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    Hi all!

    I'm now strongly considering Maths at Oxford, but if any Oxford Mathmos could give their testament as to what it is like, that would be great.

    Thanks!!

    henryt
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    (Original post by henryt)
    Hi all!

    I'm now strongly considering Maths at Oxford, but if any Oxford Mathmos could give their testament as to what it is like, that would be great.

    Thanks!!

    henryt
    Anything specific? Oxford mathmos on TSR are

    El Chueco
    SsEe
    Showsni
    Retropmot
    Dieeiervonsatan
    sarah_b
    Inspiron

    (and probably a few others I've missed) if you wish to PM them.
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    Why Oxford as opposed to Cambridge? As far as I'm aware, Cambridge is the best.
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    Thanks RichE!

    The reason why I'm choosing Oxford... I don't really know - I guess I'm just drawn to Oxford as a place. I didn't much like Cambridge when I went. Also, I've had a lot of negative feedback from Cambridge mathematicians. A person who's now in his 3rd year at Trinity, in line for a First, and is going on to do Part III says he would have rather done Maths somewhere else, simply because the course is a little too rushed, since they try and cram in 4 years work into 3, and then give you the extra evil stuff in your 4th year (if you are good enough to continue onto it!). So even if Cambridge is the best for maths, it still has little-to-no appeal for me!!

    As I said before, I'm still slightly unsure though! Also -- are there any particularly strong colleges? My teacher has recommended that I seriously consider Merton and Worcester as potential colleges, and when I went to look around, I think both would really suit me. But if there are any other colleges that I should look at, please let me know!
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    (Original post by henryt)
    Thanks RichE!

    The reason why I'm choosing Oxford... I don't really know - I guess I'm just drawn to Oxford as a place. I didn't much like Cambridge when I went. Also, I've had a lot of negative feedback from Cambridge mathematicians. A person who's now in his 3rd year at Trinity, in line for a First, and is going on to do Part III says he would have rather done Maths somewhere else, simply because the course is a little too rushed, since they try and cram in 4 years work into 3, and then give you the extra evil stuff in your 4th year (if you are good enough to continue onto it!). So even if Cambridge is the best for maths, it still has little-to-no appeal for me!!

    As I said before, I'm still slightly unsure though! Also -- are there any particularly strong colleges? My teacher has recommended that I seriously consider Merton and Worcester as potential colleges, and when I went to look around, I think both would really suit me. But if there are any other colleges that I should look at, please let me know!
    Have you had feedback from friends on Oxford maths?
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    Its far more important to find a college that you like than one with the best tutors, you can always be sent to other colleges for tutorials and lectures are departmental anyway. If you liked the look and feel of Merton and Worcester then you're not going to be academically disadvanted by choosing one of them.

    In fact I think Woostarite does maths at Worcester .
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    (Original post by X)
    Its far more important to find a college that you like than one with the best tutors, you can always be sent to other colleges for tutorials and lectures are departmental anyway. If you liked the look and feel of Merton and Worcester then you're not going to be academically disadvanted by choosing one of them.
    I mainly agree with this - choosing a college you like as the experience of maths students will be very similar from college to college. However, maths tutorial teaching mainly gets done in your college for the first two years (rather than being sent to other colleges) so it may well be worth popping down to a college open day and meeting the tutors.

    EDIT: Ah - reading the post again I see you may already have done that.

    In fact I think Woostarite does maths at Worcester .
    Woostarite does CompSci. SsEe and Retropmot do maths there though.
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    (Original post by RichE)
    I mainly agree with this - choosing a college you like as the experience of maths students will be very similar from college to college. However, maths tutorial teaching mainly gets done in your college for the first two years (rather than being sent to other colleges) so it may well be worth popping down to a college open day and meeting the tutors.

    EDIT: Ah - reading the post again I see you may already have done that.



    Woostarite does CompSci. SsEe and Retropmot do maths there though.
    Ah okay, wasn't sure about how much farming out was done, and I always get mixed up with the computer science kids and the maths ones, because of them all being lumped together for a large part of the first year.
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    (Original post by henryt)
    As I said before, I'm still slightly unsure though! Also -- are there any particularly strong colleges? My teacher has recommended that I seriously consider Merton and Worcester as potential colleges, and when I went to look around, I think both would really suit me. But if there are any other colleges that I should look at, please let me know!
    That wasn't a Mr Gelderd was it? :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by RichE)
    That wasn't a Mr Gelderd was it? :rolleyes:


    Woah, woah woah, explain please how you could know that.
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    (Original post by RichE)
    Anything specific? Oxford mathmos on TSR are

    El Chueco
    SsEe
    Showsni
    Retropmot
    Dieeiervonsatan
    e-unit
    Popa Dom

    (and probably a few others I've missed) if you wish to PM them.
    Not yet, unfortunately.

    *Quietly awaits results*
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    Go for Woosta, Merton is overall full of gimps.
    (Hehe just kidding )
    Woosta has ducks, a lake, a good reputation for maths, and a cool maths tutor has a scarily large DVD collection (there's a rumour circulating though that he spends all the maths budget adding to his collection) and buys you drinks in the bar.
    That, topped with the fact that I go there, makes Woosta possibly the best college in the world.
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    (Original post by henryt)
    I'm now strongly considering Maths at Oxford, but if any Oxford Mathmos could give their testament as to what it is like, that would be great.

    Thanks!!
    It's fun, specifically very fun, but hard. Very hard to be precise. Amount of time spent on problem sheet will vary depending on your general aptitude and the subject itself. Three to four hours on one sheet in the best case, eight to ten worst case, not including any necessary background reading. Mathworld and the Maths institute course notes (available either online or in the library) are your friends. As is turning up to lectures. I got by without buying any books (on the maths side of my course), but my friend indulged himself and purchased some.

    I've just finished at Trinity and I couldn't have enjoyed myself more.
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    (Original post by Waldo Dobbs)
    It's fun, specifically very fun, but hard. Very hard to be precise. Amount of time spent on problem sheet will vary depending on your general aptitude and the subject itself. Three to four hours on one sheet in the best case, eight to ten worst case, not including any necessary background reading. Mathworld and the Maths institute course notes (available either online or in the library) are your friends. As is turning up to lectures. I got by without buying any books (on the maths side of my course), but my friend indulged himself and purchased some.

    I've just finished at Trinity and I couldn't have enjoyed myself more.
    That's put my mind at rest. That's pretty much what other people have said. I just wanted more evidence. Nevertheless, that's pretty much exactly what I'm looking for in a course - taxing but rewarding, and at the least very mathematical. So I was considering Physics on my brother's advice (just about to become a 4th year ChCh Chemist), but I think Maths is where my heart is. Any more help/advice/opinions from anyone are appreciated though!!

    And RichE, that is really worrying - even though Mr Gelderd isn't my teacher, he recommended it nevertheless, having come from there himself -- a Mrs Harris (Old Hildabeast) said Merton would suit me... And who are you Kizer? I've gleamed as much as to find out that you are at least in the year above me (you've done your A2s), and you must have been at the school any year since Mr Gelderd came, assuming that you don't know him from elsewhere, so you must be a maximum of about 2 years above me...
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    (Original post by henryt)
    Hi all!

    I'm now strongly considering Maths at Oxford, but if any Oxford Mathmos could give their testament as to what it is like, that would be great.

    Thanks!!

    henryt
    The pure maths part of the course is amazing! Lol sounds sad but it really is very interesting. I didn't do any applied so not much to say for that.

    The work is hard but I found that its more the *amount* of work rather than how hard the work was, that makes the course difficult.

    Not much else to say aside from make sure you really really really do like maths (more specifically proving things), a couple of people here really didn't realise what they were getting themselves in for and didn't like the course because of lack of research and unrealistic expectations.
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    I'm an Oxford mathmo too, or rather I was as I've just finished.

    Would definitely recommend the course. No it isn't easy as others have testified, but it is do-able, or at least until you hit 4th year, where I did struggle a bit. You'll be surprised at first at how different the pure maths is from the pure you do at school and I found that really difficult at first. But when I got used to it I realised that pure (specifically algebra) was actually my favourite bit.

    After the first four terms, in which everything is compulsory to give you a good grounding in most areas, you can pick options and in 3rd/4th year you have a huge range to choose from. That for me is the best bit about the course and I was very happy to ditch pretty much all applied maths! Unfortunately all of the teaching from 3rd year on is faculty-based, so you have intercollegiate classes rather than tutorials in college. That I didn't find especially effective, but I guess you can't win them all! And my college tutor was fantastic at giving extra help where it was needed (which in one course it desperately was!!)

    Exams every year does suck a bit, but it was nice going into 3rd and 4th year exams knowing I already had a fair bit of my degree in the bag so it was worth it in the end. Also the option to choose between 3 and 4 years also a good thing - I really enjoyed having a 4th year in Oxford and will now have an MMath for my efforts.

    Most of the way through each year I was probably doing less work than most of my friends, but I wasn't always the most conscientious with the problem sheets. But you can get by by making sure you go to pretty much all your lectures and classes, being efficient in getting the notes for what you miss, doing lots of practice papers and revising hard at the end of the year. I managed to cram a huge amount of extra-curricular stuff into my 4 years and still come out with a first. And I'm by no means a genius. From what I've heard of the Cambridge course it might not be possible to do the same there.

    As for college, I'd personally go for Worcester over Merton. It's a beautiful college and everyone I know there loves it. Their stats tutor (Daniel Lunn) is possibly the best lecturer I have ever had, and other people I know who have interviewed there have had complimentary things to say about their other maths tutors. If you're into sport then it's certainly a good choice as their sports teams are strong and their playing fields on site. Merton is also lovely to look at but there is a lot of academic pressure there. Whether that's a good thing is for you to decide. Do also consider Queen's - two fantastic maths fellows who'll go out of their way to help, great college atmosphere, fairly laid-back academic attitude within the mathmos (not to say we don't work, we just all do plenty of other things and have a balanced approach to it). But hey, I'm biased :-)

    If you have any more questions then feel free to PM me.
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    Thanks!! That's been really helpful... I'll get round to repping you, even if mine isn't worth very much! And well done on your First!!
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    I :suith: Daniel Lunn, he gave me £350 for my China trip!
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    (Original post by henryt)
    So I was considering Physics on my brother's advice (just about to become a 4th year ChCh Chemist), but I think Maths is where my heart is. Any more help/advice/opinions from anyone are appreciated though!!
    It's hard choosing now when you're only halfway through your A-levels (one of the worst aspects of the current application system IMO), but you have to choose the subject you love the most. I've known a fair few fourth year physicists and chemists and they loathed their subject by the time they had finished. If you don't live and breathe your subject, don't do it at Oxford is my advice. Don't just pick the subject you're best at - you have to enjoy it.

    The work is hard but I found that its more the *amount* of work rather than how hard the work was, that makes the course difficult.
    Speaking as a former chemist who switched to a joint school in maths, I would have to disagree. No practicals (bar the odd Maple session for you straight mathmos), no need to hand in copious amounts of notes for assessment and so forth. The time you are required to spend on the course depends solely on your aptitude. If you're dumb like me, it takes a lot of time. If you're blessed, it doesn't.
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    Well, I've just finished my first year of maths at Univ, Oxford. It was pretty fun... The tutors are obviously doing something right; all six of us doing straight maths got firsts in mods. I could probably have managed my time a little better - staying up all night to get a work sheet done is not a good thing to do.

    Some of the lecturers were better than others - I didn't really even bother to revise geometry for the exams, becasue I knew I wasn't going to do it. Lecturers who actually make you write things are better than ones who just go through a slideshow - it keeps you awake.
 
 
 
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