Maths at Work
Maths is all around us in our day to day life, it is an important part of a huge range of careers! Check out our local heroes below for more information on how they use maths to help them solve problems and work effectively.
If you would like to be a local hero, please click on the button on the right.
As part of Maths Week TV, Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin moderated a highly insightful careers event showcasing the many professions involving maths. Featuring a dynamic panel of speakers with representatives from:
The Central Statistics Office
Robin: Business Analyst
Hey, I’m Robin and have been working as a Business Analyst for about 7 years now.
I struggled with Maths throughout Primary and Secondary school, I loved English but Maths went over my head for a long time! I loved technology and computers and soon learnt for a BA (and most jobs involving computing), Maths is a big part of it! I love being able to dig into a dataset and pull trends and themes that help shape businesses and drive change, there’s always something to puzzle out or solve. The role of a BA is changing with new technologies and systems, there’s always more to learn and keep educating yourself! I love how Maths can be like a puzzle to solve and am fascinated with working out various measures and logic to find the solution to a problem. Even today in my job I often use the tricks and tips I learnt back then to help in my role now!
Daria: Data Scientist
Daria Alekseeva is Lead Data Scientist at Slice, Belfast.
Our customers love pizza. Our goal is to help them find their favourite one and order it quickly. By analysing data generated on web and mobile apps we can see what customers like and don’t like on our app. My job is to generate actionable insights from consumer data collected on web and mobile app platforms.
I use a logarithmic function almost every day to find anomalies in data. For example, I found a new customer who ordered 67 pizzas in 3 weeks! Can you believe that! Math and statistics techniques allow me to organise, summarise and interpret the data.
MingYang: Financial Accountant
MingYang Lu: Financial Accountant, Abbott
Having a good knowledge of maths definitely makes my work life easier as an accountant. It also helps me be more confident in what I do. It’s essential to my job to be able to calculate correctly so that I can make sure all of the accounts for our manufacturing plants are done perfectly.
Laura: Data Analyst
Laura O’Hare: Data Analyst, Vox Financial Partners
I chose to study maths because I believe it is a versatile subject which can be applied to many different careers. As a mathematician, you gain important skills such as problem-solving, analytical thinking and clearly presenting your findings with logical arguments. I decided to choose data analytics as my career because I think it is fascinating to take a real-world problem, convert it into a mathematical problem and solve it using statistical analysis and technology. I use maths every day in my job, it is more than calculating numbers.
Berwyn: Purchasing Manager
Berwyn Jones: Purchasing Manager, Encirc 650
I manage the suppliers of packaging that deliver into Encirc production sites; including plastic, cardboard, timber pallets and others. The role involves negotiating contracts with suppliers and bringing commercial value to the business by reducing our costs while maintaining quality standards. Maths is an important part of being commercially aware and plays an important role when negotiating contracts and agreeing prices with suppliers. Understanding % changes, averages, trends all supports the analysis that we need to make on stocking levels and analysing the volume of spend we have with our suppliers, both in terms of commercial value and actual volumes (e.g. kilograms and square metres).
Rachel: Cognitive Science Engineer
Rachel Heyburn works as a Cognitive Science Engineer at Aflac Northern Ireland. What that really means is that I ask lots of questions, do research, find interesting problems and identify solutions to those problems by building Machine Learning models in a programming language called Python. Aflac is a supplemental health insurance company so we get to work on some very important problems – for example, can we predict if someone is going to get seriously ill in the future? Can we predict what the best treatment is for a particular illness? It’s very enjoyable working in a job that uses Machine Learning in an ethical way to drive positive change in the world of health care.
Omar: Product Manager
Omar Reyal: Product Manager, NantHealth
Maeve: Senior Data Scientist
Maeve McAllister: Senior Data Scientist, Allstate Northern Ireland
I am a Senior Data Scientist at Allstate NI. I work within a department of data scientists who support the Allstate business, which is one of the leading insurance providers in the US. On a daily basis, I work with large amounts of data to build both predictive models and analytical solutions to inform business decisions. Mathematics is the pinnacle of my work. Studying Maths for A-Level and at university, where I gained a PhD in Applied Mathematics and Physics, has been integral to the work that I do today.
Laura: Team Lead, Accounts Payable Team
Laura: Team Lead in Abbott’s Accounts Payable Payments Team.
Working with large payment amounts and reconciling lots of details in many areas like raw materials, payroll, international suppliers etc, #IUseMaths every day to help Abbott deliver products to patients and hospitals around the world. Maths was always my favourite subject in school and every day when I use the tools I learned I am grateful that I had a wonderful teacher who always challenged me to do my best.
Roisin MaGuire: Buyer
Roisin MaGuire: Buyer, Gilbert Ash NI
I procure materials for large construction projects which can range from blocks, sand or cement to the interior aspects. It is my responsibility to ensure materials are delivered to site within the project programme and within budget. Negotiation is a huge part of my job to achieve cost savings where possible. I always had a slight interest in Maths but often struggled with certain aspects but I would definitely put more emphasis on my learning and ask for help more if I were back in school now. I was not fully aware of how useful and important it can prove to be both in everyday life and most jobs, from learning to save for a mortgage or car to making your job easier.
Gregory: Quantity Surveyor
Gregory Patton: Quantity Surveyor, Gilbert Ash NI
Rebecca: Data Scientist
Rebecca Watson: Data Scientist, Allstate Northern Ireland
Every day I use maths to predict the future. As Data Scientist, I build and develop predictive models that help us understand customers and our business at Allstate. We use complex mathematical equations to understand how likely an event is, understand images and extract important insights from text. It’s not just the mathematical methods that I learnt at school and university, it’s the problem solving skills and logical thinking that I learned too that help me to my job. Maths is at centre of so many things in our world today, from Netflix film recommendations to self-driving cars, it’s a fun time to be a mathematician.