Patrycja Jaros met professor Tomasz Kapitaniak, head of the Department of Dynamics in the Faculty of mechanical Engineering, when she was still a mathematics student in the Faculty of Technical Physics, Information Technology and Applied Mathematics. The professor was her diploma thesis supervisor.
It was all possible because students from various faculties were allowed to pursue their diploma projects under the scientific guidance of professor Kapitaniak, the TEAM programme director, and other researchers who were involved in the programme, Patrycja Jaros, a PhD student in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering explains.
Professor Tomasz Kapitaniak specializes in theoretical and applied mechanics, and dynamics. His research interests also include nonlinear systems, chaos, and chimeras.
What are chimeras and what do they have to do with chaos? You can see them on the rooftops of medieval churches and Chinese palaces. They are these weird creatures whose upper body is of one animal, while its lower body of a totally different beast. If you observe a number of identical coupled metronomes, you will notice that some of them have synchronized, while the behaviour of others is asynchronous. This is exactly what chimera states in coupled dynamical systems are like, professor Kapitaniak answered.
In her research, Patrycja Jaros tries to fathom and describe chimera states. To this end, she uses computer simulations and performs tests with mechanical systems. Her background in mathematics really comes in handy in her research work. Discovering different kinds of chimera states in networks of coupled pendulums is the topic of her doctoral dissertation the defense of which is scheduled at the beginning of October.
The young scientist's work also involves teaching. She is of the opinion that female students tend to surpass male students in technical studies. At least in technical mechanics, which is a course that I teach, because they simple care more about how well they do, Patrycja Jaros explains. Asked about her preferences as far as the choice of a field of study goes, she said, If you like science, any field offered by technical universities may be of interest. You don't need to be a huge fan of mechanics to choose the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. You will learn everything you need to know once you're there.
Patrycja Jaros is a winner of this year's Foundation for Polish Science START scholarship.