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# MAT Prep Thread 2018 watch

2. In the above question, is the recursion depth of equal to Attachment 754244754246
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3. (Original post by r_gup)

In the above question, is the recursion depth of equal to Attachment 754244754246
Ignore the attachment thing. Nothing has been attached to the answer. The answer is the one in the bottom image.
4. (Original post by r_gup)
Ignore the attachment thing. Nothing has been attached to the answer. The answer is the one in the bottom image.
for n=5 the recursive depth is 4.
For n=7 recursive depth is 5

Looks like an interesting problem to tackle though. I am gonna try it myself hahaha.
5. Hi, I sat the MAT last year, and applied for Maths & Computer Science. If you have any questions, feel free to ask
6. Thamks for the offer Integer123 . How were your interviews? To which college did you apply to?
7. (Original post by r_gup)
Thamks for the offer Integer123 . How were your interviews? To which college did you apply to?
No worries

I applied to Worcester College and had 5 interviews in total, 2 for maths and 3 for CS. Every applicant is allocated a second college, and I was allocated Balliol College. At Balliol College and Worcester, I had an interview for CS and an interview for maths. On the Tuesday, I saw that I had another interview at Lady Margaret Hall on the Wednesday; and when I arrived at Lady Margaret Hall, I found out it was a computer science interview.

Overall, I felt my maths interviews had gone better than my computer science interviews

If you want me to discuss what happened in my interviews, I can
8. (Original post by Integer123)
No worries

I applied to Worcester College and had 5 interviews in total, 2 for maths and 3 for CS. Every applicant is allocated a second college, and I was allocated Balliol College. At Balliol College and Worcester, I had an interview for CS and an interview for maths. On the Tuesday, I saw that I had another interview at Lady Margaret Hall on the Wednesday; and when I arrived at Lady Margaret Hall, I found out it was a computer science interview.

Overall, I felt my maths interviews had gone better than my computer science interviews

If you want me to discuss what happened in my interviews, I can
Please discuss your interviews. How were the maths interviews different from your CS interviews? Did they keep in mind that you were a Maths and CS applicant?

Did it have any specific material/algorithms which are not in the A-Level syllabus like the master theorem(just an example)?

How would you rate the questions' difficulty on a scale from 0-5?

9. I used a slightly different method while trying (pretty tedious) to prove . I first found out the tangent passing through and its points of intersection with the and the . I then proceeded to find
and by dividing them into 2 right angled triangles each and subtracting the area of the sector (which works out to be the same).

Is it alright to use such a time consuming method in the MAT?
10. (Original post by r_gup)
Is it alright to use such a time consuming method in the MAT?
Whether it is "alright" depends largely on whether you run out of time as a consequence.

But certainly in this case I'd say the examiners were looking for something easier; a fairly straightforward (if possibly slightly tricky to explain nicely) symmetry argument suffices.
11. Does anyone know if you apply for a joint course say Computer Science and Mathematics and interview goes exceptionally well for one subject and not so well on the other, would you be considered for Mathematics or Computer Science only? I am asking this because people applying for Physics and Philosophy get considered for Physics if they are not selected by Philosophy department.

Thank You!
12. (Original post by Quantum Horizon)
Does anyone know if you apply for a joint course say Computer Science and Mathematics and interview goes exceptionally well for one subject and not so well on the other, would you be considered for Mathematics or Computer Science only? I am asking this because people applying for Physics and Philosophy get considered for Physics if they are not selected by Philosophy department.

Thank You!
gavinlowe/RichE would be the best people to answer this query.
13. (Original post by Quantum Horizon)
Does anyone know if you apply for a joint course say Computer Science and Mathematics and interview goes exceptionally well for one subject and not so well on the other, would you be considered for Mathematics or Computer Science only? I am asking this because people applying for Physics and Philosophy get considered for Physics if they are not selected by Philosophy department.

Thank You!
Are they actually considered for the physics-only course?
14. (Original post by r_gup)
Please discuss your interviews. How were the maths interviews different from your CS interviews? Did they keep in mind that you were a Maths and CS applicant?

Did it have any specific material/algorithms which are not in the A-Level syllabus like the master theorem(just an example)?

How would you rate the questions' difficulty on a scale from 0-5?

Mostly, the difference between the maths interviews and the computer science interviews was that there was less maths in the computer science interviews - my interview at Lady Margaret Hall had very little maths, as did my interview at Balliol College, whilst my interview at Worcester had a bit more maths, including a maths question itself. I think the main idea of the interviews was that they expected me to be able to apply my mathematical knowledge to more algorithmic situations.

I'd say the interviewers may take into account you being a Maths and CS applicant, for me, the maths interviews at Balliol College and Worcester seemed very much like interviews that were standard maths interviews, although I have a friend who was given more discrete maths like questions in their maths interview at St Hugh's College. Also, one of my friends interviewed at Keble College where their interview was a combined Maths and CS interview. So I'd say that it may depend on college, but I think the interviewers are aware that you are a Maths and CS applicant.

There was nothing in the interviews that was designed to catch you out - even though all the questions were very unknown, they tested applying your knowledge in unfamiliar circumstances. For example, in my Worcester maths interview, I knew Vieta's formulae, although I was asked whether I recognised a pattern in the numbers. In my Balliol College computer science interview, the question probably required very little knowledge but I still found very challenging. At Lady Margaret Hall, for my CS interview, one of my questions required knowledge of graph theory, which I knew from having done D1 (Decision Maths module) in year 12, although the focus was less on knowing the graph theory itself and more applying algorithmic techniques. All the knowledge about graph theory I think was needed was the idea of a graph and edges/vertices, and what a conected graph is.

In terms of rating the difficulty, I think it does depend on your strengths and how you find the interviews themselves.

Balliol College:
Maths: This was my third interview (around midday on Tuesday). The first question was a graph sketch of , and graph sketching is one of my stronger topics so I found that relatively straightforward; and the second question was on probability, which normally is also one of my stronger topics, but for some reason I just said some stuff that wasn't making very much sense at all, although the interviewers managed to get me back onto the right track and answer the question correctly. I was happy with this interview; I was a bit worried I hadn't done as well as I could have on the probability, but still felt it was a good interview, but not as good as my Maths interview at Worcester. I'd rate that 3/5 difficulty.

CS: This was my fourth interview (Tuesday afternoon). In this interview, I felt quite out of my depth, perhaps because I'm less confident in CS than maths, but nevertheless I felt quite happy with my performance when I left the interview. One of the tutors was writing on a whiteboard, whilst I sat on a chair facing the whiteboard, basically trying to explain how to solve the problem. I think I grasped how to do the problem quite quickly but perhaps I didn't explain everything as clearly as I should have, and when asked the question at the end of "is this the most efficient algorithm?", I wasn't really sure and said if I followed another algorithm, it would be much slower - although the tutor did tell me that trying to explain whether this was the most efficient algorithm was too difficult to be done in an interview. Also, there was another short question at the end from the other tutor about my interest to study the subject, which did throw me a bit, although the main focus of the interview was on the algorithm. I felt happier with this than my CS interview at Worcester College. I'd rate this 4/5 difficulty.

Worcester College:

CS: This was my fifth interview (Wednesday late morning). When I got to the interview, I was first asked a brief question about why I wanted to study Computer Science, which I answered in a couple of minutes, and then we moved on. I was interviewed by a tutor and a PhD student. I was given, in the interview room itself, a sheet to read over, and then we would start discussing it. This was on graph theory, which is a topic I really like, so I was happy about that. Throughout the problem, I tried to apply logic to the situation as well to eliminate certain possibilities. Most of this problem I felt went quite well, although at one point, I had to explain why something was true on any general graph, and I think, because I had some idea of a proof, but this was different to their idea, I was perhaps being a bit inflexible, and struggled to explain why it was true. I was then given a second problem to read, which I felt went quite well too, although towards the end, I forgot the premise of the problem, and got very confused, although the tutors helped explain it again. I felt this went about as well as my Balliol College CS, but better than my Worcester CS interview, and was overall happy with it. I'd rate this difficulty 4/5.

If I had to rank my interviews, from which I felt went best to which I felt went worst, I would say:
1) Worcester College Maths
2) Balliol College Maths
3) Balliol College CS (tie with Lady Margaret Hall CS)
3) Lady Margaret Hall CS (tie with Balliol College CS)
5) Worcester College CS

I'm currently working on writing up a pdf document of my interview questions, but I'll try and post that here soon Also if any people I know have got questions they can remember, I'll try and add those to a separate document
15. (Original post by r_gup)
Are they actually considered for the physics-only course?
Yes, they are asked at some point during their application if they wish to be considered for the physics-only course.
16. (Original post by Integer123)
Mostly, the difference between the maths interviews and the computer science interviews was that there was less maths in the computer science interviews - my interview at Lady Margaret Hall had very little maths, as did my interview at Balliol College, whilst my interview at Worcester had a bit more maths, including a maths question itself. I think the main idea of the interviews was that they expected me to be able to apply my mathematical knowledge to more algorithmic situations.

I'd say the interviewers may take into account you being a Maths and CS applicant, for me, the maths interviews at Balliol College and Worcester seemed very much like interviews that were standard maths interviews, although I have a friend who was given more discrete maths like questions in their maths interview at St Hugh's College. Also, one of my friends interviewed at Keble College where their interview was a combined Maths and CS interview. So I'd say that it may depend on college, but I think the interviewers are aware that you are a Maths and CS applicant.

There was nothing in the interviews that was designed to catch you out - even though all the questions were very unknown, they tested applying your knowledge in unfamiliar circumstances. For example, in my Worcester maths interview, I knew Vieta's formulae, although I was asked whether I recognised a pattern in the numbers. In my Balliol College computer science interview, the question probably required very little knowledge but I still found very challenging. At Lady Margaret Hall, for my CS interview, one of my questions required knowledge of graph theory, which I knew from having done D1 (Decision Maths module) in year 12, although the focus was less on knowing the graph theory itself and more applying algorithmic techniques. All the knowledge about graph theory I think was needed was the idea of a graph and edges/vertices, and what a conected graph is.

In terms of rating the difficulty, I think it does depend on your strengths and how you find the interviews themselves.

Balliol College:
Maths: This was my third interview (around midday on Tuesday). The first question was a graph sketch of , and graph sketching is one of my stronger topics so I found that relatively straightforward; and the second question was on probability, which normally is also one of my stronger topics, but for some reason I just said some stuff that wasn't making very much sense at all, although the interviewers managed to get me back onto the right track and answer the question correctly. I was happy with this interview; I was a bit worried I hadn't done as well as I could have on the probability, but still felt it was a good interview, but not as good as my Maths interview at Worcester. I'd rate that 3/5 difficulty.

CS: This was my fourth interview (Tuesday afternoon). In this interview, I felt quite out of my depth, perhaps because I'm less confident in CS than maths, but nevertheless I felt quite happy with my performance when I left the interview. One of the tutors was writing on a whiteboard, whilst I sat on a chair facing the whiteboard, basically trying to explain how to solve the problem. I think I grasped how to do the problem quite quickly but perhaps I didn't explain everything as clearly as I should have, and when asked the question at the end of "is this the most efficient algorithm?", I wasn't really sure and said if I followed another algorithm, it would be much slower - although the tutor did tell me that trying to explain whether this was the most efficient algorithm was too difficult to be done in an interview. Also, there was another short question at the end from the other tutor about my interest to study the subject, which did throw me a bit, although the main focus of the interview was on the algorithm. I felt happier with this than my CS interview at Worcester College. I'd rate this 4/5 difficulty.

Worcester College:

CS: This was my fifth interview (Wednesday late morning). When I got to the interview, I was first asked a brief question about why I wanted to study Computer Science, which I answered in a couple of minutes, and then we moved on. I was interviewed by a tutor and a PhD student. I was given, in the interview room itself, a sheet to read over, and then we would start discussing it. This was on graph theory, which is a topic I really like, so I was happy about that. Throughout the problem, I tried to apply logic to the situation as well to eliminate certain possibilities. Most of this problem I felt went quite well, although at one point, I had to explain why something was true on any general graph, and I think, because I had some idea of a proof, but this was different to their idea, I was perhaps being a bit inflexible, and struggled to explain why it was true. I was then given a second problem to read, which I felt went quite well too, although towards the end, I forgot the premise of the problem, and got very confused, although the tutors helped explain it again. I felt this went about as well as my Balliol College CS, but better than my Worcester CS interview, and was overall happy with it. I'd rate this difficulty 4/5.

If I had to rank my interviews, from which I felt went best to which I felt went worst, I would say:
1) Worcester College Maths
2) Balliol College Maths
3) Balliol College CS (tie with Lady Margaret Hall CS)
3) Lady Margaret Hall CS (tie with Balliol College CS)
5) Worcester College CS

I'm currently working on writing up a pdf document of my interview questions, but I'll try and post that here soon Also if any people I know have got questions they can remember, I'll try and add those to a separate document
Integer 123 thanks a lot for you extremely heplful post .
Do you require prior knowedge on graph theory to solve questions ,like an idea about dense/sparse graphs, breadth/depth first search or composing a path with strongly connnected components?
17. (Original post by r_gup)
Integer 123 thanks a lot for you extremely heplful post .
Do you require prior knowedge on graph theory to solve questions ,like an idea about dense/sparse graphs, breadth/depth first search or composing a path with strongly connnected components?
And please try to post the pdf at the earliest. I would love to see it.
18. (Original post by r_gup)
And please try to post the pdf at the earliest. I would love to see it.
Would there be any benefit in going through the textbooks for D1 and D2 modules?
19. Has anyone else found that the 2018 MAT date lies during October half term? What does this mean
20. (Original post by Maariyas)
Has anyone else found that the 2018 MAT date lies during October half term? What does this mean
Our half term is the week before, but in previous years when it has been in half term people have just had to go into their school and sit the exam in half term.

Is anyone else potentially going to be sitting the TMUA the same day? I'm looking at Durham and they encourage us to take it...but it's another 2 exams and they're all scheduled for the same day which would be a very long day

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