Profile – Tegan Morrison
I'm a PhD candidate in applied mathematics. When I tell people this they generally ask why I am doing this (I even ask myself this question sometimes). Through school I always liked maths and was good at it, so it seemed a good choice for my first degree. After completing honours at the University of Wollongong, I thought it was important to branch out and I looked for a new maths scene; not only a new location, but a different supervisor from my honours year with a project in a totally new area. I was fortunate enough to undertake a summer vacation scholarship at USyd to "try out" this new scene, which I became keen to join for my PhD.
My research involves population models and a class of ordinary differential equations, with very special properties, known as the Painlevé equations. Being a research student means spending time alone, pondering and calculating, but also having to explain your ideas to your supervisor and others at seminars. The School of Mathematics and Statistics at USyd is big and active; there is always an interesting seminar to attend with a new idea being explored. I generally enjoy the search for new ideas and new ways of looking at things, and maths is a great channel for this outlook.