Mathematics Personal Statement
"A woman cannot become a scientist." I have heard my father say this on numerous occasions; and while my parents encouraged me in a wide variety of endeavours with the aim of raising a well-rounded individual, there was one area they did not ever encourage me to explore: dad strongly believed that science and particularly mathematics is not for women.
I enjoy private singing lessons and go to drawing studio and over the years developed ability to pay minute attention to detail and became very persistent while striving for that perfect voice modulation. I love the changing pace of playing tennis and fearlessly take on opponents twice my size in karate. During my travels I had an opportunity to better understand English, French, German and Russian culture because I could speak the local language.
And until three years ago I agreed with my dad: mathematics was boring and repetitive and not for me. But I saw mathematics through different eyes when we started studying Euclid's geometry in class. I simply fell in love with the concept of proof. I was amazed how from a few initially stipulated axioms one could develop a fairly complex, yet absolutely logical and harmonious theory.
I set out to explore my new interest in mathematics and science in the Sixth form with a balanced and ability stretching set of subjects: Physics, Pure Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Russian and English (IELTS).
Latvian and British curricula do not fully overlap, so last year was particularly challenging for me, yet I was raised not to back down from a challenge and usually excel at what I set out to achieve. In order to catch up I read all of GCSE revision guides and successfully eliminated gaps in my background knowledge. At times I was surprised that some concepts where given without proofs or explanations, so I often had to seek out specialist literature to gain a better background understanding or find proofs.
Yet, it did not stop me from being actively involved in CTC's extra-curricular life. As a founder and president of the Russian club, I enjoy teaching Russian to the beginners and maintain a study group for the advanced students preparing for the A-level exams.
In England I have discovered debating and have been an enthusiastic member of the debating society ever since I won my first debate proposing to ban Olympic Games. I love coming up with logical and creative arguments for the assertions I do not necessarily believe in and finding gaps in the opponents' reasoning.
Being a member of the Royal Institution I often find inspiration for further exploration and reading material in the lectures I attend. It is a fascinating process of discovery and I thoroughly enjoyed reading books such as "The Language of Mathematics" by Keith Devlin or "How Long Is a Piece of String?" by Rob Eastaway. I particularly enjoyed mathematical modelling of seemingly independent personal preferences, for example when choosing a seat at the cinema.
This summer I was lucky to experience first hand how statistics is applied in the real world during my work experience with Euro Capital Invest, where I was charged with meticulously collecting and preparing data for a customer research report and assisted in the analysis of the data. Although I enjoy seeing mathematics in everyday life, I am equally drawn by the obvious applicability of theoretical mechanics and the simple beauty of the very abstract rings theory.
I am applying to the university not only with the aim of mastering mathematics to the higher level, but equally in order to gain a university education in the broadest sense of the word. I look forward to meeting other like-minded students with whom I will share joys and challenges of student life and mathematic discoveries over the next four years.
This personal statement was written by lence for application in 2007.
interview : Oxford
offers: Imperial, KCL, UCL, Southampton, Reading
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