Maths Personal Statement
For me maths is never monotonous - I find pleasure even in its simplest of forms and the
satisfaction derived from the dissection and completion of a complex problem is one of life's
greatest luxuries. I enjoy taking each issue, refining it, then using it as another piece in
the puzzle. Since year 7, I have participated and was awarded in all the UKMT maths
challenges; the introduction of lateral thinking within the questions catalysed my interest in
the applications and variety of mathematics, hence my desire to read mathematics at
My approach to abstract multi step problems is ever-changing and has recently flourished with
my attempts at questions from the book 'Advanced problems in mathematics - Preparing for
university' by Stephen Siklos. The often obscure approach required when a solution does not
instantly come to mind was initially hard to recognise, but with practise the process has
become increasingly effortless. This combined with STEP masterclasses - online and in college
- has transformed my mathematical capabilities.
The work of Leonhard Euler has long been of particular interest to me; determining the value
of e, Euler's method, disproving that every Fermat number was prime, the Basel problem.
Euler's method is an iterative method that can generate coordinates resembling those of any
given curve without excessive working, after using the technique in a few questions I have
found the method to be remarkably accurate: providing relatively small jumps in the x value.
Similar to the Basel problem, Nicole Oresme's proof of divergence for the harmonic series is a
fine example of a question being manipulated in such a way that simple mathematical proof can
solve a seemingly strenuous problem, this brought my attention to the importance of
perspective. Although there may only be one finite answer, the sheer magnitude of different
routes is admirable. The use of these simple mathematical techniques to form one of the most
well known, decadent proofs drives me to discover what I could achieve.
On attendance of the "Women in Maths residential" at Christs College Cambridge, I was
engrossed by different modules that I could study - having the ability to tailor my course to
my interests. A lecture on braid groups, opened my eyes to the peculiar ways of modeling an
obscure situation. My pursuit for knowledge, was further fuelled by reading books including,
'Why do buses come in threes? The hidden mathematics of everyday life'. This book uncovers the
diverse applications of the golden ratio, pi and the Fibonacci sequence. It left me
captivated, a myriad situations still left unlinked and undiscovered, giving me the highest
hopes on what I could unearth in my mathematical future.
I participated in a week long, selective work experience at PwC, where I was given an insight
into the applications of different branches of mathematics that were new to me, such as
statistical analysis of accounts. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the week, the lack of
challenge reaffirmed my love for pure mathematics.
As a member of my school's Liaison committee I have learnt to communicate effectively in a
group and incorporate the ideas of others, ensuring contributions from everyone, a useful
skill when working on near impossible tasks. Throughout my Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition,
I met the greatest psychological and physical challenges that I have ever faced, requiring the
greatest determination and drive, the end was not always in sight but we just kept going until
it was completed. Tutoring underperforming GCSE maths students proved a great success for me,
solidifying my basic mathematical skills, developing my ability to communicate concise ideas
and spreading key knowledge to those that may not share such passion for the topic.
I am enthusiastic to become submerged with complex mathematical concepts, learning from
esteemed mathematicians, hopefully allowing me to flourish into the mathematician I aspire to
There is no profile associated with this personal statement, as the writer has requested to remain anonymous.
I got offers from Imperial, Manchester, Bath, UCL and an interview at Cambridge.
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