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Oxford MAT 2013/2014 Watch

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    (Original post by nahomyemane778)
    Noble will the interview be: brief greeting then maths problems?

    I really dont want there to be much chitchat like
    Why do you want to study maths? You mentioned this in your PS... etc
    I didn't have the "Why do you want to study maths?" question. But I did have a small aspect of my PS mentioned in one interview; during AS I did an Open University module in "Understanding the Weather" which spurred a bit of a conversation about the mathematics behind the weather (although the module wasn't mathematical by any stretch of the imagination).

    They are pretty much uninterested in what you say on your personal statement when it comes to assessing your interview performance, however it does give them a chance to build an initial rapport with someone they could be teaching for four years. Also, you're 'expected' to prepare standard answers to questions like "Why maths?" and be able to back up, and talk about, something you put on your PS - so them asking questions about it is supposed to be an ice-breaker.

    If you're struggling to think about why you want to study maths, just be honest - to a point. They're not expecting a cringe-worthy story about how you once fell out of a bus as it swerved around a bend and you've wanted to study maths ever since to properly understand centripetal force. My reasons usually boil down to the following, and I imagine you can't go far wrong with these:

    a) I've always excelled at maths
    b) I had a 'natural curiosity' for the subject. Whenever I learnt something new I was always interested to properly comprehend what's really going on, and why it's true.
    c) Maths is one of the most employable degrees, and isn't as restrictive in terms of potential employment avenues relative to other STEM subjects.

    The second point, I would say, is the most important. What tutors want to see is a curiosity for maths, they want the kind of people who, in an A-Level/GCSE class, spent every five minutes asking "Why?" (at least mentally) as these are precisely the questions you explore on a maths degree.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    I didn't have the "Why do you want to study maths?" question. But I did have a small aspect of my PS mentioned in one interview; during AS I did an Open University module in "Understanding the Weather" which spurred a bit of a conversation about the mathematics behind the weather (although the module wasn't mathematical by any stretch of the imagination).

    They are pretty much uninterested in what you say on your personal statement when it comes to assessing your interview performance, however it does give them a chance to build an initial rapport with someone they could be teaching for four years. Also, you're 'expected' to prepare standard answers to questions like "Why maths?" and be able to back up, and talk about, something you put on your PS - so them asking questions about it is supposed to be an ice-breaker.

    If you're struggling to think about why you want to study maths, just be honest - to a point. They're not expecting a cringe-worthy story about how you once fell out of a bus as it swerved around a bend and you've wanted to study maths ever since to properly understand centripetal force. My reasons usually boil down to the following, and I imagine you can't go far wrong with these:

    a) I've always excelled at maths
    b) I had a 'natural curiosity' for the subject. Whenever I learnt something new I was always interested to properly comprehend what's really going on, and why it's true.
    c) Maths is one of the most employable degrees, and isn't as restrictive in terms of potential employment avenues relative to other STEM subjects.

    The second point, I would say, is the most important. What tutors want to see is a curiosity for maths, they want the kind of people who, in an A-Level/GCSE class, spent every five minutes asking "Why?" (at least mentally) as these are precisely the questions you explore on a maths degree.

    Hey Noble, if I applied for Computer Science, is it still possible for me to sit in some Maths courses, such as functional analysis and probability theory?
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    (Original post by hilbert_spaces)
    Hey Noble, if I applied for Computer Science, is it still possible for me to sit in some Maths courses, such as functional analysis and probability theory?
    You can sit in on whatever lectures you want (even across subjects). It's fairly likely you'll be doing probability (I know the Maths & CompSci and Maths & Philosophy people do first year probability). I don't know about the other courses in CompSci. However, the issue is that beyond first year, all maths courses would become 'too pure' for a CompSci, I'd imagine (even the applied topics). Even in module topics that are shared between CompSci and Maths, there's generally a massive difference in how they're taught.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    ...
    Do you have any tips on how to answer the question 'Why Oxford'?
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    ...They're not expecting a cringe-worthy story about how you once fell out of a bus as it swerved around a bend and you've wanted to study maths ever since to properly understand centripetal force...
    lol.
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    should I be concerned that I still have not received any notification from St. Hugh's college about my interview decision?
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    (Original post by 'murica1776)
    should I be concerned that I still have not received any notification from St. Hugh's college about my interview decision?
    For which course?
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    (Original post by SherlockHolmes)
    Do you have any tips on how to answer the question 'Why Oxford'?
    Hey Sherlock, cool name btw. Not sure if I'm qualified to answer this rigorously, but I'll post what I would say.

    1. Recently oxford has constructed a new maths department building, the Andrew Wiles building, which is ready for 2014.
    2. It's a large department whose reputation attracts bright people from all over the world e.g teodor von burg.
    3. Unique style of teaching, one to one in many cases, and close supervisions to ensure good collaboration in mathematics.
    4. Rigorous, challenging and rewarding course. Tremendous opportunity and privilege to apply to oxford, a chance to be taught by world leaders in the field and apply to a course suited to my skills as a committed student.
    5. Regularly quoted in top university tables around the world for Mathematics
    6. Wide spectrum of specialisation options in the third and fourth years e.g
    Mathematical biology, information theory, Mathematical finance, Actuarial Mathematics, Dissertation, Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme.

    Btw, I think it would be well advised to have some idea of an answer to 'why maths'? I wouldn't script it word for word, but know the gist of what you might say. 'Why Oxford' I think is less likely to come up, the answer is pretty obvious, the reputation speaks for itself to be honest. Usual comments apply as for general with interviews,(I speak with experience from last year):

    -Don't panic. The interviewers are trying to get the best out of you, and so if you're relaxed will perform better.
    -Interview questions of the 'define a banana' variety are a myth in mathematics. Expect to spend most of the time talking about concrete maths problems rather than waffling about your passion for the subject.
    -The question 'have you read any maths recently' is controversial. It would probably be best to have an answer other than 'no', but if your answer is very much pop maths (e.g anything by Marcus de Sautoy) it's unclear how good an impression that makes; you should demonstrate your awareness of the tremendous gulf between pop maths and actually understanding stuff.
    - Be prepared to answer questions on your PS, as they act as a platform for topics at interview and are a chance for them to build a rapport with you.
    -Be confident, and practise good posture, eye contact and good communication of ideas.

    Anyhow best of luck for it.
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    (Original post by NewtonsApple)
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    The new maths institute (called the Andrew Wiles building) is already open, it opened in September. Needless to say, it's pretty epic.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    The new maths institute (called the Andrew Wiles building) is already open, it opened in September. Needless to say, it's pretty epic.
    Cool, I'll edit the original post.
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    (Original post by NewtonsApple)
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    I will most likely use your suggestions as to how the 'Why Oxford?' question should be answered.

    Thank you for your interview tips and advice.
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    do you think its likely that they will pick out a random part of the 250 page obscure book i put on my personal statement and ask me about it?
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    (Original post by MEPS1996)
    do you think its likely that they will pick out a random part of the 250 page obscure book i put on my personal statement and ask me about it?
    Is there a possibility you might be interviewed by the author of the book? :P
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    (Original post by MJasper)
    Is there a possibility you might be interviewed by the author of the book? :P
    lolz no
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    (Original post by nbojinov)
    For which course?
    for mathematics. i still haven't received any notification from St. Hughs, rejection or otherwise
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    (Original post by 'murica1776)
    for mathematics. i still haven't received any notification from St. Hughs, rejection or otherwise
    Well I have received an invitation from them but it's for Computer Scince, so I can't really be of help. If I were you I would contact them as soon as possible since I personally know a girl, the invitation of whom got lost and that might be the case with yours too
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    (Original post by Tarquin Digby)
    Certainly. Why not?
    I think its unlikely to be honest. My friend mentioned a book in his PS and they literally offered him the chance to talk about whatever in the book which was interesting to him. I think this was last year though, so things may have changed.
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    (Original post by souktik)
    Then treat n=2 as a crazy boundary case, it holds for all other n.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Yes. Good. How are you faring with the maximum? I had it a while ago, but I wanted to see your attempt first so didn't post it. :eek:
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    I'm quite puzzled by the admissions statistics... Why is the competition for Mathematics & Statistics so much more intense than that for Maths/Maths & CompSci/Maths & Phil?:confused:
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    The new maths institute (called the Andrew Wiles building) is already open, it opened in September. Needless to say, it's pretty epic.
    It's a shame we can't visit upstairs though

    (Original post by SherlockHolmes)
    I will most likely use your suggestions as to how the 'Why Oxford?' question should be answered.

    Thank you for your interview tips and advice.
    To be honest, 'Why Maths?' and 'Why Oxford?' doesn't sound like a great question to ask in an interview when they could be spending the limited time they have assessing your ability to do maths. Needless to say, do think about it but don't get too worried about it. Enjoy it!
 
 
 
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