- PhD Pure Mathematics
- Lecturer in Pure Mathematics at the University of Birmingham
Duration – 2:05
I’m Simon Goodwin. I studied for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, in Pure Mathematics. I finished that in 2004, and since then I’ve come back to the University of Birmingham and I now work here as a lecturer in Pure Mathematics.
Q1 How did your time at the University shape and influence you?
A1 – Well the time I spent doing my PhD in Birmingham was the time I really realised that I wanted to pursue a career in academia. It really gave me a flavour of what an academic life is like, and I learnt that I really enjoyed the lifestyle and doing research. And then so I also built up all the research skills that I needed for my future career in academia, and it really was a great platform studying for my PhD at the University of Birmingham.
Q2 – How has having a PhD helped your career?
A2 – Well, for a career in academia obviously a PhD is a necessity. And also during the PhD here at the University of Birmingham, I learnt all the erm… well I learnt almost all the skills that I need for my present job. From skills [such as] writing academic papers, giving presentations, and actually the skills required to do the research; the perseverance, finding the correct references and the sort of imagination you need to solve some difficult mathematical problems.
Q3 – What would you say to a student who is thinking of doing a PhD?
A3 – I think doing a PhD was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, so I’d thoroughly encourage people to think about doing a PhD. I think it’s also important that you investigate what you’ll be doing your PhD on. Talk to potential supervisors, that’s a really important choice, and that will really affect your PhD, and also possibly to think about what you are hoping to do after your PhD.