Gada Eltahir is a third year BSc Mathematics student, and in addition to her studies has just presented a paper to the Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today conference. Here she tells us about her time at Salford:
Can you tell us about your course?
Mathematics is an amazing course and I’m so happy I chose this course at Salford. We’ve studied areas such as analysis, probability, statistics, pure maths and some engineering modules – there’s a lot to cover!
I’ve told friends about this university and I’ve told them about the maths course. Some of them are coming next year to study it because I’ve told them all about Salford.
What about your lecturers?
They are my lecturers, my friends and my family members as well. I love them all, they’re so nice and supportive. They encourage every single person studying the course, any time you go to them for help they’re always there for you. That’s something I’ve found that is different here compared to other universities. I spent a year studying at a Russell Group university in 2013 and things are completely different between here and there. To me Salford is the best.
At my other university a lot of other students would join us for our lectures, such as finance students and economics students. There were hundreds in each lecture and it was quite hard for the lecture to be useful to three different courses.
It’s completely different here, the lectures are just for maths students and I felt so free to ask questions. I believe it’s the reason I improved my knowledge and got my firsts. I got a first in my first year and second year. Without my lecturers I wouldn’t be achieving this kind of level. They make sure we’re confident and happy studying here and support us to be successful.
You’re also the chair of the Mathematics Society at Salford. Why did you create it?
The reason for doing that is because I love to have my own imprint anywhere I go. I have a very good lecturer, Dr Edmund Chadwick, and I went to him at the beginning of my second year and asked him if there was anything I could do to gain some skills. He said there wasn’t an official job I could do, but there were activities they support and they could use a student to manage those activities.
So how did you set up the society?
I got experience being the chair of a project, and soon after I realised there was no maths society at Salford. I felt a bit jealous of other subjects that had a society, but I was also excited to start one! Instead of just organising activities for the course, I wanted to make a society for the students.
I started to do everything I needed to set up the society and I got a good response from students too. The committee positions were filled quickly and we’ve already had our first Careers and Employability event. I invited two Salford graduates who’d be a good example of getting a job after they graduated. It was a very successful first event, I was very proud. It was helpful even for me to speak to them, it helped me decide what I want to do.
You presented a paper at the Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today conference. What was your paper about?
My final year supervisor Dr Edmund Chadwick suggested some topics for my final year project, but I decided not to choose any of them. I decided to do a paper on the primary cause of lung cancer, cigarettes, and how that affects the UK economy and the NHS. I thought I should find out as a mathematician what the effect of the relationship between smoking, lung cancer, the NHS and the UK economy was.
How did you get involved with the conference?
It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do, I’m proud of myself though! Students came from places like Oxford and Edinburgh to attend.
Dr Edmund sent an email about the conference to all the students he supervises, which is for final year maths students across the UK. I looked at the email and it was so interesting. I thought “why not join?” so I talked to Dr Edmund about submitting my project to the conference and I did so. Four or five days later they told me I had been selected, and then I saw the list of papers that had been selected and got very scared! There were only 10 students who presented papers at the conference and I was one of them. I loved getting involved in the conference.
This conference is one of the things I’ve done to thank the University of Salford and especially the staff because I don’t feel enough people know about what Salford could offer them.
I want to thank all the staff involved who had an effect on my success. Whatever happens in my future I will never forget Salford. If there’s anything else I could do for this university I would do it.