Margaret Duff

(My supervisors) encouraged me to take my own research direction, guided by my interests, and to be involved in the wider community, presenting at and attending a wide range of national and international conferences

Before joining SAMBa, I did a MMath at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. I did several research internships including in the Cambridge Image Analysis group and in a data science team at GSK in Stevenage.

My research was in generative machine models applied to inverse problems in imaging. An inverse problem is the process of calculating from observations the causal factors that produce them for example calculating an image from transmission data from a CT scan or reconstructing an image that has been taken in low light or blurred by motion. Generative modelling is the technology behind deep fakes and chatGPT, and generative models generate new data based on learning from lots of similar examples. I combined the two areas of deep learning and inverse problems, using generative models to provide more information to image reconstruction problems. I was supervised by Matthias Ehrhardt and Neill Campbell who were very supportive and encouraged me to take my own research direction, guided by my interests, and to be involved in the wider community, presenting at and attending a wide range of national and international conferences.

Outside of research, SAMBa gave me opportunities to be involved with a wide range of other opportunities. ITTs gave me the skills to understand and synthesise information quickly, translating complex real-world challenges into interesting mathematical problems. Importantly they gave us an opportunity to work with a wide range of people, from professors to industry experts, in collaborative teams on equal footing, a great atmosphere for learning and development. I was lucky to participate in two ITTs in collaboration with Mexican universities on vital topics such as earthquake detection. I was also able to develop teaching and leadership skills through tutoring, widening participation programmes, organising the SAMBa conference, as part of the SIAM-IMA student chapter and much more. I really valued the friendly and supportive atmosphere cultivated by SAMBa and the department. I think most importantly, SAMBa PhD students are really seen as valuable members of the Mathematics Department, and this benefits everyone!

When not at university or doing maths, I was a local Guide and Cub Scout leader as well as taking on other volunteer roles for Girlguiding UK. To relax, I could either be found running about the beautiful countryside of Bath or doing endless laps in the university swimming pool!

I am currently working as a Computational Scientist in Imaging at the Science and Technology Facilities Council, part of UK Research and Innovation. I am part of an imaging team who focus on tomography (think a CT scanner). We work in collaboration between the mathematics and tomography user communities, to provide the UK tomography community with a toolbox of algorithms that increases the quality and level of information that can be extracted by computed tomography. The idea is to bring people together to develop approaches to applied challenges and so I directly use the collaboration and problem-solving skills that I developed during SAMBa ITTs.

Alumni case studies

Aoibheann Brady

I had the opportunity to get involved in some international training and capacity building activities with international partners and was able to travel to Brazil and Mongolia to share my knowledge of statistical methods and applications, which was really rewarding. 

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Emma Horton

Being part of SAMBa is like being part of a little community: everyone is super supportive and there is always someone to talk to if you need it (usually with cake!).

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Eleanor Barry

I joined thinking I wanted to do one type of PhD but ended up doing a completely different one due to the flexibility that was provided in finding/forming a PhD during the masters year

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Dorottya Fekete

I was able to use the SAMBa training in statistics, to support training workshops in Mexico and in fact took a break from my PhD to take on a statistics teaching assistant role.

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Robbie Peck

You get a lot of freedom to choose your research area...and there is a wide range of research areas within the department from which to choose

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Adwaye Rambojun

The ITTs can be really fun. The best part is that each time you participate you come out with a head full of new ideas and knowledge. Truly amazing

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Owen Pembury

I can't imagine studying for my PhD anywhere other than SAMBa

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Marcus Kaiser

The SAMBa team understands how to efficiently bridge the gap between the abstract world of mathematics and statistics to industrial research

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Will Graham

The ITTs were invaluable in providing experience in collaborating effectively with others on large projects, understanding and synthesising new information quickly, and liasing with academic leads and commercial partners

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Anna Senkevich

SAMBa provided a uniquely supportive yet challenging environment, in which one is encouraged to explore their interests and question their limits

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