The journal of 'The Piphany'

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    Yes, I'm reserving this place for a blog on my student life. Most of the fresher blogs on this forum don't seem to last for very long, and the same might be true of this one. But it'll be nice to have a written record of what I will have done when I'm finished my studying. So I'll see how it goes.

    Mature. Mathematics. Cambridge. Here we come.
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    Some context:
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    I grew up in quite a religious Jewish family and community, and didn't get a chance to do GCSEs in the school I attended. I then attended a sequence of religious colleges internationally, before dropping out. I still don't have any GSCEs, I spent two years studying A Levels. I don't consider myself religious at all at the moment.
    I am very prone to anxiety and depression, I have had to get treatment for this in the past.
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    Flashback to interviews:
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    The process of applying to university can be quite a prolonged stressful experience. The process of applying to Cambridge for Mathematics was certainly stressful for me. There are quite a few milestones along the way, with early deadlines for UCAS applications, receiving an interview invitation, going to interviews, receiving the conditional offer, sitting the exams together with the STEP exams, and then the wait to find out whether you have made it or not.
    I somehow manage to get so nervous in exams and interviews so as to practically render myself incapable of any logical thought processes whatsoever. I realise that this isn't a profitable approach, but it's the unconscious mind that does most of the work to trigger this effect. I can tell myself during a STEP exam that a shaking hand is unlikely to be of much help, but that won't necessarily have the desired outcome.
    In John's we weren't given a pre-interview test, we rather had three short interviews, each scheduled for about 20 minutes, with the second two being interviews for applied and pure Mathematics. I ended up with a few hours between my first interview and the second two, part of which time I spent lying on my back in some nearby park, staring at the sky, the rest of which I spent sitting outside a public toilet, in light drizzle, trying to do STEP II questions.
    The third interview was certainly the most painful. Not being able to answer the first question isn't a good start. Is it pity in their eyes when they move on to the next question, after me struggling to follow the solution of the counting problem they first posed? Anyways, the counting problem wasn't that interesting, and I don't remember the details of the solution at all.
    One of the questions I was asked was about proving there was an infinity of primes that left a remainder of 3 when divided by 4. I couldn't do this one on my own either, but I was able to reconstruct the proof they showed me after the interview.
    Some time later, I was at the UCL Mathematics open day, and a lecturer, giving a taster for university Mathematics, poses the same question to the attendees. I, being an absolute idiot, decided to answer the question. It didn't go that bad. The lecturer then went on to explain a little how this idea related to these curious objects called 'Gaussian integers'. He didn't go into depth.
    I was reminded about this interview experience recently, chatting to fellow fresher mathematicians on Facebook. The 'Gaussian integer' idea sounds like a nice one, and I've been doing some reading around the subject. There is a related set of objects called the 'Eisenstein integers'.
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    So I went to an event organised by the JSoc last night, in London. It was nice, but I spent most of the time sitting alone.
    The Chaplain was really nice, and we chatted a little.
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    nice blog
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    Good luck, sounds like you've had quite a journey so far.
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    (Original post by Number Nine)
    nice blog
    Thanks
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    Why did u leave the fb group.
    Was there too much banter


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    (Original post by physicsmaths)
    Why did u leave the fb group.
    Was there too much banter


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Yes.
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    Hi,

    How are things going? Looking forward to reading the next blog! Let me know when you've added more content and I'll promote across the site
 
 
 
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