Maths and Economics Personal Statement Example 36

Simplicity is not simple. Mathematics demonstrates this like no other. It unites things that initially seem disparate and complex, which, through modelling, can be reformed into ways that can aid much simpler understanding.

Yet Maths is wonderfully complex. Through studying A-Level Maths, I have enjoyed the challenge of complex problems using 3D plane and coordinate geometry, requiring me to think creatively and logically to find a solution. I see how Maths influences everything, from engineering and space to our economy.

This broadness of application resonated whilst reading Infinite Powers by Stephen Strogatz; I was fascinated by how both Newton and Leibniz discovered Calculus independently. Maths as a universal language, along with the challenge of simplifying its complexity, fuels my desire to study it further. I love how Maths builds on what has gone before.

Work completed in the past can be repurposed to make life easier today. Learning how Euler's method proved no route crossed each bridge of Königsberg exactly once, is now used billions of times a day to calculate the most efficient pathway of information across the internet.

Having attended a Lecture by Rob Eastway, I was intrigued by statistical strategies employed in the Vietnam War. Such models were used to generate reliable data about drug consumption, a topic no soldier would want to answer honestly. I was challenged by the juxtaposition of 'How to Lie with Statistics' by Darrell Huff who trivialised the use of statistics, with which I could not agree.

For me, the simplicity of statistics is an insightful way to understand data and its underlying importance. I saw parallels between this, and the way maths has been key in the recent pandemic. The lecture 'Mathematics vs COVID' by Professor Julia Gog elaborated this. She suggested a vaccination scheme targeting those who spread the virus, instead of vaccinating those most at risk of being hospitalised, would have reduced the spread significantly earlier.

This was explained using a geometric growth equation, where R is to the power of the number of generations and the number of people hospitalised is its coefficient. It explained to me the importance of mathematics to the government, as R, being within an exponential function, was so critical to all policymaking. Gauss was right, Maths is the greatest of the Sciences. For me, the same is true of mathematical application in economic theory.

Rishi Sunak's, Keynesian approach to continue spending through the Covid-19 depression was one recent example of where models involving maths have directly affected the state of the economy. To advance my interest in this relationship, I was selected for the JP Morgan Chase Summer Scheme.

Here I was introduced to derivatives, and how the Black-Scholes model is used to estimate the theoretical value of an option. Inspired by this use of Option Greeks, though sceptical of their complexity and influence on markets, I listened to Sam Cohen's podcast on 'Mathematical Models of Financial Derivatives'. Was the GFC in 2008 really due to the over-reliance on these models? Improving the reliability of models is an area I am interested in, professionally, in the future.

Outside of school I am a member of the Scout Association, developing my leadership skills through being a young leader. In 2018 I represented Wales at the World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, a life-changing trip meeting worldwide Scouts developing my communication skills. I enjoy the challenge of teamwork both at my sailing club and as rugby vice-captain and have represented my school at award ceremonies.

Being a responsible, innovative, forward-looking student, I work to exceed the targets I set myself and relish the opportunity to continue to understand how Maths can inform the economic world around us. At university, I cannot wait to be exposed to the rewarding experiences gained from simplifying the complexities of Maths and its application to Economic theory.

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Offer received from Kings, LSE, Exeter, Bristol.


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