CHOOSEMATHS Grant Recipient: Xiangyuanchai Guo

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CHOOSEMATHS Grant Recipient: Xiangyuanchai Guo

Xiangyuanchai (Cicely) Guo

The University of Sydney

Xiangyuanchai (Cicely) Guo is an Honours student pursuing Bachelor of Science (Honours) in mathematical statistics in University of Sydney. Early in primary school, her outstanding math performance drew attention from her teachers and parents, who helped provide her with further education on Olympiad Math. It was also her distinguished Olympiad Math grade that gave her access to one of the best high schools in China.

Before Honours year, she studied Actuarial Studies as her Bachelor degree in the Australian National University. While most of her mandatory courses are statistics courses, she gradually developed a strong curiosity about statistics and data analysis. This curiosity encouraged her to use up all her elective courses to study the rest of third year statistics courses, and chose statistics as her area in Honours year.

For Cicely, the future is unknown yet full of hope, containing infinite possibilities. As a 22-year-old, she is always ready for the opportunities to discover the unknown world. If statistics is the right discipline and research is the right vocation for her, she is willing to take on them as a longer time focus.

Can you give me a quick overview of the type of mathematics you are studying and its potential impacts for the broader community

I study mathematical statistics. It is a very useful subject as we meet statistics everywhere in our life.

You received a CHOOSEMATHS Grant to assist your attendance at AMSI Summer School 2018. How important was this in terms of your ability to attend and fully participate in the sessions throughout the program?

I received a CHOOSEMATHS Grant to assist my attendance at AMSI Summer School 2018. This is very important in terms of my ability to attend and fully participate in the sessions throughout the program.

How important are initiatives such as the CHOOSEMATHS Grants in terms of fostering the participation and achievement of women in mathematics, particularly in terms of access to networking opportunities and further training opportunities?

Initiatives such as the CHOOSEMATHS Grants are important in terms of fostering the participation and achievement of women in mathematics, particularly in terms of access to networking opportunities and further training opportunities, because this kind of grant gives women confidence and makes them feel they are important and indispensable to this area.

In what ways has the experience impacted your maths studies? Has it influenced the direction of your research?

This experience impacted my maths studies much as I met lots of people doing maths from different universities. Communicating with them broadened my horizon. It also influenced my direction of my research by communicating with students from different directions.

What was the most valuable part of AMSI Summer School 2018 for you in terms of furthering your career in mathematical sciences?

The most valuable part of AMSI Summer School 2018 for mein terms of furthering my career in mathematical sciences is communicating with students from different directions.

A presentation on the AMSI Intern program was included as part of the Careers Afternoon. One of the aims of the AMSI Intern program is to maximise employability and help prepare research graduates to drive industry/private sector research. Are you hoping to work with industry? How important is this experience for researchers? Particularly in terms of offering career flexibility for women?

I am not hoping to work with industry at this moment. This experience give a chance for researchers to know about the industry, and offers career flexibility for women.

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?

The CHOOSEMATHS Grants help improve women researchers’ maths ability.

Did you always want to pursue a career in maths? Were you encouraged to study these subjects at school? Do any particular mentors come to mind? Any outstanding teachers?

Yes. Outstanding teachers are Michael Martin and Alan Welsh in ANU.

Where do you see yourself in five, ten years time?

I might become a PHD candidate and then a lecturer or postdoc.

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