Maths Personal Statement

What I love about maths is that it has no limits. It fascinates me: the formulae, the theorems, the logic. My original interest in the subject was triggered several years ago when I started discussing maths and physics with my dad. This made studying mechanics even more enjoyable, allowing me to look into different areas not on the syllabus such as circular motion and turning forces.

I have been to various university taster days with lectures that introduced me to topics such as financial maths, cryptography and probability. The most memorable lecture was on the use of matrices in coding and cryptography. It inspired me to visit an Alan Turing exhibition, where it was great to learn about codes and computers as well as the development of maths in more recent years. These taster days also showed me that there are many different branches and applications of maths to consider. But what really stuns me is the algebra involved in pure maths. I love how that right mathematical tools can make even the most complex problem simple.

I have chosen to teach myself Decision mathematics, which I am finding particularly interesting. I like reading about the reasoning behind the various algorithms online, especially the Travelling Salesman problem, as the solution has not yet been perfected so there are many different opportunities for exploration. This has also prompted me to read about other areas of maths. A favourite book is The Mathematical Universe (W. Dunham, 1997), in which the author describe a range of proofs and looks at maths historically. I most enjoyed reading about different ways to prove Pythagoras' theorem, proving the volume of a sphere and Euclidean Geometry.

Studying Maths, Further Maths, English Language and Theatre Studies has given me some vital skills for my current and future studies. Theatre Studies has improved my ability to work as part of a team and think creatively. This has been especially helpful in Mechanics, as I have found that often you have to look at a problem from several different angles before you can produce the correct answer. I have also worked on my own initiative on English Language, developing my writing and research skills when working on an investigative module. Further Maths in particular is fascinating, as we have looked into more complicated areas of maths and discussed topics such as natural logarithms and Pascal's triangle.

Outside the curriculum, I have worked as part of the sixth form committee, organising charity fundraisers, as a peer mentor with younger students, helping them develop social and academic skills, and as a form associate, where I organise and run activities for a year 9 form every week. I have numerous hobbies including costume design, painting and playing chess. I am working towards Grade 7 flute and Grade 5 music theory and I play the piccolo in a local folk group at festivals. I also volunteer as a face painter at community events and charity functions, such as for Lions /international. As well as this, I am fundraising for a volunteering trip to Nepal next summer, where I will be helping with community and conservation projects. Most of all, I enjoy acting: I have worked on a BBC TV series and regularly perform in school concerts, youth theatre productions and theatre festivals, as well as volunteering at Crich Tramway museum as a living exhibition. I also work at a local Maths and English tuition centre, Kip McGrath, helping younger children develop their maths and English skills, which has made me consider teaching maths in the future as a possible career.

I find maths absorbing. I love it for the challenge it presents, and I want to enjoy myself when exploring the subject further at university.

Profile info

This personal statement was written by e.duncanson for application in 2013.

e.duncanson's university choices
Lancaster University
University of East Anglia
The University of Durham
University of St Andrews

Green: offer made
Red: no offer made

Maths at Lancaster University


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how much did you enjoy your

how much did you enjoy your degree? I think I'm going to apply for maths but I also do drama for A level and I can't decide which one I'm more passionate about. how did you keep up your passion for theatre while studying your maths degree, and do you have any regrets?

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