Geoffrey Curtiss

 

 MSci Mathematical Sciences & PhD Mathematics - 2005 & 2009

Currently: PhD student, researching bubble dynamics and their uses in biomedical and industrial applications at UoB School of Mathematics.

"On the purely academic side, my degree here demonstrated the total difference between what I believed mathematics was, and what it really can be. The subject is so broad and open ended that one could easily spend their whole life researching its different branches, and still not fully understand everything. " 

How have you got where you are today, from your student days?

After completing my undergraduate here in Mathematical Sciences, I had become seriously interested in fluid mechanics. Cavitation phenomena are some of the most destructive phenomena in fluid mechanics, being as the liquid is literally ripped apart by high and low pressure spikes, and it just so happened that one of the foremost theoretical bubble groups in the world is in the School of Mathematics.

What were the best things about the education that you received at Birmingham?

On the purely academic side, my degree here demonstrated the total difference between what I believed mathematics was, and what it really can be. The subject is so broad and open ended that one could easily spend their whole life researching its different branches, and still not fully understand everything.

Other than your qualification in your subject area, what other skills do you think your time at Birmingham developed?

The single most important thing I've learned here is how to present my research and convince people it's correct. I've spoken at several international conferences both in the U.K. and the U.S.A., and have done so with confidence. Being able to do this is critical in any line of work. I'm also pretty good at ju jitsu now thanks to almost walking into someone at a fresher's fair. It's something I really enjoy but may never have done if I hadn't come here.

In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations?

I would say coming here far exceeded my expectations. I'm originally from a town 13 miles away and I thought life here would be pretty much the same as it was there. It isn't at all.

What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?

With everything going on don't forget what you're here for.

What are your memories of student social life?

Student life here is what one makes of it. If you stay in your room by yourself all the time it won't be any fun. If you go outside your room you will see 37000 students all doing things you may never have thought of doing. You don't just have to do what you did back home, and if you do then you will miss out. I've done a lot, and most of it I'm quite proud of.

What were your expectations of the City of Birmingham and how did your expectations of the City match your experience?

It's big. And now it's been torn down and rebuilt it's really nice.