Maths Personal Statement

At the entrance to Plato's academy in ancient Greece, stood a sign which warned,
"Let no-one ignorant of mathematics enter here." Like Plato I believe in the importance of mathematics, and its influence over nearly every walk of life. I find it a fascinating area of study due to its diverse features and how seemingly abstract ideas and equations can be applied and used to solve real word problems, and to model a wide range of complex and varied topics. Also I think there is a certain innate beauty in the transcendent nature of the subject, as regardless of culture or language, it is understood throughout the world, and if a conjecture is proved it stands for eternity.I particularly enjoy pure maths, as it focuses on rigorous logic, and the challenge of solving new problems really appeals to me. I also enjoy studying physics as it helps offer a different perspective, and it allows me to see many real world applications of mathematical concepts and theories.

I have always taken a keen interest in the subject and have attended master classes at Northumbria University, where I learnt about such topics as 3 dimensional geometry and the measurement of complex shapes. I also study widely around my subject and related areas, having read such books as Fermat's Last Theorem and Finding Moonshine. I found Fermat's Last Theorem particularly fascinating as it gave me great insight into the history of mathematics and how the subject has advanced since the time of the ancient Greeks, and the conditions in which some of the greatest minds worked.

At my sixth form I completed the full A level maths course in one year, however the grade will not be certified until the end of year 13. I also represented my college in a regional team based maths challenge, where I had to solve many questions of a nature which I had rarely encountered before, an experience which I found very difficult yet rewarding. Furthermore, since the start of comprehensive school, I have participated annually in the UK Mathematical Challenge most recently receiving a silver certificate. In order to stretch myself, and improve my mathematical ability further, I will be sitting the AEA in the summer of 2010 alongside my A levels. I also completed my AS level in R.E. whilst in year 11, which I found very interesting as I enjoy debating and challenging new ideas.

In my spare time I participate in a wide range of sporting activities such as football, where I was part of my school team, horse riding and cycling. In the autumn of 2007 I completed the coast to coast cycle from Whitehaven to Sunderland for a local charity which I found extremely gratifying but nevertheless challenging. I also received a Duke of Edinburgh award for this accomplishment. In July I passed my British Horse Society Stage 1 Riding exam, an achievement of which I am very proud, as it was the climax of many weeks of preparation and hard work. However my favourite past time is rock climbing, in particular bouldering, as it involves a lot of problem solving skills in trying to decide which is the optimum route to take up the rock face, and which moves are required to make it.

Since January I have also worked at a leading national shoe shop, and the experience has benefited me in various ways, such as timekeeping. Through contact with customers I have improved my communication skills, as my job entails dealing with them directly and explaining the qualities and fits of different shoes. There is also a great responsibility in working with small children as an incorrect fitting shoe can hinder the process of learning to walk.

Hopefully a degree in mathematics will be a fantastic experience, and I eagerly look forward to the fresh challenges it will bring, as well as the wide range of career options it will leave me with. I believe mathematics to be the purest of subjects, steeped in a long and rich tradition, and that it will always plays a key role in the fabric of life and I wish to be a part of it.

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This personal statement was written by pi.e for application in 2010.

pi.e's Comments

oxford reject but got into bristol, these are my grades for a bit of context:
GCSE's 8 A* (maths, bio,chem,physics,eng lan, eng lit, geography, r.e.) A in history B in latin
AS: R.E. A Chemistry B
A2: A* maths and will get results for further maths and physics in august but i expect A/A* and A respectively


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