Tobin South, University of Adelaide

One of the best pieces of advice you ever get as a student is to follow your passion.

Problem was, I didn’t have a passion. I liked maths and I was pretty good at it but I never really saw it as something worth doing a degree in.

So, like many of my friends I chose the obvious option for those with good maths grades. I started Engineering. More specifically, Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Adelaide. Like many, I quickly realised that University would be one of the best times of my life. I loved meeting so many new people and learning exciting and interesting things.

A part of meeting new people was finding new communities to be a part of through student societies. Every second Wednesday night, I would attend a student lecture run by the Maths Society. These weren’t like your normal lectures. These were lectures for students, by students. Students would give presentations about research they had done, many of which were from Vacation Research Scholarships.

These lectures taught me how to find the fun in maths. The students had passion when they talked, they showed me the reason a degree in maths can be one of the most fun. Through them, I found my passion, and before the end of the year I had changed degrees to study maths.

Since then, having the opportunity to undertake vacation research has only solidified this. I hope that this year, I can come back to the maths society and just maybe, help inspire some other future mathematicians.

I was lucky, through friends and amazing opportunities, I had the chance find my passion in mathematics, and I haven’t looked back since. I implore every student to make the most of their time, become parts of communities and societies and, hopefully, find their passion.

Tobin South was one of the recipients of a 2017/18 AMSI Vacation Research Scholarship.

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