Mathematics Personal Statement
Science, to me, is the pivotal answer to all phenomenal events in the world and maths is an intrinsic part of science itself. Mathematical logic and ideas underlie a variety of problems from the manufacturing process of an iPod to our shopping budget. The process of solving a mathematical problem, which is a mixed feeling of anxiety, satisfaction and wonder, is what intrigues me. Unlike other subjects, such as accountancy, in maths there is a diversity of ways, from the simplest to the most complex one, to get an answer from a mathematical problem. It is why we can never achieve the absolute truth of a mathematical problem, which reflects its uniqueness and, again, encourages me to explore this magical subject deeply.
My fascination in maths has arisen since my parents sent me on a Kumon Mathematics Course in year 6. From this course, I realised that maths can be both enjoyable and enigmatic at the same time. I pursued this interest by studying Kumon for 5 years until level K (which is equivalent to maths at AS Level). In year 9, I was also appointed a number of times to represent my school in maths competitions. I was among the eight finalists of Kumon Kokusai Scholarship to Japan. In the middle of my 'O' Level, I entered, SMAK 1 Penabur, the best high school for science and maths in Indonesia and achieved the third highest grade in the school entrance test. Nevertheless, I only experienced two months in this school as I then moved to the UK.
When the opportunity arose to study for my GCSEs and A levels in the UK, I was pleased to find that the maths lessons were more challenging than in Indonesia. The lessons enable me to investigate a mathematical problem creatively and independently. During my AS level, I found that statistics is my personal favourite because of its unique distinction in using probabilities as the problem-solving method. Also, it involves a certain degree of logic, which excites me.
Due to the lack of students who want to study the complete 'A' level Further Maths; I have had to study on my own initiative without any direct support from the lecturers. Having no proper lesson has meant that I have developed an independent, self-reliant approach to maths which I believe is paramount for university level study, especially when faced with an educational system where the emphasis is on the motivation and determination of the student rather than the lecturers.
Last summer, I gained work experience as an accountant's assistant in a recording company in Jakarta. Although not being particularly high on mathematical content, it provided me with an opportunity to learn the application of the accountancy theory which I had learnt in the class. The experience taught me the skill of managing time between working and studying which proved useful when I tackled further maths during the summer holiday. I also developed an aptitude to cope under pressure and an insight into a professional atmosphere.
In my spare time, I like listening to music (Jpop, Kpop and Mandarin songs), watching South Korean soap dramas and movies; I particularly like A Beautiful Mind, a movie about John Nash, the mathematician. I like reading National Geographic Magazine, Scientific American Magazine,The Times and occasional novels such as Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha). I also have an interest in swimming and badminton.
I am looking forward to the transition from A level to university - not only the idea of obtaining a maths degree which may enable me to pursue a career as an actuary, but also to the enrichment of the whole experience of university life itself.
This personal statement was written by yiching for application in 2007.
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