Thomas hancock

Thomas Hancock

Why did you choose to study for a PhD at the University of Leeds?

I wanted to use what I’d learnt in my undergraduate degree (Mathematics), but was interested in behaviour- how and why people make choices and do the things they do! A PhD in choice modelling perfectly combined these two things and I believed the best place to do study choice modelling was at Leeds University.

What is it like being a postgraduate research student at the Institute for Transport Studies?

It’s great- we have a really nice refurbished building with very good facilities for PhD students. Whilst having hot-desking might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I believe it works really well at ITS as it means we all see each other every day which promotes a sense of community as well as being convenient for discussing work- we can meet easily and go into one of the many meeting rooms.

What is the best part of being at ITS?

Being involved in the wide variety of research going on both within the choice modelling group and across the ITS as a whole.

Tell us about your research.

Models used in choice modelling often do not incorporate results from research done in behavioural economics. My research involves bridging the gap between these disciplines by using models from mathematical psychology (which are often created specifically to explain results from behavioural economics) in choice modelling.

What activities do you take part in outside of your studies?

I play a lot of football with different groups of PhD students/academics from across the University.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I’ve really enjoyed doing my PhD so far so at this point I’d like to stay in academia.

Any advice for prospective students?

Find something that you find interesting and also enjoy learning about. Being a student involves a lot of work so it’s going to be tough if you find it dull or uninspiring!