Undergraduate Mathematics (with modern languages where applicable) Personal Statement
Mathematics is an intrinsically beautiful subject; it is logical and structured, with a unique ability to provide eternal truths. Intriguingly, it fulfils the dual purpose of also describing the world in which we live, playing a role in many academic disciplines. A mathematical approach is intellectually advantageous; logic enables even the most complex problems to be broken down and solved. Furthermore, studying mathematics brings me great satisfaction and stimulation. As such, I wish to continue my studies in this area; not only to develop my knowledge of a subject about which I am passionate, but also to enhance my own capabilities.
In 2006, I attended an astrophysics summer school at ICL, during which I developed a sense that mathematical logic underpins the structure of the universe, sparking my interest in the subject. I also completed a silver CREST award on the topic of galactic collisions, learning to structure a research project. I did this through NAGTY, with which I contributed to academic internet forums on a regular basis, developing an interest in mathematics beyond the curriculum.
Since then, I have engaged in a variety of extra-curricular events to extend my mathematical skills and knowledge. In March 2010, I attended a residential course at Villiers Park. Here, I found that I could thrive on the pace and intensity of university mathematics. I completed a paired investigation on the Koch snowflake, winning a prize for the best project; from this, I gained the ability to structure a solution to a longer problem, as well as learning to communicate mathematical ideas to an audience. To enrich these skills, I will complete an extended project in the next academic year, on the subject of knot theory. To increase my intellectual autonomy and accelerate my studies, I have taught myself a number of modules of my school mathematics course: in Y12, I taught myself both C2 and C3, the latter in two months, and plan to cover at least C4, FP4 and S2 independently in Y13. I am enthusiastic about involving others in mathematics, and run a club to engage younger pupils through puzzles and games.
Moreover, my linguistic skills complement my mathematical abilities. For five years, I have studied German as a foreign language, enjoying its structure and syntax. I find that languages involve similar thought processes to mathematics; both academic disciplines require logic, analysis, and clear, concise reasoning, with the ability to consider an issue from a variety of angles and work around potential difficulties being exceptionally useful. As such, my languages work enhances my mathematical studies by allowing me to gain intellectual flexibility.
Outside of school, I am part of the London 2012 Young Leaders programme, in which I organise community projects, eventually volunteering at the 2012 Olympics. From this, I have enhanced my ability to plan and think creatively and flexibly, which I find invaluable when tackling mathematical problems. Additionally, I have played the trombone for six years; in this time, I have contributed regularly to two county-level ensembles, and have played on three foreign tours. This has aided my self-reliance, teaching me the value of practice and perseverance; themes key to mathematical understanding.
As such, I feel that I am a motivated and enthusiastic student, able to thrive on the challenge of a demanding mathematics degree.
Universities Applied to:
- University of Cambridge, Emmanuel College (Mathematics) - Offer (A*AA and 1,1 on STEP II, III) Firm
- University College London (Mathematics with Modern Languages) - Offer (A*AA) Insurance
- University of Warwick (Mathematics) - Offer (A*AA and 1 on a STEP paper or A*A*A and 2 on a STEP paper)
- University of Durham (Mathematics - European Studies) - Offer (A*AA)
- Imperial College London (Mathematics with a Year in Europe) - Offer (A*A*A and 2 on STEP II or STEP III)
- Chemistry (AS) - A
- Physics (AS) - A
- Maths (A2) - A*
- Further Maths (A2) - A*
- German (A2) - A
- EPQ (Level 3): Mathematical Knot Theory and its Applications (A*)
- STEP II: 3
- STEP III: 3