Published: 16 March 2018

Meet the academic: Professor Sergey Zelik

Programme Leader Professor Sergey Zelik explains how a Masters in Mathematics can open the door to a world of opportunities in research and industry.

Please could you introduce yourself – perhaps you could tell us something that isn’t on your staff profile page?

My academic career has taken me from Russia (my home country) to France and Germany before coming to the UK to take up the post of Lecturer at Surrey 11 years ago.

What’s your favourite memory of being a student?

I studied at Moscow State University as both an undergraduate and postgraduate student and it was an incredible time to be there. There were so many experts in different fields all collected in one place. Being able to walk through the corridors and meet, and speak to, these inspiring academics was a fantastic experience.

How and why did you become an academic?

For me, having thoroughly enjoyed my own studies at university, it was a natural progression. It’s always interesting to teach the next generation, to try to transmit your knowledge and passion to them and see them evolve.

What excites you most about your current role?

Conducting research, communicating with people, making connections internationally, and working with researchers and PhD students.

What is your particular area of academic expertise, and why are you passionate about it?

My research is related to partial differential equations and the analysis of these equations. We ask questions like whether or not the solution exists, and what kind of properties we may expect from these solutions. Once we have improved our understanding of the properties of these solutions, they could be useful in many different applications.

Why should people study at postgraduate level in your academic area?

Primarily because it is interesting! If you don’t find it interesting, I’d strongly recommend that you don’t study it. A Masters is necessary if you want to do effective research, whether in academia or industry. At Surrey we have several research groups – in areas such as dynamical systems, geometry and mass biology – and by doing a Masters you are able to explore these areas further through research projects.

What are you looking for in a postgraduate student?

First and foremost to be really interested in the subject.

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