Cathal Cummins:
Applied Mathematician


Your name?
Cathal Cummins

Your job title?
Applied Mathematician



What type of maths do you use in your job?

My work concerns the motions of uids so I mainly use Calculus. Some of the equations that I end up with can run on for a long time, so I need to use Algebra to simplify them so that they can t on a page sometimes! Because I need to calculate distances, I use quite a bit of Co ordinate Geometry too.

Where did you study?

BSc Mathematical Physics (UCD),
MSc Mathematical Modelling (UL),
PhD in Applied Mathematics (UL)

How you use maths in your everyday job?
I look at how fluids flow in all sorts of different ways: from bouncing rain-drops on your car windscreen to sinking bubbles in a pint of Guinness. The simple part is writing down the equations that describe the fluid motion: the
hard part is figuring out how to solve them. Each problem requires a different mathematical technique to solve it, and choosing the right technique can be the most challenging part at times.

What advice would you give to those whom are studying maths?

Mathematics is the glue that sticks so many scientific disciplines together;the skills that you’ll gain through studying it will stand to you no matter where you go. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something doesn’t make sense to