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Leighton Regayre

MSc Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?
I came to England from Australia about ten years ago and I have trained as a maths teacher here in the UK. I decided to develop myself by enrolling on an MSc and sought a cross-curricular programme. The MSc in Atmosphere-Ocean dynamics seemed like an interesting application of mathematics. Also the university has a well established relationship with the met office, which gives the course greater credibility. After the Masters I want to go onto do a PhD but I am not sure yet whether I want to do that in Maths or in Earth and Environment as both of those interest me.

What is the long-term goal? To go into academia?
When I started on this Masters I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go into academia but now I have read some research papers and completed a literature review, I’ve found it to be quite stimulating. There’s a lot going on in the academic world which is new and cutting-edge. Progress is made faster than I’d imagined and there are developments in this field which are exciting and surprising.

What made you decide to study for this course in particular?
I had a good look around at UK universities to see what PhDs were available and it was the fact that this was an inter-disciplinary Masters, which was of interest to me and the fact that it uses Maths in an applied way to study real world phenomena, which motivated me to choose this programme. At the time I was thinking about it, I would have applied for environment-related Masters but the chance of me being accepted onto one of them with a Maths background was quite unlikely. So this was perfect really as it might allow me to change direction and broaden my expertise.

How have you found being based in two Schools?

It’s been no problem really. We don’t get the same information from the School of Earth and Environment as we do from Maths as we are registered as students in the School of Maths. Also, there are some really interesting seminars which take place on Monday afternoons, organised by the Maths department to be at a time when there are no Maths lectures, but we have a two hour lecture slot in Earth and Environment. There are opportunities for communication to improve which would make the experience better, but overall there’s a good harmony between the two schools.

How do you find the lecture content?
It is really coming together brilliantly between the Maths’s department’s Hydro-dynamic Stability course and the more general applications in the Earth and Environment’s atmospheric course. In Earth and Environment we really get to see how concepts can be applied to the atmosphere and ocean, and then in the maths lectures we get the more rigorous formulation of the concepts.

So what really interests you about this course and mathematics in general?

It’s the application really. You can see exactly the results of what you are studying and you can walk around in the world with that filter on your perception, seeing the world in the context of what we are studying.
What do like best about the School of Mathematics?
The lectures are awesome. The quality of the lecturers is usually outstanding. We have really dynamic and stimulating lecturers. They make themselves available outside of lectures. I have made appointments to see them and they clearly want to help, which is great. There is also a good bunch of students around. Masters students on other courses are all friendly.