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What is the maths like at LSE?

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    I'm planning to go for Maths with Economics and was wondering what the style of maths is like. I really enjoy the pure maths modules in Further Maths and Maths and was wondering if the maths at LSE is just "carried on" from a-level maths (with of course more applied maths for economics). Or is it completely different?

    I heard Maths at university is different in the sense that there is a lot more logic and proof and not really like the style of alevel. Is this true?
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    In 1st year, you'll do 2 proper maths modules (and 1 stats one - which is basically just S1 - S4 + some extra bits).

    One of the maths ones is exactly like an extension on A-level theory, you'll start off by revisiting some A-level topics and then considering new topics such as functions of more than 1 variable, i.e. f(x,y) = x^2 - y^2 + 2xy + e^x or something - how they work, how you would do calculus on them, etc. It's not a proof based course, it's a course to provide you with more tools in solving maths problems that may arise in, say, economics or physics. The calculus focuses almost entirely on differentiation. Alongside the calculus stuff, you learn linear algebra/matrices (you may have done it at A-level a bit, but there's a HECK of a lot more to it), which again is a very useful tool.

    Then you have an introduction to abstract maths course, which begins with getting you used to the idea of proofs/how one might go about proving things. In particular, you're first taught logic, followed by some proof techniques (e.g. proof by induction, which you may have done at A-level). Then it goes on to consider what numbers really are - how do we really define the natural numbers, how do we then extend that to rational numbers and then complex numbers. The course then turns into considering calculus related topics, such as what really is a limit, what makes functions continuous, etc. Finally, you get an intro to group theory + vector spaces, which are abstract maths concepts with a wide variety of applications.

    In 2nd year, you continue with the methods based courses on calculus (but this time you're focusing on integration) + more linear algebra. In addition, you go back to abstract and really start understanding why calculus works/what it's really about. You also talk about how infinite series work, how concepts of calculus can be generalised to higher dimensions (i.e. functions of more than 1 variables) and so on. On top of all of that, you have a choice between studying differential equations, optimisation theory, number theory or discrete maths.

    3rd year has a really broad choice, you're best off reading the course descriptions yourself.
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    (Original post by Swayum)
    In 1st year, you'll do 2 proper maths modules (and 1 stats one - which is basically just S1 - S4 + some extra bits).

    One of the maths ones is exactly like an extension on A-level theory, you'll start off by revisiting some A-level topics and then considering new topics such as functions of more than 1 variable, i.e. f(x,y) = x^2 - y^2 + 2xy + e^x or something - how they work, how you would do calculus on them, etc. It's not a proof based course, it's a course to provide you with more tools in solving maths problems that may arise in, say, economics or physics. The calculus focuses almost entirely on differentiation. Alongside the calculus stuff, you learn linear algebra/matrices (you may have done it at A-level a bit, but there's a HECK of a lot more to it), which again is a very useful tool.

    Then you have an introduction to abstract maths course, which begins with getting you used to the idea of proofs/how one might go about proving things. In particular, you're first taught logic, followed by some proof techniques (e.g. proof by induction, which you may have done at A-level). Then it goes on to consider what numbers really are - how do we really define the natural numbers, how do we then extend that to rational numbers and then complex numbers. The course then turns into considering calculus related topics, such as what really is a limit, what makes functions continuous, etc. Finally, you get an intro to group theory + vector spaces, which are abstract maths concepts with a wide variety of applications.

    In 2nd year, you continue with the methods based courses on calculus (but this time you're focusing on integration) + more linear algebra. In addition, you go back to abstract and really start understanding why calculus works/what it's really about. You also talk about how infinite series work, how concepts of calculus can be generalised to higher dimensions (i.e. functions of more than 1 variables) and so on. On top of all of that, you have a choice between studying differential equations, optimisation theory, number theory or discrete maths.

    3rd year has a really broad choice, you're best off reading the course descriptions yourself.

    So is the style like A-level. As in, you know how a-level questions you calculate equations and you don't actually prove a lot of things, is that the case for maths at LSE?
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    (Original post by Ruvermillion)
    So is the style like A-level. As in, you know how a-level questions you calculate equations and you don't actually prove a lot of things, is that the case for maths at LSE?
    What other unis are you looking at for maths? Is course reputation/ content important for you?
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    (Original post by twig)
    What other unis are you looking at for maths? Is course reputation/ content important for you?
    reputation is very important to me as i am an international student. In my home country only oxbridge, imperial and LSE are considered good.
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    (Original post by Ruvermillion)
    reputation is very important to me as i am an international student. In my home country only oxbridge, imperial and LSE are considered good.
    Oxbridge, Imp have a better maths department and undergraduate course than LSE (LSE students will agree with me here); so I would recommend choosing those over LSE if you main priority is learning maths.

    Reputation-wise all are good. For finance jobs, these unis will be sufficient, but there will be more emphasis on extra-curriculars. For consultancy, the very top firms prefer Oxbridge (but again, extra-curriculars make most of the difference).

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Updated: March 1, 2012
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