From maths to pranks: The 2018 MSI honours cohort

14 December 2018

When the entire maths department moved from John Dedman to the new Hanna Neumann Building in July 2018, no one could have predicted that this building would host one of the most notable honours cohorts in recent times at MSI.

Jack Brand, Hugh Cooney, Shilu Feng, Adele Jackson, Samuel Yang-Zhao, Kyle Steemson, Wenqi Zhang, Kyle Broder and 2018 University Medal winner Jane Tan have all successfully graduated from the MSI honours program this year and the future is looking bright for these new mathematicians.

For most of them, postgraduate studies are in their plans, but for recent graduates such as Kyle Steemson, the goal is to use their skills to teach maths to high school students. For others, like Hugh Cooney who has a double major in Maths and Japanese, their plan includes improving their language skills as part of a Masters in the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2019.

Moving to the Hanna Neumann building has had a big impact on the group. As Kyle says, “having a desk here, with your friends in the same building as your supervisor, makes everything easy. It’s a nice place to come and work.”

The building move has also improved their honours experience at MSI. As Kyle continues “the staff at MSI are happy if you knock on their door. There’s no hierarchy; we all sit together at lunch and that’s really nice. The building has really helped create a culture of cooperation amongst peers.”

But it’s not all just work. Inspired by the TV show The Office, Christopher and Kyle started taking items off their friends’ desks items and encasing them in jelly. “It started with Christopher’s Pokémon cup, then moved to Jane’s Tic-Tac container and ended with one of our friends’ mugs.’

On behalf of the staff at MSI we wish them all the best in their future endeavours, whether it’s in maths or jelly making.