have imagined that I’d currently be as involved
with life at Imperial as I have been. I’ve been fortunate enough to feature as part of the Her Imperial Campaign, go on holiday with my best friends that I met living at Beit Hall last year, moved into my first flat and got to take over the Imperial College Instagram account more times than I can count!
My first term at Imperial has drawn to a close, and what better way to summarise my last few months than through the songs of one of the most-loved bands to have ever existed; ABBA.
I Have A Dream
I had a dream, and I am now living it. Two years ago I realised, whilst studying for my undergraduate degree in Maths and Physics at the University of Warwick, that although I enjoyed the science I was learning, my passion wasn’t to delve into further research, but to share my enthusiasm for the subject with others. This led me to Imperial College’s Masters course in science communication.
Who would’ve thought I’d be a social sec?
After plenty of support and encouragement from my peers and some members of staff, I decided to run for a committee position in MathSoc, Imperial College’s Mathematics Society. In the past the society hasn’t had the best social events, and as this was something I worked on at school, I thought this would be a good position for me to run for. (definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made!)
Last year, MathSoc faced heavy criticism (see Imperial College Secrets/Exposed) for not having enough social events so I was so excited to be able to try and change the way people perceive MathSoc by throwing some fab events and revamping our social media platforms, including setting up an Instagram account.
My busiest term at Imperial to date
It’s fair to say that this term has been the most enjoyable term I have had so far at Imperial and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. It’s been super busy, I’m not sure how I managed to keep up with everything and still not skip any (most) lectures! Alongside juggling my degree in maths, I’ve also spent this term applying for internships, being on a few committees and running events as a student ambassador.
Often when people think about studying at such an academic university as Imperial, their immediate thought isn’t about all the extra curricular activities they will be able to take part in.
And my experience at Imperial
Studying Maths at Imperial does not only mean living in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, but also being a part of a top world ranking Mathematics department, boasting two field medalists. However as a woman in this department what I have appreciated the most is having female role models such as Professor Emma McCoy. Through lecturing me in first year, she not only taught me statistics in such a thorough and engaging manner, but who has also inspired me to focus my studies on statistics. By bringing in real life scenarios, including her own passion for cycling statistics, marathon times and rather controversially road traffic accidents, McCoy managed to convince my entire cohort that statistics was one of the most enticing areas of mathematics with countless applications in the real world.
You picked Imperial to become a scientist, engineer or a medical doctor. What do these careers have in common? You’ll need to write a lot: scientific papers, grant applications, lecture notes, popular science articles. Unfortunately, university curricula lack writing courses, so we end up with thousands of unreadable scientific papers. In my research I’ve chosen some mathematical methods just because the authors made them easy to understand; nobody has time or energy to look for interesting science hiding behind word clutter.
I’m a mathematician, not a writer, and my writing is far from perfect. Let me share five tips to improve your writing so that you can learn on my mistakes.
Twitter: @malamawks | Instagram: @malamawkin
It really is that time of year again…the stress levels are rising and 5th year exams are approaching. We have about 6 weeks left until our first exam and although that sounds a while away still, there is a lot to cover. On top of this, we are still attending our hospital attachments daily.
I wanted to share with you a few resources that I am using to help me through this revision period this year, hopefully it can help anyone else revising for clinical exams and not sure where to start!
- Brainscape: Imperial Medicine students past and present have made flashcards on this amazing app that is a great revision tool.
The work that wasn’t revision during the holidays
During the Easter holidays, aside from catching up with friends, going home for a few weeks, and of course revision, I had some time to do some other cool stuff in and around the college and even got paid for some of it!
A couple of weeks before Easter break, I attended a careers talk in the maths department which was all about how to approach companies in search of jobs and internships but also advertising the services we have access to as students at Imperial, such as CV checking. One such service that was advertised was the First year work shadowing scheme.
I recently used a R script from Keith McNulty to analyse my Facebook data. I was curious to know how much I had been posting for the past 10 years, but I also wanted to know much information Facebook had about me.
I was able to download over 4,000 days of data and more than 30,000 posts. These posts were mine, but also from friends that were posting on my timeline.
In the process, I learned these three points:
1. I have 1000’s of posts per year
I remember when I initially joined Facebook, my friends I would basically communicate and organise everything by posting publicly on our walls (no sense of privacy!).
One of my learning rituals is to look for online videos to better understand the concepts that I’ve covered in class.
Lectures nowadays are taught with slides. This often lead us to go through mathematical formulas and other complicated concepts at a quicker speed than our brain (at least mine) can handle. Moreover, you might still need to some ‘refresh’ on topics you’ve learned time ago. You may also need to learn from scratch topics you might had not seen before.
I started by undergraduate degree back in 2009 when MOOC courses and online learning were in their early days. Looking for information came usually in written form.