Dr Anja Slim

Monash University


Dr Edward Hinton

The University of Melbourne

We talk to Dr Edward Hinton and Dr Anja Slim about the big mathematical questions they wish to explore and how they benefit society, as well as what students can hope to take away from their topic at the AMSI Summer School.

1. What drives your interest in this field?

Edward: I really like solving mathematical problems but I’m also interested in classical physics and fluid dynamics provides a great opportunity to combine the two (each can inform the other), whilst working on exciting real-world challenges.

Anja: My driving passion is wanting to understand the geological world and I find it very satisfying when a phenomenon can be modelled in a mathematically justifiable way with a reduced model that in turn has an analytical solution.

2. What are the next interesting “big questions” or challenges you hope to tackle?

Edward: There are many exciting questions around inverse problems with ice sheets that I’m interested in. For example, what can we learn about basal sliding and ice rheology by observing its flow over time?

Anja: There are lots of interesting and fundamental mathematical modelling questions related to how various metal ores formed, where we should look for them and how we can extract them with least damage to the environment. The answers could have a significant impact on exploration and mining for the critical metals we will need for a low-carbon future.

3. What do you consider your biggest achievement to date? (in particular real-world impacts or innovation contributions)

Anja: I spent three years in industry modelling what would happen to carbon dioxide stored underground. I’m proudest of some of the work I did there both for its rigour and its societal value. Some of it even found its way into a patent!

4. If not mathematics research, what would have been?

Edward: I enjoy working with my hands and seriously considered becoming a dentist for much of my late teens.

5. Deepening field knowledge and providing a networking platform, why are opportunities such as AMSI Summer School so valuable? What do you hope attendees take from your lectures?

Anja: I hope attendees take away an appreciation for the combined beauty and usefulness of modelling in geology and an idea of some currently relevant problems!

6. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?

Edward: Dorset’s Jurassic coast on a sunny day is spectacular.

Dr Edward Hinton and Dr Anja Slim will be presenting the topic Geological Fluid Dynamics at the 2022 Summer School hosted by University of Technology Sydney in January.

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