Mathematics Personal Statement

What I find most intriguing about Mathematics is the hidden complexity behind some of the simplest looking problems – a number of which continue to perplex modern mathematicians (for instance the Collatz Conjecture). Mathematics is the figurative key to approaching the solutions to these problems with indisputable proof. It is the combination of the finality of proofs and the sheer breadth of the mathematical world that entices me in a way unlike any other subject.

Exploring new mathematical concepts – especially in number theory – is something I have a passion for. Having read the first 8 books of Euclid’s “Elements” I can now better appreciate the relationship and parallels between Geometry and Algebra. Book 7 was the most interesting because of how Euclid demonstrated basic number theory, such as finding the highest common factor (measure) of two numbers and also the idea that all numbers are either prime or multiples of a prime. I also enjoyed Book 4, specifically how Euclid used the circle theorems developed in the previous book to construct regular polygons including, in the final proposition, a Pentadecagon! Most importantly reading the “Elements” has given me a greater insight into the importance of definitions and axioms when it comes to forming proofs. Keith Devlin’s “Millennial Problems” introduced me to some of the most important unsolved problems facing modern mathematicians. I particularly enjoyed reading about the background of the Riemann Hypothesis and the possible implications that it has on the prime number theorem if it was to be solved.

As a college student, I have found many ways to expand my mathematical knowledge and understanding outside of my standard classes. I regularly attend the college STEP class where, each week, we work on fun and challenging problems from all areas of the A level syllabus and beyond. Furthermore, I have taken part in several competitions including the UKSMC 2016 where I achieved a gold certificate - qualifying for the Senior Kangaroo - and the online MathsBombe where I led a team of fellow mathematicians against a series of formidable problems. I have also been motivated to self-study extra maths modules outside of my lessons which is an essential skill for a university student. Additionally, I spend 2 hours every week mentoring other Maths and Physics students who require support and assistance with their work.

Studying Mathematics at A level has taught me new knowledge and skills that I can apply in a university environment. I found the pure modules to be the most interesting as I enjoy learning and applying new methods, identities and ideas. One of my favourite topics that we covered very recently in Further Maths was Polar Coordinates. I was captivated by the idea that we could deconstruct the traditional cartesian plane and reformat it with new variables. The introduction of the Polar plane added to my understanding that nothing can be taken for granted when it comes to Mathematics. In addition, studying Physics at A level has contributed to my understanding of the practical applications of mathematics while studying History in my first year has helped me to communicate my ideas in a clear and structured manner.

I have found ways to contribute towards society and develop my teamwork and communication skills through awards such as NCS and Duke of Edinburgh. Having achieved both my Silver and Bronze awards I aim to complete my Gold award by the end of the year. In my free time, I am part of the badminton team for my college. I also work part time at McDonalds where I have learnt to work calmly and effectively in a fast paced environment.

I am a resilient and dedicated student who is eager to pursue a degree in Mathematics. I look forward to my time at university as it will present me with the opportunity to better understand complex problems like the Riemann Hypothesis and the wide range of modules available means there will always be new exciting topics to explore.

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Author's Comments

This is my personal statement which I used to apply to the following Universities for a Masters degree in Mathematics.

Oxford - Passed MAT, got interview at Balliol College, rejected after interview stage
Warwick - Offer
Durham - Offer
Nottingham - Offer
Leeds - Offer

Firm Choice: Warwick
Insurance Choice: Durham

I decided to upload this as I found many of the other personal statements on here to be really beneficial when I was structuring my own, I hope mine can be of equal benefit.

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