Chao Qin

Chao Qin

Chao Qin’s leap to study abroad has set him up for a successful career in mathematics.

Chao Qin

Encouraged by his grandfather, a university professor at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in China, to pursue overseas study, Chao enrolled in a Bachelor of Science at the University of Waikato at 21.

He stayed in New Zealand for nine years as he went on to receive his First Class Honours and PhD in Mathematics where he and Associate Professor Daniel Delbourgo researched the non-commutative Iwasawa theory.

Chao has since returned home to China and is currently working as an Associate Professor at Harbin Engineering University.

“I wouldn’t have got this job without the days I spent at Waikato,” Chao, 33, says.

“I really enjoyed my time at Waikato; my studies helped me decide that mathematics research would be my future.”

There is a strong employer demand for mathematicians in New Zealand due to a shortage of mathematician graduates, particularly teachers.

At first, Chao struggled to balance his study with the “relaxed Kiwi lifestyle” he loved so much. Alongside his full-time study and new-found social life, Chao also juggled parenthood and part-time work in Hamilton before becoming a tutor at the University.

“It was a relaxed Kiwi lifestyle with a formal work ethic, it was great. I would get sushi by the lake for lunch and play basketball in the gym.”

He fondly remembers the maths department providing beers and chips after research seminars.

“I missed home, of course, I flew home a few times in my first couple of years before my wife and kids came over during my postgraduate study.”

The computing facilities at Waikato are among the best in New Zealand, ranging from phones and tablets for mobile application development to cluster computers for massively parallel processing.

Chao recommends the University of Waikato to others.

“Hamilton is a good place to study; I recommend young students consider overseas study as I did.”

Chao Qin