Maths & Economics Personal Statement

It has been said that mathematics is the one true universal language. The logic used in Pythagoras, the value of Pi or even the process behind simple addition is the same anywhere in the world. Manipulating numbers is a skill that most people will use to some extent in their lives, giving mathematics a ubiquitous influence in the world. The logic of maths and its quest to discern right from wrong has always fascinated me from a young age and continues to motivate me now.

As I continued my studies, it became apparent that maths was a pivotal subject that a lot of my subjects relied on. For example, studying Chemistry has developed my mathematical skills as many of the inorganic modules rely on equations. I enjoyed AS physics for similar reasons as maths is fundamental to solving interesting problems ranging from calculating the de Broglie wavelength of an electron to the moment of a force.

Whilst studying AS history, I found the modules involving the US economy very fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the factors that led to a boom during the ‘Roaring 20s’ and the policies that helped the country recover after the Wall Street Crash. Economic matters seemed to dominate domestic policy in the US in the early 20th century, and it doesn’t really seem like much has changed since then as economics still clearly has a great influence everywhere in the modern world. Globalisation means that events in one financial market, such as the recent slowing of the Chinese economy, can influence a political decision thousands of miles away. The power that comes from having great wealth and the influence that can bring has always intrigued me and by studying modules in behavioural economics I will gain a greater understanding of why people act the way they do.

To further explore and understand the current British economy I have undertaken work experience at the local authority credit union ‘CashBox’ who strive to encourage good financial planning and are equitable lenders within the local community. This provided me with an insight into how economic forces affect local people and how non-profit organisations provide an ethical alternative to commercial lending.

Other insights into how economic forces and philanthropy affect society come from volunteering at my local Food Bank. Run by The Trussell Trust, this relies on the good will of volunteers and donations. It aims to fight hunger in the local community and worldwide. It is a fantastic operation that greatly benefits over a million people in the UK.

I have read popular books on economics such as ‘The Undercover Economist’ by Tim Hartford to gain a further understanding of economic principles. Starting from a discussion of the price of coffee, the author explains bigger issues facing world economies. It provided a revealing illustration of the relationship between microeconomics and macroeconomics. I also enjoyed ‘Freakonomics’ by Steven Levitt which shows how the scope of economics stretches much beyond finance. Levitt’s use of economic theory and data manipulation applied to different social issues makes for a captivating read.

The opportunity to study maths and economics at university is something I am greatly looking forward to. It will give me a greater understanding of subjects that dominate the world I live in. Studying the two subjects as a joint degree will be a challenge, but I think the statistics modules I am taking in AS further maths will be useful to both subjects at degree level. I believe I have the motivation and ability to succeed in this course and I also intend to make a positive contribution to the university community.

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Predicted A*A*A studying maths, physics and chemistry to A2 and further maths AS.
Applying to Edinburgh, Bristol, York, Nottingham and Durham for just Economics (submitting alternative personal statement)

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