Abstract: Join me on a journey of rediscovery as I share my personal story of falling in and out of love with mathematics, only to find a renowned passion through the fascinating world of data science. Learn how a summer project blending math and AI became the perfect opportunity for me to delve into both fields, leading to a profound appreciation for the beauty and relevance of mathematics in the modern world.

Imagine a world where numbers are more than just symbols on a page; they’re clues in a thrilling mystery waiting to be solved. That’s the world I discovered as a child, where math was my adventure playground, full of puzzles and excitement.


However, as I entered the daunting high school years, my enthusiasm for math dimmed. The pressure of exams and the push towards more “practical” subjects made me question whether my love for math was sustainable. Was it just a childhood fantasy that would fade with time?


Fast forward to university, where I found myself studying data science. Little did I know that this decision would reignite the flames of my love for mathematics. Data science showed me the real-world applications of math, from predicting trends to analysing patterns in large datasets. Math was no longer a theoretical concept but a powerful tool with tangible outcomes.


Fuelled by this newfound passion, I decided to pursue a double degree in data science and mathematics. This decision opened a world of possibilities, allowing me to explore the intersection of these two fields, eventually leading me to a project that perfectly blended mathematics and artificial intelligence (AI). The project aimed to develop an algorithm for factorising Brauer diagrams, a complex topic with deep connections to abstract algebra and group theory. By combining elements of mathematics, such as understanding the properties of Brauer monoids, with AI techniques like reinforcement learning to efficiently factorise diagrams, it was a project that not only challenged but intrigued me, making me realise that mathematics and AI are not just fields of study but partners in innovation. They were a match made in heaven. The algorithm we developed was not just a mathematical exercise; it was a tool that could potentially revolutionise how we approach complex problems. Each line of code became a puzzle to solve, each iteration a step closer to unravelling the secrets hidden within these intricate diagrams.


As I worked on this project, I realised how far I had come on my journey. From a child who loved math to a data science enthusiast with a deep appreciation for the beauty and relevance of mathematics. This project has not only taught me valuable skills in mathematics and AI but has also shown me the importance of perseverance and passion in pursuing your dreams, particularly when it comes to research.


So, if you’re ever feeling discouraged or unsure about your path, remember that sometimes your passions can surprise you. Keep an open mind, and who knows? You might just find yourself falling in love with something you never expected. I rekindled my love for mathematics and the same can happen to you too! Take a chance in life because it will be so worth it.

Saakshi Singh
Western Sydney University

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