University of Liverpool, Mathematical Sciences Personal Statement
Mathematics, overlooked as it is, is the most fundamental subject in our educational system and is THE enabling tool to solving problems. My commitment to maths stems from my recognition that as an effective problem solver, one ought to understand what is expected to resolve day-to-day difficulties. Mathematical proofs combine both logic and creativity and it is the beauty of maths as well as practicality which makes me want to study it further.
We are encompassed by mathematics; it surrounds us. My pursuit in maths broadened when I stumbled across a YouTube video from ‘Numberphile’, I began to see the subject in a different light; it was more than just an academic subject studied for a specified number of hours per week. Instead I grasped that it was a way of explaining the inexplicable. Throughout my maths AS Level, I realised that I was acquiring an alarming passion for proofs. Combining this growing interest with reading books in the subject I appreciated that I had previously not understood how important meticulous working was until I learnt that it is essential to trace errors and eradicate assumptions and that simply having the right answer is insufficient. From Chemistry I have similarly learnt how to use meticulous working and designing experiments to solve problems, analyse and understand data. Through these pragmatic skills I have been able to bridge the gap between A-level and university maths and almost feel euphoria from the sense that there may be a higher knowledge still to be unearthed which, of we are as yet unaware.
Changing school and adjusting to the new style of learning was an issue that contributed to my underachievement at AS level, but I have gained further understanding of my subjects and am currently demonstrating how much of an improvement I will make in my upcoming exams and retakes through better exam technique.
Being selected as a maths prefect has given me the opportunity to help younger students and promote my passion for the subject to many younger students through open evenings, displays and assisting in lessons. As much as I believe in motivation coming from within, this can also lead us to think that we do maths entirely for its own sake. However that is apocryphal: the communal aspect of maths which enables us to be stimulated by the people around us and help other people solve their mathematical problems is crucially important.
Music is a mind-body exercise; you learn to become one with your body and mind while discovering how to be in harmony with the people around you. I am heavily involved in my church, my previous and current school’s choirs, where I have been lucky enough to perform at various prestigious events. While having fun, to my amazement I was actually developing my numbers, logic, discipline, agility, and maths through reading music. I have participated in drama performances for ‘The School’s Shakespeare Festival’ where I have travelled to many theatres to perform plays such as ‘The Twelfth Night’, and ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ and have become familiar with good memory skills through learning Shakespearian lines. My communication skills have also improved significantly through this involvement with drama.
Teamwork has been a fundamental attribute that I have learnt during my school career. I participated in a school enterprise week where groups competed to create their own products, and as team leader and financial manager, I helped my team beat our competitors by fostering a group atmosphere and will to win, which we did. I was given the opportunity show my inner creative business side, work with others and apply maths skills to real life.
Unlike other subjects which thrive on unsettled debates, give no final answers and allow you to work in isolation, Maths places high priority on comprehension, listening to others’ ideas and perceptions, which allows the subject to operate more efficiently in the intellectual world hence why I am set to study a degree in Maths.
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