Making an impact

Hayley Tomkins, Mathematics (Honours)

When Hayley Tomkins found out she had received the Faye Sobey Undergraduate Research Award, she knew a full summer of eye-opening experiences was ahead. But she didn’t know how much of an impact her research experience would have on her.  

“I’ve gained skills that wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t take part in this research. It’s had an impact on my overall passion for mathematics and the significance of what we learn in the classroom,” says Hayley. “I’ve gained a better understanding of how the concepts are applied in the real world. Research has added a layer of excitement and curiosity for course work.”

Hayley says the ability to take part in research and have independence, while working with other students and researchers, has helped her grow as a student and as a communicator, skills she says will be extremely beneficial to her as she moves forward in her education and explores graduate school.

“I had a lot more freedom and ultimately got to see where my own ideas can take me. My ideas are more substantial than I thought; I feel like I can make major contributions in the field of mathematics,” says Hayley. “I’ve also learned to be self-motivating and have the confidence to bring my ideas forward. As I consider graduate work, I realize how invaluable my summer has been.

“I feel very grateful that I received this award; it’s a terrific asset to students. This award could be providing an opportunity for someone who will go on and push the boundaries of science and make a large discovery. It gives me the confidence that it could be me some day.”