What's maths at university like? Watch

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Ditzy
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#21
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#21
(Original post by Jump)
Yup that would be great!
Right, I just need to find a scanner now.... Wonder if they'll mind me using the work one?!
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sequence123
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#22
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#22
I am considering between either Maths or computer science. However its only recently i have found out that i quite like maths. I dont do further maths, and last year i only got a B in maths AS level. I do however think i should be able to pull that up to an A. I already have a placement for CS at Bristol, is there any advice people can give me as to switching over to Maths?

Thanks
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krish87
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#23
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#23
good lord! someone please comment the pure maths in uni and a-level thingy cleary cos i love pure maths in school and was thinking of applying for pure mathematics only................ till i stumbled across this thread

ps help to comment on teh differences.
Also is pure maths a t a-level applied mathematics on uni?!!!
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[email protected]
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#24
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#24
(Original post by chubby)
good lord! someone please comment the pure maths in uni and a-level thingy cleary cos i love pure maths in school and was thinking of applying for pure mathematics only................ till i stumbled across this thread

ps help to comment on teh differences.
Also is pure maths a t a-level applied mathematics on uni?!!!
I'm not at uni but ..... Pure maths like calculus, trig, alegbra, logs etc you just utilise in applied maths at uni. Whereas things like group theory (if ur exam board does that) is what's probably referred to as "pure" at uni- And things like matrices is under linear algebra. So a bit of both really.
"pure" maths at uni I think is more analysis <v.v.rigourous>, abstract algebra, linear algebra...which is quite different from A-level stuff.
As I say I'm not at uni yet, but this is what people have told me
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davros
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#25
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it's not so much that "pure maths at A level" = "applied maths at uni", it's more about the way you're taught to think.

At A level, applied maths basically means maths applied to very specific topics e.g. statistics, mechanics (and now the dreaded decision), really to balance out the A level syllabus and because people could go onto careers in science or engineering where they can use these methods without having to worry too much about all the theory that undepins them.

What's called "pure maths" at A level is really about learning techniques for doing things - here's a rule for differentiating, here's one for integrating, here's the power series for a binomial expansion, etc. It could also be called "applied" in the sense that you're learning rules about techniques you can use and a little about when they're valid, but without questioning why they're valid or how you arrive at the method in the 1st place.

When you get to uni, you take a step back almost with pure maths. You start looking at the foundations of the subjects, how to set up precise definitions of number systems like integers and real numbers, then how to extend these to unfamiliar systems. You will learn "analysis" which is about precise definitions of limits, series, continuity and derivatives, and how to construct "proofs" - basically watertight arguments based on a set of first principles, or axioms. The closest thing to this in the A level syllabus is proof by induction.

If you're undecided, try and find a good bookshop with undergraduate titles (usually called "An Introduction to Analysis", or "Linear algebra"), and look at the style of writing. You will find that uni pure maths is a lot more "wordy" than A level, and it is a good idea to learn to read and write the greek alphabet from memory (not joking!!).

Uni maths can be daunting, not least because whereas in school the teachers are (supposedly) trained to teach, at uni they are usually researchers / lecturers without formal teaching skills. There is therefore greater reliance on students' independence and ability to learn by themselves.

Finally, practise writing long sentences (like mine!). Proofs in uni maths can occupy several pages and would degenerate into an indecipherable mess if there were no words in between the symbols!
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silent ninja
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#26
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Great post Davros. Some very useful information there.
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krish87
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#27
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#27
Absolutely useful info. think the safest way for me is to choose mathematics with computer science.

hmmm......... Brimingham which offers pure mathematics... i might not choose it.... hmmmm somethin to thing about in the summer hols!
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......?
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#28
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Probably maths in Leeds for me then
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Ditzy
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#29
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(Original post by silent p......?)
Probably maths in Leeds for me then
Yay!! Leeds is great!! Send all your maths/Leeds questions my way then.
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......?
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#30
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I never had a subject in mind, but i've always wanted to go to leeds

maths is just what i could do, if it gets really really hard at uni I dont know what ill do.
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krish87
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#31
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Yay!! Leeds is great!! Send all your maths/Leeds questions my way then.
ok will shoot some qs
are the lecturers friendly helpful. if u have a problem how willing are they ready to help?
how do u find the work load?
what is the matsh lectures like?
what do u like about maths in leeds?
what do u hate about maths in leeds?
why do u think i will need to put down leeds as one of the six
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JamesF
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#32
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(Original post by chubby)
why do u think i will need to put down leeds as one of the six
Because if you dont...you have no chance whatsoever of going to leeds :confused:
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Gaz031
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#33
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#33
Is it possible to get a (1st)/(high 2.1) in mathematics through sheer hard work or is divine inspiration needed?
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Ditzy
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#34
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#34
(Original post by chubby)
ok will shoot some qs
are the lecturers friendly helpful. if u have a problem how willing are they ready to help?
how do u find the work load?
what is the matsh lectures like?
what do u like about maths in leeds?
what do u hate about maths in leeds?
why do u think i will need to put down leeds as one of the six
Ok, I found the lecturers very helpful and approachable. They were always happy to help with any problems, and if they couldn't see you immediately they would always arrange I time to go and see them.

I found the workload reasonable, realistically I didn't do enough work, but that wasn't because I didn't have time (I'm just very lazy and preferred to sit and watch tv!!)

The lectures consisted of the lecturer standing at the front and teaching from lecture notes, which were written word for word on the board, so you'd definately have a complete set of notes (this was one thing I was worried about before I started)

I loved the whole experience of being at uni, I found some of the modules absolutely fascinating, and it was these modules that made the course for me, on the other hand there were a few I really wish I hadn't chosen, so these would have been the worst bits, it all depends what you like/pick really.

You at least consider Leeds because its a great uni with a good reputation, but unlike some other places the city is a really good place to be
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Jump
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#35
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(Original post by Gaz031)
Is it possible to get a (1st)/(high 2.1) in mathematics through sheer hard work or is divine inspiration needed?
Good question!
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Ditzy
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#36
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#36
(Original post by Gaz031)
Is it possible to get a (1st)/(high 2.1) in mathematics through sheer hard work or is divine inspiration needed?
I think so, one of my friends managed it, she didn't get amazing A-Level grades (she got an A in maths, but didn't do further and got C's in her others, good results, but you see what I'm getting at) she worked really hard and got a first, and is now doing a phd.

I believe if I'd worked a bit harder I could have gotten a 2:1 (thats the thing I regret most, not working harder)
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nicoleta
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#37
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#37
(Original post by Ditzy)
I think so, one of my friends managed it, she didn't get amazing A-Level grades (she got an A in maths, but didn't do further and got C's in her others, good results, but you see what I'm getting at) she worked really hard and got a first, and is now doing a phd.

I believe if I'd worked a bit harder I could have gotten a 2:1 (thats the thing I regret most, not working harder)
My question might sound silly, but i really don't know what this means:
"second class honours 2.2" I saw in you message 2:1, that means 2.1? And this is like an average after graduation? What's the highest average you can have?

Thanks,
Nicole
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Ditzy
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#38
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(Original post by nicoleta)
My question might sound silly, but i really don't know what this means:
"second class honours 2.2" I saw in you message 2:1, that means 2.1? And this is like an average after graduation? What's the highest average you can have?

Thanks,
Nicole
Yep, 2:1 is the same as 2.1, its not so much an average, more a like a grade, your module marks are added up and averaged into a percentage and then you're given a degree classification based on this. The percentages vary between universities, but essentially its:
70% + for a first
60-70% for a 2:1
50-60% for a 2:2
40-50% for a third
less than 40% is a fail

I'm not sure how well I've explained that, sorry
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......?
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#39
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How much work will be needed to get a first? Considering Im probably going to get an A at AS maths and C in F maths?
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Ditzy
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#40
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(Original post by silent p......?)
How much work will be needed to get a first? Considering Im probably going to get an A at AS maths and C in F maths?
A lot, they don't just hand them out!!
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