Tommaso Benacchio,
BMS Phase II student,
MSc Politecnico di Milano

The most fascinating aspect of mathematics, for me, is its power to describe the behavior of natural processes from a formal point of view. One example can be found in numerical analysis and its applications to atmospheric modelling, a topic I was introduced to during my Master's thesis. It was then that I learned about a PhD project at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics research group at FU Berlin and the BMS.

Since my very first day in Berlin, the BMS provided me with invaluable help. Their experience with international students helped to speed up the initial steps to settle down and ease my day-to-day self-management. They offer funding for travel, which contributed to important networking opportunities. The regular BMS Fridays feed my creativity as I share views and experiences about new challenges posed by striving to achieve breakthrough knowledge.

In the first three semesters, I organized seminars and tutorials for a diverse audience of graduate students. This strengthened my mathematical background and stimulated new ideas about my project's physical applications. I attended well-structured BMS seminars on presentation skills and job applications, where I learned to develop my assertiveness and other key skills for my future career.

I also took an active role as a student delegate in the recent successful renewal application for funding of the BMS by the German Research Foundation. In my involvement, I have gained useful insight into the mechanisms of the grants system, a fundamental component of modern science. The flourishing activity of science and applied mathematics in Berlin and the vibrant, cosmopolitan character of this city makes this place not only my new home, but also an appealing place in which I can develop and follow both my professional and personal interests.

published in August 2012

Update 2015: Tommaso works as a research scientist at Met Office, Exeter.