# Abdullah Al‑Shaghay talks about 4th Year

# A day in the life

## Abdullah Al‑Shaghay talks about 4th Year

The really big benefit of the math program is that it teaches you critical thinking and problem solving and you can apply that to so many things outside of math.

### Discovering the theory behind the math

Abdullah Al-Shaghay’s grateful for the nudge a high school teacher gave him towards studying mathematics at university.

“My math teacher in high school had done graduate work in math and he motivated me to go into it. He told me that math in university is different from what we do in high school.”

His teacher was right – Abdullah loved to study the theory behind the computations at university.

“There’s applied math and pure math. I like pure more than the applied. There’s some courses that barely depend on computation at all. It’s almost all abstract.”

“There’s a lot more to it than just calculus and algebra. I like the varying topics and that different approaches can answer the same question and give you different insight.”

He found the leap to university-level math challenging, but the teachers were helpful and his first year course was fairly small. The program is not big, so over the last four years, Abdullah got to know everyone in his program and most of the teachers.

For instance, at the end of the every year, the Undergraduate and Graduate Mathematics Societies team up to host tutorials for first year students. Plus there’s the Resource Centre, where Abdullah works two hours a week as a tutor. He nearly lives there.

Mathematics is a discipline that lends itself to collaboration, he says. “A lot of the time I work with friends on assignments, I think of doing it one way, they think of doing it another. Both solutions work, and it opens you up to an interesting point of view from someone else.”

Abdullah eventually repaid his old math teacher by working as a tutor at his old high school. He wants to do a masters in mathematics after he graduates and maybe even become a professor.

“The really big benefit of the math program is that it teaches you critical thinking and problem solving and you can apply that to so many things outside of math” he says.