Maths Personal Statement Example 18

The concept of proof intrigues me, where by beginning with a basic set of principles you are able to derive a mathematical fact. It is the nearest we can get to definitive truth which is what gives the subject its beauty and uniqueness.This along with my curiosity to tackle new ideas and challenge myself is what drives me to pursue maths at university.

I have furthered my knowledge beyond the course and by doing so have exposed myself to fascinating new areas and techniques that have allowed me to approach problems in a more creative way. An example of this is my attendance at “Maths In Action” where presentations were given by a host of academics covering topics from computer encryption to the mathematical undertones in the Simpsons.

My favourite one focussed on how any pattern in juggling can be described using siteswap notation and by using basic tricks you can create your own version, something I have tested out by successfully teaching my brother to juggle. This event helped me to understand the often hidden ways maths is involved in our lives and has meant that I now search for logical explanations in everyday processes. It also gave me a taste of university life as I got to experience lectures in large groups.

Upon starting year 12, I jointly set up my school's maths society and became co-president. Every week I would bring problems either from Warwick university’s STEP programme or the UKMT maths challenge to try and solve with the other members as I find the questions more complex than the usual A-level ones. Thinking about these questions has improved my diligence when it comes to tackling tougher problems and I have gained a greater appreciation of the interconnections within maths as a result.

A week before we went into lockdown, my co-president and I arranged for an outside speaker to come in and give a talk about the current Covid-19 pandemic. Dr Wood from Warwick university gave an informative presentation on the modelling of infectious diseases, in particular how they are able to make a prediction on the outcome by using either the SIR or SEIR model.

I found this quite interesting as it helped me to be more aware of the evolving pandemic and I could understand the statistics that have had an influence on the decisions made in the last few months.

Out of the mathematical books I have read, I enjoyed “The Simpsons and their mathematical secrets” by Simon Singh the most which gave a good explanation on the six degrees of Paul Erdös and the subsequent six degrees of Kevin Bacon. I also enjoy watching Numberphile videos on Youtube,for example the ham sandwich problem as it introduced me to a more complicated theory but in an entertaining way that allowed me to better understand it.

As part of my volunteering for gold DofE I help out in year 7 maths lessons at my school where I am able to pass on my love for the subject as well as test out a potential career path. I have completed two weeks work experience in a primary school where I got to further explore the idea of teaching and have discovered the satisfaction of explaining new concepts. I organised a meeting with an actuary where I found that the job was intriguing. However, my placement at NFU Mutual was cancelled due to the pandemic.

I enjoy the pure side of A-level maths, in particular calculus as it was a new topic to me and contains a degree of proof however I also liked learning about algorithms in further maths.I have found geography interesting, especially the coursework where I had to plan an independent investigation and learned new analytical methods e.g nearest neighbour and have been helped with my planning and critical thinking skills. In my spare time, I enjoy going to the gym and baking.

I work as a maths tutor for children aged 11-18 and I am part of the schools mentoring scheme for the younger years.

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