Nicole Darman: Astrophysics

I am in charge of building a community of mathematics teachers who want to change the way maths is taught in schools.

"I have always been interested in maths and physics, especially what goes on in space. This is what led me to pursue a Masters in Physics and focus my research on the detection of gravitational waves. I really enjoyed how well-rounded my experience was. Not only did I get to study in a field that excites me, but I also got to experience so much more in terms of social activities, teaching, outreach and event planning which has helped me land my dream job!"

It is an exciting time to be studying physics in the 21st century: it is an enabling science that expands our knowledge of the universe and underpins new technologies that benefit our society. The School of Physics is well established and is internationally respected for its research excellence, broad-based undergraduate courses, and a challenging and rewarding postgraduate experience.

The School has strengths in the exploration of matter and light interactions, particularly in advanced materials utilising diamond and silicon, quantum information science, photonics, advanced electron microscopy, nanoscale imaging, nanoelectronics, all the way down to the single atom and photon. Working closely with the Australian Synchrotron, the School hosts the Centre for Coherent X-Ray Science, and the Victorian node of the Centre for Quantum Computer Technology.

"Studying at the University of Melbourne was a huge achievement for me. People from my home town aren't known for going off to university to study high level topics like astrophysics, so it was nice to be with like-minded people who were also approachable and fun. I also felt like I was part of a community of people that I can still call upon to this day for advice, employment opportunities or just to catch up.

I am currently the Director of Engagement at a maths education company called Maths Pathway. I am in charge of building a community of mathematics teachers who want to change the way maths is taught in schools. As part of this, I schedule and organise all events, run the social media campaigns, partake in marketing projects and help structure the administration within the company."

This article originally appeared in Meet our Students on the Faculty of Science website.

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