I completed a four year MMath degree at Durham University, and graduated in the summer of 2014. During my time there, I studied a variety of modules from many areas within Mathematics, and quickly found that my particular interests lie within Statistics.
The title of my fourth year project was 'A Statistical Look at the Origin of Hotspots', which involved applying statistical methods to a problem from outside Mathematics. In Earth Science, there are two opposing theories about where volcanic activity near the Earth's surface originates: the 'Plate Hypothesis' and the 'Plume Hypothesis'. The purpose of my project was to investigate whether there is statistical evidence for one of these over the other.
Click here to see a copy of the poster I produced as part of my project.
A paper which is partly based on the work carried out during the project has been submitted to the 'Don L Anderson Honor Volume'. More information about the status of the paper is available here.
Over the summer of 2013, I completed an eight week internship at STOR-i, during which I undertook a project entitled 'A study of the air quality of major cities in China'. This involved using Extreme Value Theory and other statistical techniques to investigate data relating to two particles in the air that are particularly linked with pollution, and have been shown to have a detrimental effect on an individual's health if inhaled in high quantities.
Each day, the Chinese government and the US Embassy in Beijing release air pollution data that can be accessed by the public on sites like Twitter, so that they can decide whether or not it is safe to spend a large amount of time outside on any given day. One of the first things I investigated during the project was whether or not there is any discrepancy between the data being released by the two organisations.
Having decided that there was no significant difference between the data from the two sources, I was able to look at other interesting characteristics of the data, such as whether a high level of a particular particle in one city implies that there will also be a high level of the same particle elsewhere.