So the model developed by researchers depicts realistically how sure people are of the different properties of real matters. 'I would that such thinking were more common: we don't just discuss the average person, we acknowledge there are differences, and take it into account when reaching decisions. That way, things can be modeled in a more useful manner.'
The researcher gets to tell something new about the world
Even though Sundin was fond of mathematics already as a child, and it comes naturally to her to see the world via mathematical thinking, art held a big role in her life, especially when she was young.
As a schoolgirl, she played the piano, sang in a choir, read books and attended art school. Now, she is into yoga, air acrobatics and camping. A researcher can be interested in many things, and creativity, for example, helps at work, too. "When you e.g. make posters for a conference, it is very useful if you can do some of the visual elements yourself."
The antics of engineering students were something Sundin grew up with. Both her parents graduated from the Helsinki University of Technology, and the family always celebrated First of May with parents’ college pals. All the adults sported the traditional tassel caps of engineering students. So engineering studies came naturally. "The degree of an engineer is really well-rounded and offers a good start. You can choose to be a researcher, industrial work or pretty much anything."
Sundin completed her Master’s in Automation and System Technology. Although she never fancied herself a researcher, her interest in it was kindled when she was working on her dissertation. Sundin was modeling the properties of a drop of fluid on different surfaces.
Research offered a way to bring received mathematical ways of thinking and skills into the real world, and to tell something about that world. "I realized it was such great fun that I rather do more of the same."
"You succeed at work if you are open"
Sundin says she sometimes imagined researchers worked alone in their chambers. That is no longer the case, anyway. "You succeed better at work is you are open, socially adept and like to travel to conferences and network with the people there."
It is crucial for a doctoral student to possess the wish and motivation to understand things. The point of further studies is to delve into one fairly narrow area of learning very profoundly, something which can be demanding. Therefore, it is important to have tenacity and the ability to stick to it. "It is needed, if you want to make it to the end."
Even though Sundin has hitherto worked in basic research, she feels the methods developed need to be taken to a practical level, once the foundation laid by basic research is robust enough.
In the future, she hopes to apply what she has learned and continue work for the benefit of people and also the environment. "I hope to work at some Finnish institute doing research that help Finland make smarter decisions when it comes to the environment."