City Mathematics alumna blazes post-doctorate trail at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Julia Cen completed her PhD in mathematics at City in 2019.
City News caught up with Julia for an interview about her time as a City student.
What drew you to mathematics and motivated you to study the subject at university level?
From a young age, I was interested in how and why things worked around me. The person who had the biggest influence would be my father, an electrical engineer. As a child, he was always there to fill my curiosities, explaining many natural phenomena and taught me the importance of reasoning and concepts. Throughout high school, I enjoyed all sciences, but what led me to my final decision to study mathematics as a degree, was because I found the mathematics behind the theories just a little bit more beautiful.
Why did you decide to study mathematics at City and to complete postgraduate studies here?
For the connections and for the diversity, City being the heart of London, and London the biggest city in the UK, I knew this was the place I would love.
What were the highlights and challenges of studying at City?
There are too many wonderful times to list, but I am thankful for all the opportunities and financial support from City, which has allowed me to participate and present at many great workshops, conferences and seminars. This has given me the chance to meet lots of great people and friends during my time here and to develop various skills. The biggest challenge for me, I would probably say is, time. There is always too little time, but so much that I wanted to do.
How did you secure a post-doc spot at Los Alamos National Laboratory?
This may have been some coincidence. It was during my undergraduate final year project with Professor Andreas Fring, that we first came across an interesting paper by a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The paper was on new solitons solutions with joint space-time symmetry, which we managed to derive, generalise and find many interesting features for. This became the start of my PhD research. A few years later, I got back in touch, had my research proposal accepted and decided to embark on my next exciting project!