Master of Science (Research) student
Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences in Applied Mathematics and Astronomy
He has always been interested in astronomy, says Axl Floyd Rogers who studied a Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences in Applied Mathematics and Astronomy at AUT.
“I’m fascinated by the mysteries of the cosmos and have long felt a pull towards a career in astrophysics.”
Deciding where to study was easy, Axl says.
“AUT has the first radio astronomical institute in New Zealand: the Institute for Radio Astronomy and Space Research, which was founded in 2004 to provide astronomy and physics research collaborations with countries all around the world. I also appreciated that AUT has two radio telescopes at the Radio Astronomy Observatory in Warkworth.”
A journey to the stars
Studying astronomy will provide you with the tools to understand and study the universe, Axl says.
“I would recommend studying astronomy to all those who look up at the night sky and find themselves filled with a deep sense of wonder, to those who wish to learn about the to-and-fro of celestial objects, and to those who have a curious mind and a passion for astronomy. AUT has an array of excellent and inspiring astronomy lecturers who will assist you along the journey to the stars.”
While he’s had many highlights throughout his studies, Axl says the research project in the final year of the bachelor's degree was his favourite experience.
“My final-year research project was an opportunity to apply all the skills I learned throughout my degree, focused around an area of research of my choosing. This entailed long hours, hard work and learning a few new skills along the way, but proved extremely rewarding and beneficial. Throughout this project I worked under the supervision of an esteemed and admired lecturer, Dr Willem van Straten, who aided me with his support and encyclopaedic knowledge.”
Vital postgraduate study
After completing his bachelor’s degree in mid-2018, Axl is now enrolled in a Master of Science (Research).
“In the bachelor's degree, you learn a vast number of skills that will be useful in the future, either for work, study or further research. For me, postgraduate study is a chance to take all those skills and use them to master my passions and field of expertise.
“I’m currently studying papers on advanced astrophysics, advanced analytics, data warehouse, data mining and machine learning. Next semester, I’ll be focusing on my dissertation.”
Eventually he would like to complete a PhD in astrophysics.
“After completion of my master’s degree, I aim to go on to do a PhD in astrophysics. My goal is to be an astrophysicist working on research projects with likeminded people all over the world. “