Heather Prince is off to Princeton!
UKZN Astrophysics student Ms Heather Prince, who graduated with a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics (cum laude), leaves for Princeton University in the United States soon to pursue a PhD in Astrophysics.
Prince’s lifelong passion for science and maths has resulted in her gaining entrance into one of the most prestigious universities in the world!
She matriculated at Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School in 2009 and was among the top 10 learners in the National Senior Certificate examinations. She completed a BSc degree at Rhodes University with distinctions in Physics and Mathematics before joining the Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit (ACRU) at UKZN in 2013 for a BSc Honours degree.
Prince has worked diligently at her studies throughout her academic career and has received numerous awards including the Vincent Maphai Scholarship (awarded to the top-ranked master’s student at UKZN based on Honours results), the Rhodes University Foundation Scholarship (awarded to the top student graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from Rhodes University) and a bursary from the Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA SA) organisation.
Prince credits her master’s supervisor, Professor Kavilan Moodley, with being a huge source of support during her studies. She also expressed her gratitude to the SKA SA organisation for funding her research.
Prince believes her curious nature helped her succeed. ‘I chose astrophysics because it provides me with the satisfaction of finding solutions to unique problems. ‘I also enjoy being able to meet fascinating researchers and travelling,’ she said.
Prince leaves for Princeton University later in the year and on her return plans to follow a career in academia and research.
She had this advice for others wanting to follow her career path: ‘Choose an interesting topic. That will make the research much easier. You need to have a strong work ethic but also take time to relax!’