Gabriel Campbell, Java Developer

Name: Gabriel Jeremiah Campbell

Job Title: Java Developer

Organisation: Imperial Corporation , South Africa

Number of years in current position: 2 years

Qualifications: MPhil in Mathematics (I’m currently a student on this course)
B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics (National University of Science and Technology Bulawayo Zimbabwe)
Received First Class Honours

What stimulated your interest in maths, and when?
My interest in maths was stimulated at the age of 10. I had a love for numbers, and in later years it grew into a passion where I enjoyed reading the conic sections of Euclidean geometry and when I read non-Euclidean geometry I saw true beauty. I guess maths is a reflection of thought understanding and imagination. Also I love Fermat and his work. This is just a person I was inspired by at the age of 16.

What influenced your career choice?
I like computers, and the relationship they have to Mathematics is wonderful; the way the laws are applied, and the same thought manifests itself in both fields. Also Mandelbrot (IBM) was an inspiring factor as someone who worked in both fields.

Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for?
Software Development Division of Imperial we deal with software for all the logistics requirements of moving fruit and perishables from South Africa to Europe and the rest of the world. Our software deals with the accounting side, wireless communication side and all the various parts for the transportation, importation and exportation of goods.

How relevant was your subject of study in securing your current job?
Very relevant there is a lot of mathematical thought and discipline to our system as well as computer science. We use some operations research methodology in optimizing the way movement of pallets are created and controlled. My computer studies have helped me optimize and enhance the speed at which the application runs and operates.

How did you get your current job & what were the steps you took from graduation?
I did a degree in Applied Mathematics with a large section in Computer Science. While working as a teaching assistant at the university I continued with computer science teaching. My main stream language is Java. My general interest and love for computers and programming helped gain a deep knowledge in the field.

Could you explain what you do on an average day at work & what you like most about your job?
A typical day would involve looking at the number of calls(these are bugs or enhancements that exist within the system) then I start by trying to solve them. The calls can be technical in their nature or business logic might be at fault. Hence I sometimes consult the seniors and then proceed to make modifications to the faulty application.

What do you like most about your job?
Being able to apply the same thought process that Mathematics encompasses to Computing as part of my job brings me great joy.

Which skills do you consider to be essential for your job?
Programming and with it understanding Mathematics as algorithms are an essential part.

Is there any advice you may have for other individuals considering your career path?
Try it! I think there is great scope for Mathematicians in the world of computing. Being at a stage where the demand for technology is so high, I think an even greater number will enter and embrace this and even combine these two fields in higher studies and/or research.

What are your future career plans?
I would like to be a software architect in Java. I would also like to take my game/graphics programming to a professional level, as at the moment it is a personal passion.

What do you think about the IMA?
I think it’s a professional association that helps recent Mathematics graduates. It forms a bridge and makes the reality of Maths clear to young Mathematicians, as well as mathematics theory. Hence it is a place to find friends and not be too technical unlike some of the other associations.

Would you like to join the IMA? If so why?
I will join. It is a very interesting place and there is so much to learn from others about the profession world and it gives ideas on areas of postgraduate study.

How did you find out about the IMA?
On the Internet (and through Facebook). I also search Mathematics sites like “Epsteins Geometry Junk yard”. For my MPhil studies I looked at linear algebra journals and so I came across the IMA.

What do you think about the IMA Facebook group?
It’s Great! Facebook is proving to be a powerful source of uniting peers with common goals who can share visions and understanding of their professions across different international and cultural boundaries. Through the IMA Facebook groupI have met many Mathematicians and have enjoyed their company and ideas.