Cong Shi: PhD at the University of Vienna
My name is Cong Shi, and I come from China. Starting from October of 2013, I am a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Otmar Scherzer at the Computational Science Center in the University of Vienna.
Our group is very big, including researchers in Vienna and Linz, in Austria. The atmosphere between colleagues is very nice. We are not only colleagues but also close friends, and everyone is very patient to help others to solve problems, including research problems and problems in daily life.
Every week we have a group seminar and a program seminar, where people talk about what they are doing recently and exchange new ideas. My supervisor invites many well-known professors to visit our group, who give us a chance to broaden our horizons. Students are very active to discuss problems, because our offices are next to each other, and everyday in the corridor you can hear discussions about mathematical problems. In the whiteboards on the corridor, you can see notices for upcoming conferences, workshops and summer-schools, but also some calculations.
Another good thing is that we have a rehearsal talk before someone’s talk in a conference, and this is good because we get suggestions from other colleagues to improve the quality of the slides. People in our group are generally hard-working, everyday most of us go to the office very early, like 8:30 in the morning, and leave very late, someone once left at midnight. Some of us even work during weekends. Of course, in addition to working hard, we also know how to relax: every year we have 2 big activities, one is before Christmas, we eat, drink and chat in a restaurant. The other one is at the beginning of July, we go hiking, to enjoy the landscape in the mountain and then a big meal is waiting for us at the foothills.
For my research, I am part of a large project which is funded by FWF-Austrian Science Fund. It is a cooperation with the Technical University of Vienna. The project consists of 12 professors and 12 PhD students. This gives me a chance to know more professors in other topics. My current research topic is Photoacoustic tomography considering attenuation which, unlike traditional CT, is still a mathematically active part in imaging science.
In summary, after I came to Vienna, I gradually realized I achieved a lot from many aspects. Our group provides me a great platform to do cutting-edge research and meet some famous professors in our area. It is really a great opportunity for me to learn new things including research knowledge and new culture, and also meeting new friends. I enjoy the life here very much!