*****deadness
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Hello, I'm applying for Maths and Statistics at Oxford, but while I detest pure maths I don't think I'm amazing at stats either, and so I wanna have someone who's been through the course to talk to me about what goes on in them. Maths and Philosophy and Maths and Computer Science are 2 other ones I might do, so having a few of those guys to talk to would be great too. If I end up struggling I might also wanna be tutored, so grads with a good result are preferred. Hit me up with your rate.
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Mona123456
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(Original post by ******eadness)
Hello, I'm applying for Maths and Statistics at Oxford, but while I detest pure maths I don't think I'm amazing at stats either, and so I wanna have someone who's been through the course to talk to me about what goes on in them. Maths and Philosophy and Maths and Computer Science are 2 other ones I might do, so having a few of those guys to talk to would be great too. If I end up struggling I might also wanna be tutored, so grads with a good result are preferred. Hit me up with your rate.
If you detest pure maths and don’t think you’re amazing at stats either, you shouldn’t be applying for Maths & Statistics courses, let alone at Oxford. It’s really important to pick degree subjects that you love and enjoy; think to yourself, if you’re in Oxford with 2 long problem sets to do, it’s miserable weather, you’re feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed... will your love for your degree get you out of bed for your lectures? Would you love your course enough to push through the low points?

Pure maths is a huge section of maths. Unless you detest A level maths/FM and think you’ll find University study so much more interesting, perhaps looking at Computer Science, Computer Science and Philosophy and Physics for example might be better. Even if you only detest A level maths/FM content, even then University level study will build on a lot of that and so I would encourage you to do more research into Oxford and other Universities’ courses to see if perhaps a slightly different variant of a Maths degree (or maybe a different degree) excites you more and could suit you better. Good luck
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*****deadness
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(Original post by Mona123456)
If you detest pure maths and don’t think you’re amazing at stats either, you shouldn’t be applying for Maths & Statistics courses, let alone at Oxford. It’s really important to pick degree subjects that you love and enjoy; think to yourself, if you’re in Oxford with 2 long problem sets to do, it’s miserable weather, you’re feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed... will your love for your degree get you out of bed for your lectures? Would you love your course enough to push through the low points?

Pure maths is a huge section of maths. Unless you detest A level maths/FM and think you’ll find University study so much more interesting, perhaps looking at Computer Science, Computer Science and Philosophy and Physics for example might be better. Even if you only detest A level maths/FM content, even then University level study will build on a lot of that and so I would encourage you to do more research into Oxford and other Universities’ courses to see if perhaps a slightly different variant of a Maths degree (or maybe a different degree) excites you more and could suit you better. Good luck
When I stay detest pure maths, I do actually enjoy FP2. (The conics, vectors and matrices in FP3 look like a nightmare tho) However I think university maths is a lot more abstract and proof-heavy than what I’m doing, which I probably won’t like. When I say I’m not amazing at stats I’m getting great marks in A level stats, pretty much full marks in most S2 and S3 papers, but I find the syllabus and papers very rote learnable and think oxford will probably be harder than that. I also find some fundamental probability questions really difficult. I do like the units I’m doing rn tho.
I’ve never dealt with computer science or philosophy before, but my gut tells me that I’m not as good at them as at stats. I’m ducking away from pure maths as far as possible while picking the subject I’m relatively best at, so maths and stats sounds like the best way to go. Whether OXFORD is the best fit tho....is another story
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_gcx
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I'm not at Oxford but I'm starting my second year at warwick doing maths having done maths and stats first year.

FWIW I disagree with the take above that you have to love pure maths to do maths and stats in general. Eg. Warwick's Maths and Stats course is more like a Stats with Maths course, the only compulsory maths is that which is foundational to stats, you don't have to do any more if you don't want to and you can pick and choose what you do on top of that for the most part. I think a non-trivial people on the Maths and Stats course here are not massive fans of maths. This is massively counterintuitive but really it's just a poor choice of course name. Those who really cannot stand it all should generally go for MORSE where there's no compulsory maths past the first year. But there is a much more restrictive course structure and you'll have to do some Economics and Business as well. I'm not sure if other Maths and Stats courses were similar, I never intended to stay on it. As below this isn't the case for Oxford and it does seem like a truer split but may well be the case for your other choices.

Don't be mistaken stats is not without proof or depth, you will learn formalisms (big one being measure theory) and stuff will be in the style of university maths. However more (key word not all) proofs will be sketches rather than spending a lot of time ironing out fine details and a lot of courses will be fairly grounded in real-world application. Pure maths courses as before, will be unavoidable, you simply must have that knowledge and experience.

There are unis where you can completely avoid pure maths after the first year even on the straight maths course, but obviously a university up there with COWI generally wouldn't allow that.
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RichE
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The Oxford maths and stats course sounds much more maths heavy than Warwick. It has the same first year as the maths course.
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_gcx
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(Original post by RichE)
The Oxford maths and stats course sounds much more maths heavy than Warwick. It has the same first year as the maths course.
Yeah would've expected this - I was more saying that the OP shouldn't reconsider doing mathstat altogether, (I can't imagine warwick has the only mathstat course structured that way) clarified that now.
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*****deadness
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(Original post by _gcx)
Yeah would've expected this - I was more saying that the OP shouldn't reconsider doing mathstat altogether, (I can't imagine warwick has the only mathstat course structured that way) clarified that now.
I'll feel dumb after you explain it but sry wdym by I shouldn't reconsider doing mathstat altogether?
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_gcx
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(Original post by ******eadness)
I'll feel dumb after you explain it but sry wdym by I shouldn't reconsider doing mathstat altogether?
Not loving abstract maths is not enough of a reason to reconsider a maths and stats degree in my opinion. It would be enough of a reason to avoid degrees with a considerable (pure) compulsory mathematical component however. (this seems to include Oxford, however) This was the point I was trying to make, sorry if I was unclear.

What sort of abstract things have you looked at, or is it just the thought of a proof-heavy course that's offputting? (you may be thinking it's far dryer than it actually is)

FWIW you can't really separate maths and stats, most Statistics degrees will be called Mathematics with/and Statistics (afaik) and even those that don't will cover a comparable amount of (pure) maths.
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*****deadness
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I'm being dumb today and don't really see the difference between reconsidering maths and stats and avoiding pure. You mentioned warwick maths and stats has little maths, so shouldn't that be a reason to reconsider it?
A lot of pure things put me off. Some weird graph with colored dots that people need to prove about, the over-rigorous set and category theory and things like vector or metric spaces, and of course the rigid algebra and calculus in analysis and stuff. I'm sure there're even worse things out there. FP2 was fine but FP3 is bloody awful. I'm staying away from that insanity. And yeah proving things like 1+1=2 and not being able to make lines of length root 2 seem unnecessary to an uncultured idiot like me
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_gcx
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(Original post by ******eadness)
I'm being dumb today and don't really see the difference between reconsidering maths and stats and avoiding pure. You mentioned warwick maths and stats has little maths, so shouldn't that be a reason to reconsider it?
A lot of pure things put me off. Some weird graph with colored dots that people need to prove about, the over-rigorous set and category theory and things like vector or metric spaces, and of course the rigid algebra and calculus in analysis and stuff. I'm sure there're even worse things out there. FP2 was fine but FP3 is bloody awful. I'm staying away from that insanity. And yeah proving things like 1+1=2 and not being able to make lines of length root 2 seem unnecessary to an uncultured idiot like me
Generally things won't get that abstract (set/category theory) unless you take specific classes in them. Category theory is generally a fourth year course anyway.

You will have to grin and bear through Linear Algebra, possibly Topology, (pretty much as bad as it'll get if you're not going to be doing a lot of pure) Analysis, (and eventually Measure Theory) and Vector Calculus. All these are highly applicable to stats and pretty much unavoidable. Basically - if you think you'll be able to "get on with it" and motivate it with the fact that it will lead on to some interesting Statistics or Applied Maths, I think you will be able to find courses that you will like if you're careful, (probably not Oxford as above) I don't think it's a dealbreaker in that sense. And I think a lot of people on this type of course will feel the same as you.

I would only ever suggest this (doing a degree with bits you're not a fan of) because there is (more or less) no other way you'll be able to do Statistics, as opposed to other joint degrees that exist as free-standing subjects. If you absolutely cannot stand it at all, and wouldn't be able to stomach through the compulsory maths - I think in that case it's going to be a nonstarter and you probably won't be able to pursue Stats. Similarly if you absolutely want to go to Oxford.

Really I should've been more comprehensive in my first post, sorry if I've been a bit all over the place. Would just disagree with the fact you have to love pure maths to pursue stats.

Had a quick look at Bath's Statistics course, it might also interest you and isn't too heavy on compulsory maths. (bit heavier than Warwick though) I am sure you can find others.
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*****deadness
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Nah it's ok, you've been really helpful. I've been wanting to go to Oxford just for the last month (and being 2 months away from the MAT!) cuz my dad convinced me that it's prestigious enough to be 'worth' the difficulty, although at that time I didn't know it had any more pure than other universities. If warwick is that much more flexible then maybe even though it's not as famous it'll turn out better. The fact that those terrifying topics you mentioned are fundamental is pretty daunting. Idk at this point if I can stand them, and assuming I can stomach them, if it's so fundamental most of the rest of the degree will still be about them, then I suppose even if the calculations are applied at that point it doesn't make it any more bearable
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_gcx
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(Original post by ******eadness)
Nah it's ok, you've been really helpful. I've been wanting to go to Oxford just for the last month (and being 2 months away from the MAT!) cuz my dad convinced me that it's prestigious enough to be 'worth' the difficulty, although at that time I didn't know it had any more pure than other universities. If warwick is that much more flexible then maybe even though it's not as famous it'll turn out better. The fact that those terrifying topics you mentioned are fundamental is pretty daunting. Idk at this point if I can stand them, and assuming I can stomach them, if it's so fundamental most of the rest of the degree will still be about them, then I suppose even if the calculations are applied at that point it doesn't make it any more bearable
It's cutting it fine, ideally you could've looked at this over the summer - but you definitely should look into the course structure of the courses you're applying to if you're concerned about having to do too much pure. If you really want to give Oxford a go still, you could apply to just Oxford then add your other choices after.

FWIW these may sound scary at this point, they should seem less so closer to the time once you've got some more exposure to university level maths. While it's there's far more abstraction than at A-level - the pure maths you cover in the first two years of a maths degree is highly applicable, even when it's not immediately clear. Ultimately they are tools that were developed for a reason! Just something to bear in mind.
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*****deadness
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(Original post by _gcx)
It's cutting it fine, ideally you could've looked at this over the summer - but you definitely should look into the course structure of the courses you're applying to if you're concerned about having to do too much pure. If you really want to give Oxford a go still, you could apply to just Oxford then add your other choices after.

FWIW these may sound scary at this point, they should seem less so closer to the time once you've got some more exposure to university level maths. While it's there's far more abstraction than at A-level - the pure maths you cover in the first two years of a maths degree is highly applicable, even when it's not immediately clear. Ultimately they are tools that were developed for a reason! Just something to bear in mind.
Well I figured applying to Oxford is a good experience and I've got no other university to use that slot for, so I might as well apply. You said earlier Oxford maths and stats still has lots of pure in it, but here you mentioned it's highly applicable. So compared to warwick maths and stats which you said has less pure, is the Oxford content really useful, making the warwick one less employable among other things? Also, you said MORSE has even less pure but has economics and business, but what do people think of MORSE vs warwick maths and stats? Is there one they prefer?
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