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School of Mathematics

School of Mathematics

Blog for the School of Mathematics community

Alumni Stories: Kieran Dewar

Photo of Kieran wearing a blue shirt, leaning on a railing. Text reads: Alumni Stories, Kieran Dewar, Python Developer, MMath Mathematics

Kieran shares how his study abroad year broadened his knowledge and helped him become more adaptable in new situations.


Programme MMath Mathematics
Year of graduation 2018
Job title Python Developer
Industry Software Engineering
Home country France / Scotland


Why did you decide to study at the University of Edinburgh?

When I was applying, I had an opportunity to visit various universities. When I came to Edinburgh, I went to the King’s Buildings campus and had a chat with some of the academics there. One of the lecturers I spoke to was doing some really interesting statistics research in the field of criminal prosecutions, which really sparked my interest in studying Mathematics at Edinburgh.

I was particularly interested in both Maths and Physics, and I was attracted by the opportunity to be able to take optional Physics courses during the MMath degree. The opportunity to study abroad in my third year also really appealed to me as this was something I’d always wanted to do.

Can you tell us about your year abroad?

In my 3rd year I went to Canada to study at the University of Toronto. I knew I wanted to go to a university in North America and there was a wide range of options for studying abroad in various countries.

It was a great year for me and it really pushed me out of my comfort zone. Adjusting to a new place helped me become more adaptable and I made so many new friends from different countries, many of whom I still keep in touch with now. I was also able to take different courses that I really enjoyed that I wouldn’t have done at Edinburgh, which broadened my knowledge.

Can you tell us about your career so far after graduating?

I’ve had two jobs since I graduated. The first was at the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL), working in AI and Maths research. I worked on the development of signal processing, data processing and machine learning tools, and during this experience I realised writing software was the part of the job I enjoyed the most.

I then took up a new role at Global as a Python Developer on the Global Player app and website. We provide lots of different content such as radio, podcasts and videos and my role involves ensuring all of the data needed to interact with this content is available across our different platforms (e.g. Android, iOS, web, smart speakers, Apple TV etc.).

What do you enjoy the most and find most challenging about the role?

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the results of your work instantly and seeing features that you helped design being used by millions of people. One of the most difficult parts is making sure you get the design right, particularly on apps, as changes you make can stay on an app for a while. It’s important to make sure you’ve gone through the necessary processes to make sure everything is right, which can be challenging.

What did you gain from your time at the University and were there any experiences during your time at University which particularly helped prepare you for life after graduation?

The computing courses in the School of Mathematics were really helpful. I wasn’t as interested in computing before taking these courses but the academics made it engaging by using real world examples.

Outside of my course I was involved in the Hyped Society, working with other students from other Schools in the College of Science and Engineering on a hyperloop project. This was really interesting being able to apply my maths knowledge to a real-life challenge, and was a great opportunity to meet people on other programmes too.

Do you have any highlights or a favourite memory of your time at university?

My year abroad was definitely my highlight – it was amazing to have the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary, experience a different university and country, and get exposure to different areas of maths. It was something I always wanted to do and I’m so glad I took the opportunity.

Did you use any of the support services on offer?

I met with a Careers Consultant in the School of Mathematics, and we talked about my motivation behind why I was interested in the jobs I was applying for, which really helped me figure out what I wanted to do. It gave me the reassurance that you’re not expected to know everything when you go into a new job, and that it’s more important you have the right attitude and are willing to learn.

What advice would you give future students who are considering studying Mathematics at Edinburgh?

One of the best things about Edinburgh is that it’s so flexible – there’s a wide range of optional courses you can take. I would recommend trying courses that you might not necessarily be as familiar with, but you think sound interesting. If you enjoy it, the rest will follow. Don’t limit yourself and stay open-minded to opportunities!




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