Pranay Prathivadi

Pranay Prathivadi

Pranay Prathivadi

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Degree
  • Year commenced: 2014
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Science
  • Major(s): Mathematics

Why did you decide to study science?
A lot of disciplines and fields in academia have been studying the same material for decades, but science is ever-changing and gives students the possibility to do their own research and forge their own individual path. Studying science gave me the chance to make my own unique and significant contribution to the world.

What made you choose Monash University in particular?
Monash is home to some of the brightest and most accomplished minds in Mathematics today, and it was the chance to meet and interact with these people that drove me towards the university. Furthermore, the university's long-standing reputation of empowering and encouraging students to pursue their individual interests had always appealed to me.

What is your favourite aspect of studying science?
There are quite a few things about university life and in particular, science, that forever make me glad I ended up where I am. First and foremost, I appreciate the fact that for science students, help is always given to those who ask for it. Science subjects at Monash are immensely rewarding but also challenging, so sometimes we feel frustrated when we can't understand something. This feeling never lasts long, however, as a lecturer, tutor, fellow student or advisor is always waiting with open arms to help you. This is a faculty that helps one another out, and never leaves a fellow family member behind; we struggle and eventually succeed as one, never alone.

What do you plan to do when you graduate?
I still have a few very interesting and challenging subjects ahead, so at the moment that's what my focus is on. When I graduate, I hope to do my Honours in Mathematics, and perhaps even partake in a senior research project. Eventually, I would like to do significant research within my field and perhaps even forge my own path towards a PhD! That has always been a dream of mine, so I hope that one day I could achieve that goal.

If you were talking to a VCE student who wanted to study science but wasn't sure which university to pick, what would you tell them about Monash?
Firstly, I would congratulate them on their decision to study science! Science has already opened up a wide range of career possibilities for you, so exciting times are ahead. Now, the best decision you can make is to come to Monash! This university has resources ready for students who have interests in literally any field. We have the foremost experts in Australia for zoology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics, you name it. Monash takes a level of personal interest in its students that is not replicated by any other university, and will do everything it can to help you fulfil your ambitions. We are a community here at Monash Science, and we're always looking for new family members to come aboard.

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
Academically, I would say the highlight of my degree has been achieving a perfect score in my first Techniques for Modelling assignment. Older students had warned me that particular unit and assessment was notoriously difficult, so I was shocked and extremely proud when I found out I was one of the very few in our cohort to achieve a perfect score. It felt great to know my hard work and many late nights had paid off. In terms of non-schoolwork, I have also been a Science Peer Mentor this year, which has been very beneficial. It has been a pleasure to speak to and work with first year students who are studying Science. They mostly ask me where the best coffee on campus is, but nonetheless their enthusiasm and friendliness have made it a pleasure to help them adjust to university life and different academic requirements.

Do you have a favourite class/teacher/subject? What is it about this class/teacher/subject that you love?
To be honest, I wouldn't have had an answer to this question four weeks ago. This semester I am taking a unit titled Algebra and Number Theory, taught by Dr. Norm Do. Norm is probably the most friendly and enthusiastic lecturer I have ever met, and no doubt one of the most intelligent mathematicians in Australia. However, it is his ability to bypass his own brilliance and simplify complex concepts that makes his class so enthralling. His office hours (post-class consultation) are a chance for students to ask any questions they may have about material, and generally pick his brain. Everyone else in my class also feels this exact way, we only wish Norm taught all of our classes, not just one! To any keen Mathematics students who are considering studying at Monash, I strongly recommended taking this class, you will learn more in 12 weeks than you ever have before, and have fun whilst doing it.

What was the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?
I was lucky enough to walk into Monash having very few predictions/pre-formed conceptions about Science at university formed in my mind. I wanted to enter this part of my life with a clear mind and open eyes, and I did just that. However, for some reason I had come into university with the idea that studying science meant I was on my own, and that no matter how difficult I found the material, the idea of tertiary study was that I needed to struggle with it on my own. I quickly found out that this idea was a terrible misconception; Science at Monash is in fact all about working together! Now, I am part of organised study groups, and have no fear or hesitation in asking anybody (and just about everybody) for help!

Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities? What have you gained from these activities?
As mentioned before, this is my first year in the role of a Science Peer Mentor. In this role, we as senior students are matched up with groups of first-year students, and help integrate into university life. Whilst only in the first few weeks of the year, I've found this job extremely beneficial; it's helped me improve my speaking and communication skills, whilst also helping me feel a level of responsibility. These young students have often come up to me scared, confused or unsure of what decision to make at university, and many times just having another person to speak and voice concerns to has been everything they need. These benefits have also been further exemplified in my current role as a Science Student Ambassador. I enjoy playing some basketball and using the Monash sport facilities when I'm free, as the Monash sport staff are extremely helpful and our equipment is state of the art.

Anything else you would like to share about your Monash Science experience?
I think I can honestly say studying Science at Monash has been one of the most experiences of my life. Every day I go to bed and wake up feeling challenged, but motivated and confident that I am exactly where I'm meant to be. The Faculty of Science has given me a home for three years, and hopefully many more to come, and for this I have all the staff and fellow students to thank. Science at Monash has time for everyone, and I believe that everyone should have time for it. Come aboard, I guarantee there won't be a better decision you make in your life as a young adult. I look forward to meeting and seeing you soon around campus!