Karol Bacik (Department of Mathematics), UBC Summer 2015
In the summer of 2015 I undertook an International Summer Research Placement in the Department of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia.
My project was part of the ongoing research led by my supervisor. I began with a clearly defined task to perform a number of computer simulations. It was both rewarding and educational to implement the numerical methods I had known only theoretically. The results emerging from the computation inspired the next steps where I was able to pose some of the questions myself.
I concluded with a technical report submitted to my supervisor, which will be used as a basis of further research within the group. The project I carried out at UBC was already my second research experience, after the UROP in my home department. I am convinced that without the transferable research skills gained in the first project, e.g. results visualisation techniques, my IROP placement would have been much less successful. Before I went to Canada, I knew that I was generally interested in Applied Mathematics, but my specific interests were not too clear. This programme helped me to select optional courses in my third year and narrow down potential areas for my graduate studies.
My stay in Vancouver was an invaluable experience, both academically and culturally. First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the undergraduate seminar followed by refreshments organised weekly in the Mathematics Department. It was a great opportunity to meet Canadian students and hear about their exciting projects. During the weekends together with other Imperial exchange students, I tried to explore as much of the beautiful British Columbia as possible; I particularly enjoyed the mountain hikes. Moreover, I bought a bike, which I then sold at the end that allowed me to explore many places in Vancouver including the enormous parks.
My IROP placement was an unforgettable experience and I would like to thank the International Relations Office at Imperial for the financial support and coordinating my stay as well as the Department of Mathematics for funding and selecting me for the project.
"It was both rewarding and educational to implement the numerical methods I had known only theoretically"