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?
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?!!!
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!
Great post Davros. Some very useful information there.
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!
Probably maths in Leeds for me then
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.
Is it possible to get a (1st)/(high 2.1) in mathematics through sheer hard work or is divine inspiration needed?
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?