John O’ Sullivan:
Climate Researcher


Your name?
John O’ Sullivan

Your job title?

PhD student in Statistical Climatology, focusing on climate extremes, based at UCD.

Where did you study?

B.A. in Maths from Trinity College, Dublin and an M.Sc. in Meteorology and Climatology from University College Dublin

Tell us how you use maths in your everyday job.

I research how climate extremes in Ireland (temperature, precipitation and winds) might change in the future, both by studying how they’ve changed in the past and by using complex computer simulations of future climates. This involves, for example, using statistics of data collected at different points in time and space, integration to evaluate areas under probability functions, physics to understand the underlying drivers of our climate, algebra to simplify some of the functions for computer processing, and geometry of two- and three-dimensional surfaces to interpolate the results.

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

Talk to your career guidance counsellor about possible careers involving maths. Research all your options for third-level study. Choose your course first rather than choosing a college! And most importantly, study and do your homework – it really makes a big difference when you come to do your final exam!

Maths in the Curriculum

Algebra, Calculus, Statistics and Geometry are major components within the strands of mathematics curriculum in secondary level.Physics and Applied Maths are separate subjects at leaving certificate level.