We talked to Nicolò Gusmeroli and asked him why he came from Italy to the University of Klagenfurt. He told us about his PhD programme in Technical Mathematics and the challenges and opportunities he experienced during his studies.
How do you explain to your neighbour at the garden fence what you are working on?
I explain some practical applications related to the real world, in such a way that they can understand what is mathematical optimization, e.g. if you consider a region, my job is to find the minimum removal of streets in such a way as to make two cities non-reachable by each other.
What do you know now about your research question after your doctoral thesis that you didn’t know before?
My knowledge in mathematics has increased a lot and moreover I know the academic world and the system behind it much better, which is very important when pursuing a research career.
Why did you decide to study at the University of Klagenfurt? Why did you choose Klagenfurt?
I chose Klagenfurt because of the interesting project I was invited to work in, and of course the incredibly beautiful and varied region – the mountains and the lake are fantastic.
Are there still new things for you to experience at the university?
The university always has new things to propose and to experience: courses in several disciplines, various activities with colleagues and friends.
Has your view of the world changed as a result of your studies?
I think my view of the world changed not as a result of the studies, but more as a result of my life – both within and outside the university. The colleagues I have worked with, the friends I have met and the situations I have faced have really changed me.
Why should one study here at the University of Klagenfurt?
I would highly recommend to study at the University of Klagenfurt because of the friendliness of the university’s staff, colleagues and other students. They really helped me a lot during my time here. Another very important plus is the fact that, even though I did not speak German, almost everything was manageable in English. Two other important reasons to study at the University of Klagenfurt are the lake and the mountains, that can give you lots of possibilities for having fun in the surroundings all year round.
What would be important advice for new students?
The only advice is to not give up in difficult times (e.g., Corona lockdowns). Sometimes it can be hard to live in Klagenfurt and away from home, but overall I am really happy to live here.
A few words with…Nicolò Gusmeroli
What would you be doing now, if you hadn’t become a scientist?
Probably, I would live in a small village close to my hometown, working in a bank, and without ever thinking of going to Klagenfurt.
Do your parents understand what it is you are working on?
Nope, they stopped trying to understand it five years ago! But they are happy for me, that’s important.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office in the morning? Open the windows and look at the Karawanken mountains!
Do you have proper holidays? Without thinking about your work? Sometimes, but in general I still check the emails in case something important pops up. But that is very rare.
What makes you furious?
In general, nothing! I am a calm person!
And what calms you down?
In general, I am calm but reading helps to relax me.
Who do you regard as the greatest scientist in history, and why?
There are several, but I think Aristotle, since he was one of the first that unified the sciences.
What are you afraid of?
Of injections; when they stick a needle into my body I faint.
What are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to my holidays. After the oral defense I will be needing them!!