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School of Mathematical Sciences

Our PhD students

The School of Mathematical Sciences is home to over 80 PhD students. Learn about the experience of some of our current PhD students across various mathematical fields. 

Alexandre Tytgat

I joined Queen Mary as a PhD student in early 2023, and so far it has been an amazing journey. I am part of the Statistics and Data Science at the School of Mathematics. Prior to my time here, I completed my Bachelor's degree in Physics and pursued a Master's degree in Data Science at UCLouvain in Belgium.

My research revolves around the development of innovative methods for forecasting panel data and high dimensional time series. It's a thrilling area with applications in diverse fields such as macroeconomics, healthcare, finance, and environmental science. For example, techniques I'm exploring play a crucial role in forecasting economic indicators like GDP and have real-world implications for public policies.

Choosing Queen Mary for my PhD has been a wonderful decision. The School of Mathematics covers a broad range of subjects, allowing me to explore various disciplines and cultivate my academic curiosity. I've had the privilege to attend talks by top researchers through courses, workshops, and events organized by Queen Mary, the broader Russell Group, and the London School of Mathematics. The university also provides numerous opportunities to develop both as an academic and for a career in industry.

The support I've received from the staff and the warm QM community has been exceptional. As an international student, arriving in London without knowing anyone, the SMS has become like a second home, and the various groups and activities have helped me build meaningful connections with fellow students.

Tim Davis

I am a third year PhD student and my area of research is number theory, specifically answering questions about the Fourier coefficients of different families of modular forms, under the supervision of Dr Abhishek Saha. Over the last year, my research has been focussed on Hilbert modular forms whereby I have tried to answer some questions about their Fourier coefficients at cusps. Moving forward, I will be studying Manin's constant and the p-adic valuation of the Fourier coefficients of modular forms at cusps. All this research has been fully supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

Throughout my time at Queen Mary, I have had the chance to be involved in internal seminars and study groups. Since Queen Mary is part of the London Group I have also been able to be a part of the London Analytic Number Theory Study Group and Seminar. This has been a great experience to meet and discuss mathematics with fellow PhD students from other London based universities.  

Alongside my research, I have had a number of opportunities to get involved in teaching and outreach both of which have been very useful experiences. These experiences have convinced me that this is something I would like to pursue further in the future.

Elisa Scanu

I am a second year PhD student at the School of Maths. My research field is Cancer Evolution and I am investigating extra-chromosomal DNA (ecDNA) evolutionary paths and mechanisms of reproduction, in order to understand connections with cancer development and treatment. I am mainly using numerical and statistical models and my research is deeply based on biological observations and clinical data. My supervisors are Dr Weini Huang and Dr Benjamin Werner and my project is done in cooperation with Barts Cancer Institute of the School on Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London. 

I started my PhD and moved to London during the pandemic but despite this, I have never felt alone in Queen Mary's academic environment. I was involved in study groups, I could interact and work well with my research team and I attended seminars and conferences which made me feel part of a big community that shares my same interests. 

I also had the chance to be involved in teaching opportunities, which allow me not only to improve my communication and academic skills but also to realise how much I am passionate about that. I am deeply grateful to be part of Queen Mary University team, and I could not ask for a better academic experience. 


Théo Thiery

Hi, I am a Ph.D. student in the School of Mathematical Sciences and the combinatorics group. Before joining QMUL in 2019, I did a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics at EPFL in Switzerland. 

My area of research is combinatorial optimization, which is the process of searching for extrema of a function in a discrete but large configuration space. A recurrent question in my research is about maximizing submodular functions. To keep things simple, submodular functions are discrete analogue of concave functions. Their optimization has immense utility in real world problems in machine learning and artificial intelligence. In fact, one of my projects was to explore the connection between linear regression and submodularity. 

Queen Mary provides an excellent environment to develop yourself as an academic and personally. The combinatorics group has great diversity with researchers working on fields in extremal graphs, matroid theory, counting problem, game theory and more. This translates to a wide variety of talks during our weekly combinatorics seminar and my discussions have always been very interesting. Outside of maths, there are numerous opportunities to get involved in teaching, outreach, etc., which give practical and concrete transferable skills for everyday life. 

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