Department of Mathematics

Meet our students

Our students have different research interests and follow varied and exciting career paths after graduation. Meet some of our current students and graduates and find out their hopes for the future.

Bachelor of Science

Morgan Meertens, BSc, Department of Mathematics
Morgan Meertens

Morgan Meertens

Morgan Meertens is studying for a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Engineering conjoint, majoring in Mathematics and Engineering Science.

“At high school I loved mathematics and because I was unsure of what pathway I wanted to follow, I decided to study a conjoint degree.

“Doing a conjoint gives me options to do what I enjoy in the future. Learning new topics and gaining new experiences opens you up to things that you may not have known existed.

“I really enjoyed my summer research project, which was about the effects of solar radiation on the Earth’s climate. It’s opened up possibilities for me, and now I would like to pursue a postgraduate degree in Science.

“When I began University I was very nervous and shy. At first I held back from going to Tuākana tutorials when I had questions, even though I am of Pacific descent and that is who Tuākana is for.

“A couple of years ago I was asked to become a tutor for Tuākana students. Being a tutor has helped me to grow and become more confident with other students, especially in Tuākana where everyone is so welcoming.

“It’s been great making friends who study the same thing, as when I’m stuck, I can turn to them and I know they will help.”


Aigafiafia Peterson, BSc, Department of Mathematics
Fia Peterson

Aigafiafia Peterson

Aigafiafia (Fia) Peterson is studying for a Bachelor of Science majoring in Applied Mathematics and Statistics.

“I enjoyed maths and science at school. Understanding how things work was an interest of mine. I like the challenge maths brings and the fact that you know when you are right. As well as the excitement and satisfaction when you solve a problem! Applying maths to things in everyday life such as personal finance, shopping, building and baking always comes in handy.

“I enjoy the different range of modules that are taught. The lecturers are always willing to help you and it’s good to realise that a degree could help you make the changes you want to see in the world.

“I’ve been told that there’s a shortage of mathematicians out in the field and so I hope to increase our numbers, as maths is very important in everyday life. I hope to one day inspire young Māori and Pacific students to take an interest in maths at university.

“I have yet to think about where my degree will take me. However maths provides a wide range of career choices such as logistics, teaching, statistician, finance, business and many more."


Kevin Qu, BSc, Department of Mathematics
Kevin Qu

Kevin Qu

Kevin Qu came from China to study for a Bachelor of Science majoring in Applied Mathematics.

"I chose to study at the University of Auckland's because mathematics is ranked in the top 100 subjects worldwide, and has some of the best professors and learning environments in New Zealand.

"I'm in my third year and I decided to enrol in applied mathematics, as it will be really useful for my future career.

"One of the courses I really enjoyed was Maths 202. I made some great friends and it taught me how to be a good tutor for younger students in Maths 102.

"In terms of a postgraduate programme, I'm keeping my options open, but studying applied maths has helped grow my confidence in further study in economics or statistics.

"My time at the Univerisity of Auckland has been unforgettable."


Raina Chand, BSc, Department of Mathmatics
Raina Chand

Raina Chand

Raina Chand is studying for a Bachelor of Science conjoint Bachelor of Commerce specialising in Mathematics, Chemistry and Economics.

“I have always been a bit indecisive, so by choosing a conjoint degree around my preferred subjects, I feel like I am keeping my options open.

“I was pleased that the University of Auckland not only offered the particular papers I was interested in, it also is more recognised internationally in terms of my degree – and staying Auckland keeps my close to my family.

“So far I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University. I learn new things every day and I’ve made so many friends…at high school I was quite shy, but going to University has definitely helped me build my confidence.

“The Department of Mathematics has been very helpful. They’re always steering me in the right direction and gave me the opportunity to take tutorials for a few maths paper and mark student’s assignments.

“I haven’t thought much about the future, but I do intend furthering my studies at the University of Auckland.”


Bachelor of Science (Hons)

Daniel Hughes BSc Hons Department of Mathematics
Daniel Hughes

Daniel Hughes

Daniel Hughes is studying for a Bachelor of Science (Honours) specialising in Mathematics.

“I have always enjoyed maths, and after taking a BSc in Maths and Stats at Auckland I chose to continue my studies and do an honours year.

“My research is in lattice cryptography, which includes studying the structure of lattices (discrete mathematical objects) and their applications in cryptosystems and secret sharing.

“The rest of my degree involves studying pure maths topics such as number theory, group theory, analysis and algebra.

“My favourite thing about my programme is the interaction we have with our lecturers. Since most of our classes are quite small by this stage, our lectures are more personalised, which allows us to feel more comfortable when asking questions about the course, or our studies in general.

“I’m currently receiving the Honours Scholarship, which provides me with funding for both my fees and living expenses throughout my honours year. This has helped immensely, as it allows me to focus more on my studies, and was a great influence in my decision to stay at Auckland for my honours year.” 


Henry Wiseman, BSc (Hons), Department of Mathematics
Henry Wiseman

Henry Wiseman

Henry Wiseman is studying for a Bachelor of Science (Honours) specialising in Applied Mathematics.

“I have always loved maths from an early age. The logic required and the satisfaction that comes from solving complex problems has me hooked, so when I started looking at tertiary study maths was the obvious choice.

“I chose the University of Auckland because of its great reputation in the sciences, and maths is no exception.

“As an undergraduate student, the idea of applying the maths I was learning to real world problems increasingly appealed to me. I received a Senior Science Scholar award of $500 in my third year which helped give me the confidence to continue my studies.

“As a postgraduate I can now explore just how useful and diverse maths is. I’ve been surprised by how much different areas of maths overlap, and it’s something I’ve really enjoyed.

"Partial differential equations, time series, stochastic differential equations and numerical analysis - the wide range of courses is exciting and the reason I decided to do an Honours degree to begin with.

“Studying at a postgraduate level is an essential step towards an academic career.  It has always been my dream to complete a PhD, so if I do well enough I hope to continue down this path.”


Master of Professional Studies

Josephina Ah Sam, MProfStuds, Department of Mathematics
Josephina Ah Sam

Josephina Ah Sam

Josephina Ah Sam completed a Master of Professional Studies in Mathematics Education in 2016.

“I chose to pursue a Master of Professional Studies (MProfStuds) in Mathematics Education as I was interested in becoming a better teacher.

"I was intrigued by the literature around maths education and I wanted to refine my teaching practices so that I could become a more cultured and enlightening mathematics teacher.

“I chose to study at the University of Auckland for a number of reasons. I completed my other qualifications here, so it seemed fitting to continue my postgraduate journey here too.

"Another important factor is that it is the highest ranked New Zealand university in the main world university rankings. And lastly, it gave me the flexibility to become a part-time student so that I could incorporate what I was learning into the classroom.

“Juggling a full-time teaching career and part-time study is not easy, but my lecturers and especially my supervisor were supportive and inspiring. The journey I have taken to complete my masters has left me wanting to gain more knowledge so that I can provide a positive and successful learning environment for my students.” 


Master of Science

Naomi Gendler, MSc, Department of Mathematics
Naomi Gendler

Naomi Gendler

Naomi Gendler studied for a Master of Science specialising in Applied Mathematics.

“I completed my undergraduate degree in physics at Reed College in Oregon before applying for, and receiving, a scholarship from the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies.

“This allowed me to do my postgraduate degree in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Auckland, and I took full advantage of being here to explore New Zealand and immerse myself in a new academic experience.

“My thesis topic was Pulse Dynamics in Lasers with Saturable Absorbers.  I used powerful computational tools such as MATLAB and Matcont to simulate and analyse the dynamics of laser pulses as they propagate through complex laser systems.

“I love being able to have a visual grasp on something so intricate as laser dynamics - a lot of my work involves visually representing pulse propagation through fibres and describing how these pulses change as they do so.

“I feel the University of Auckland was the best place for me to take on another rigorous area of study as it offered me the right combination of academic and personal support.

I’m hoping to use a lot of the computational and mathematical skills I’ve learned as I jump back into physics for the long haul, and begin my PhD at Cornell University.”


Doctor of Philosophy

Lia Ji Soo Lee, PhD, Department of Mathematics
Lia Ji Soo Lee

Lia Ji Soo Lee

Lia Ji Soo Lee is studying for a PhD specialising in Mathematics.

“After completing honours and masters, I realised that what I really wanted to do was to be of help to society. I knew that studying for a PhD at the University of Auckland, amongst some of the leading mathematicians in the world, would prepare me for this.

“Having completed my undergraduate, honours and masters degrees here, I knew that studying for my PhD would equip me with the skills to help create new or enhanced technology in the medical field, or enhance the buildings in earthquake prone zones.

“I’m studying geostatistics and mathematics, and my thesis is on inverse problems and fracture models. I love knowing that what I’m studying now can be applied to the real world and that I am working on something that can actually be of help to society.

“Throughout my five years of study at the University, I’ve always felt that the lecturers here are so passionate about what they do and really care for their students. Whenever I’ve been stuck, they have always been there to support me.”