Benedikt Petko (Department of Mathematics), UBC Summer 2017
I had the great opportunity to spend this summer at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
I enjoyed the most that I could work independently on a project that was both challenging and intriguing. My supervisor allowed me to shape the project while providing guidance whenever I was stuck at a problem. Moreover, the mathematics department at UBC created a very friendly environment. The department organized hiking trips which brought together students working on a research project over the summer. On top of that, weekly meetings were held where we could present our research, discuss it and exchange ideas. A month into my placement, I also delivered a presentation about my work to a group of fellow undergraduate researchers and academic staff and this experience helped me summarize and further develop my project.
I would like to summarize what I have gained from this international research experience. I had to learn independently to acquire quickly some basic knowledge in a field which I had no prior experience with. Because the project was largely based on computing, I have also gained relevant experience in coding, verifying hypotheses by putting the problem into code and testing computationally. Moreover, I have been composing a more detailed report of my work for future reference, which includes the underlying mathematical theory, methods and results of my work. I continue working on certain aspects of the project and I keep in contact with my supervisor.
Overall, my experience at UBC was extremely positive. I greatly enjoyed both the environment and the research. Vancouver is a very welcoming place that made me feel comfortable staying in a foreign country from the first day of my placement and I hope to return sometime in the future. The research project was challenging and intriguing. As a result, I feel very motivated to continue pursuing my research endeavours in mathematics with a more specific idea about my research interests.
"I feel very motivated to continue pursuing my research endeavours in mathematics with a more specific idea about my research interests"