When I'm not teaching here in Edinburgh, supervising graduate students, or working on a research paper, you might find me planning a conference, organising an academic birthday celebration, giving a seminar on optimal power flow, teaching at a summer school (check out Part 1 and Part 2), or participating in a podcast.
Being the Chair of the Mathematical Optimization Society (my term is 2023 to 2025) is one way that I contribute to my profession: the Society focuses on maintaining high professional standards in the area.
The best thing about being an academic is the freedom, in terms of the research you do and how you teach and present. It's an important role, but you have tremendous freedom in the way you carry it out. And the worst thing about being an academic is also the freedom, because you usually want to do too much. It’s easy to overcommit or to become a perfectionist, because you can always improve on your current solution, so where do you stop? You have the freedom to explore the problem as deeply as you wish. The balancing act is always tricky, but in my opinion it’s a fantastic job.