RPM Global intern - Johnathan Geddes

When I chose to do a mathematics degree, I wasn’t really sure what direction to go in (other than having fantasies of proving the Riemann Hypothesis!). I certainly have enjoyed studying the deeper meanings in pure mathematics, but I was never really sure I wanted to be an academic. Working as an intern for RPM Global (a multinational mining software and consulting company) over summer of 2017/2018 has shown me that there is more to mathematics than just theorems and proofs, and given me the direction that I want to take my career in. Xecute is RPM Global’s ultra short term mine planning tool. Basically it is responsible for scheduling the optimum locations for the equipment to mine over the next few shifts.

My project was to create a viewer for Xecute that would run on an iPad, with a cool augmented reality mode to project the plans onto scenery in the real world. While this sounds like an easy enough project, it actually involved translating the data from RPM’s own 3D engine into Unity3D. One of the particular problems I had to solve was splitting up a general polygon into triangles when only given the vertices. So while the internship had a very heavy software focus, the problem solving skills learned from a mathematics degree certainly give a competitive edge.

I would highly recommend applying for the summer internship program. There is bound to be a project that will cater to your interests. The real icing on the cake is also taking SCIE3255 and gaining academic credit. That’s one less exam I’ll be worrying about!

It is safe to say that being involved in a summer internship was probably the best decision that I have ever made, and it lead to probably the most interesting summer I have ever had. If anything you gain industry connections and experience that purely studying at UQ cannot give.