CHOOSEMATHS Grant recipient profile: Mahla Babagolzadeh
University of Southern Queensland
I am a current international PhD candidate, holder of a USQ International Research Scholarship. I am undertaking my research in the School of Commerce and Business. I am working on cold supply chain in my PhD research. I have also completed a Bachelor and Master of industrial engineering. I achieved the first rank in my Bachelor among 120 peer students who graduated in 2012. Due to this achievement I was directly admitted to a master degree program in one of the most prestigious universities in Iran without taking part in the national university entrance exam, which is a mandatory criterion for postgraduate admission in my country. During my tertiary education, I conducted research from which I developed 6 papers: 2 journal papers and 4 conference papers.
Can you give me a quick overview of the type of mathematics you are studying and its potential impacts for the broader community
I am looking at the cold supply chain in my research. I use optimisation techniques to minimise cost along the chain. I worked on inventory-routing problem in my master and used optimisation models to find the optimal route and replenishment policy.
You attended AMSI Optimise, what drew you to this event? What was the most valuable part of AMSI Optimise for you in terms of furthering your career in mathematical sciences?
My supervisor encouraged me to attend to AMSI Optimise. The conference provided me the opportunity to meet people in my field and discuss my project with them.
The key aim of Optimise is to strengthen research-industry collaboration within this key mathematics innovation space. How effective was this event in stimulating such discussion and opportunities?
Participating in AMSI Optimise allows researchers to make connections with relevant people in their field and provides the opportunity to discuss projects.
How important was receiving a CHOOSEMATHS grant in terms of your ability to attend and fully participate in the AMSI Optimise 2018 sessions throughout the week?
The CHOOSEMATHS grant helped me to attend AMSI Optimise. As a student, I would not have been able to cover all of the expenses related to attending the conference without the grant.
The CHOOSEMATHS Grants are part of a broader program being delivered by AMSI Schools with support from BHP Billiton to turn the tide on Australia’s maths deficit and strengthen maths education and participation of women across the discipline. What do you see as the big challenges facing maths in Australia, particularly for women?
I think that women need more support to gain enough confidence in the maths field. They need more opportunities to learn how maths can be helpful practically. CHOOSEMATHS grants encourage women to participate in events where they are able to network with others interested in maths, both male and female.
Did you always want to pursue a career in maths? Were you encouraged to study these subjects at school?
My mother is an engineer with a strong background in maths so she encouraged me to study maths at school. I also had a good teacher in maths. He always tried to show me that there is a relationship between maths and real life. He said that you use maths every day in your life.
Where do you see yourself in five or ten years time?
I like to be an academic person collaborating with industry.
Any other feedback/comments you would like to provide on the CHOOSEMATHS grant or AMSI Optimise?
Thank you. Receiving a CHOOSEMATHS Grant to attend AMSI Optimise allowed me to make many new connections and to achieve more confidence about my research.