Being a Professional Mathematician

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Sue Merchant

"An ability to empathise with the client"

One of a series of interviews with professional mathematicians

mp4 file (audio and pictures) mp3 file (audio only)

Sue Merchant

Sue Merchant is an independent management consultant. She is a past President of the Operational Research Society and Vice-President elect of the International Federation of OR Societies (IFORS). "Factors essential to survival as a working mum include a hugely supportive family, painstaking organisation and helpful bosses."

She talks about:

  • her career in operational research (at time 0:10)
  • how she describes herself professionally (1:17)
  • the skills needed by mathematicians in her field (1:45)
  • the characteristics of a mathematician (3:08)
  • the credentials needed by a practitioner (3:35)
  • the support available to operational research professionals (4:36)
  • how she disseminates her work (5:40)
  • working on her own and with others (7:06)
  • obstacles she has faced in her career (8:07)
  • the challenges faced in returning to work after maternity leave (9:02)
  • role models (11:30)


The OR Society

The International Federation of OR Societies (IFORS)

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This project was supported by the MSOR Network, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and the Universities of Greenwich and Birmingham as part of the National HE STEM Programme and was completed in May 2012. 

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