Killian National School, Donegal
Junior Cert, Leaving Cert, Bachelor of Arts in Zoology
PhD Student in Maynooth
I'm from Donegal but live in Maynooth. I'm a PhD student and I work on statistics. I love football and music and science!
Hi all! My name is Emma, I’m 25 years old and I’m doing a PhD in maths. Before that I studied animals, and now I work on doing maths so we can figure out how much food animals eat!
In my spare time I love watching football. I support Liverpool and James Milner is my favourite player. The best goal I’ve ever seen was Chiedozie Ogbene’s bicycle kick for Ireland v Belgium.
I also really love tv and movies – I love the Marvel movies and comics. I love going to Comic Con when I can.
I’m really looking forward to talking to you all!
My pronouns are
How I Use Maths In My Job:
I use lots of maths every day. The project that I’m currently working on is all about what animals eat. We’d like to know how much of each food they eat, or the ratio of each food in their diet. We use statistics and probability for this. We give our computer lots of data, give it an equation that we’ve worked out using algebra, and the computer puts it all together to tell us what our animals are eating. This is really useful because its hard to watch animals in the wild at all times, so maths can help us make really good guesses without having to annoy or stress the animals out
I use maths to see how much animals eat!
I use lots of maths every day. The project that I’m currently working on is all about what animals eat. We’d like to know how much of each food they eat, or the ratio of each food in their diet. We use statistics and probability for this. We give our computer lots of data, give it an equation that we’ve worked out using algebra, and the computer puts it all together to tell us what our animals are eating. This is really useful because its hard to watch animals in the wild at all times, so maths can help us make really good guesses without having to annoy or stress the animals out. Its also really useful to use maths as animals won’t use up everything they eat. They might poo it out!
We collect the data in the field by taking blood samples or feather samples or fur samples, and we pop these in a machine called a mass spectrometer – this also uses mass to tell us about the atoms that are in our samples. We also take samples of the food the animal seems to eat and do the same thing. Since our animals use their food to build muscle and to grow big and strong, then their atoms will be similar to the atoms in their food! Its of course a little more complicated than this, but thats the basic idea.
My Typical Day
I wake up, have some breakfast and walk to work. My work is usually on the computer, so I sit at my desk until lunch, and then again until home time. I have my dinner, watch some football and relax!
My usual day at work involves sitting at my desk! All of my work happens on my computer, so thats where I spend a lot of my day. I make sure and get up every now and again to stretch my legs! My day could involve writing code, testing code, reading papers, or coming up with ideas of how to rewrite code. Currently I’m translating my code from one language (R) into another (c++). These languages are all different ways of giving jobs to a computer, but they all have their own rules – like English and Irish!
Some days I also teach college students. This is really fun as I get to answer lots of questions and its so interesting to hear how different people use maths in their everyday lives.
What I'd do with the prize money
I'd love to visit schools and talk more about maths in person!
I would love to be able to visit a few schools and talk to them more about maths and coding. I’d love to be able to show how maths is used on the news, to create graphs, to plan for the future, and in things like sports and business. The maths behind football is something I am really interested in and I think its so cool to see how maths can influence who clubs buy, how they play, and if someone should be substituted!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Steve Irwin and Simon Singh
What's your favourite use for maths in everyday life?
What did you think about Maths when you were in school?
I loved it, but definitely found it hard at times, and would never have guessed when I was in primary school that I'd use maths so much now
What did you want to be after you left school?
I didn't know!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really, I was super shy and quiet!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Football manager or zookeeper
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Queen or MIKA!
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Seeing Ireland play live in the Aviva!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. everyone happy & warm & fed 2. season ticket to Liverpool. 3. no cat allergy!!
Tell us a joke.
Whats a pirates favourite letter? You might think its Rrr, but their true love be the C!