Growing up, I always told people I preferred Maths over English at school, because I liked ‘knowing if I was right or wrong’. How could maths be creative in any sense? I liked being able to get a tick from my teacher telling me I did a great job. And while getting a cross wasn’t the greatest feeling, I could find out exactly what I did wrong and work on it for next time. English made me want to rip my hair out coming up with the best way to phrase something, only for the teacher to comment that my ‘expression was clunky’. Maths had a set process and that made me happy.

Until I realised it didn’t! Progressing my passion for maths into a higher level has shown to me that maths is not a set process. Yes, there are set steps to solving certain questions, but the ways in which we approach these problems in the real world offers a creative aspect to maths that I had never seen before. And now, looking back, I realise that it’s been like this all along. Everyone processes maths in different ways, whether that’s learning new concepts, approaching problems, or even explaining it to others.

Getting to work on this project over summer has allowed me to further explore this creative side of mathematics. We had goals but there was no one set way I could reach them. Trial and error was key and developing new tools to solve problems will allow me to tackle more tasks in the future. Furthermore, presenting high level information in a digestible way to audiences is an incredibly important skill, and I was able to practice this a lot through AMSI Connect. I cannot wait to continue my journey into the research field and deepen my creativity through mathematics.

Joshua Roebuck
Queensland University of Technology

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