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Mathematics Personal Statement

Sample Mathematics Personal Statement

My enthusiasm for mathematics has two aspects, the abstract and the practical. I love the elegance, logic and precision of mathematics, the way that problems can work almost entirely in the realm of abstract thought and how solutions can amaze with their economy, clarity and apparently magical ease. I have recently started teaching myself to play the guitar and have discovered how music is ultimately a mathematical construct. Pythagoras argued (not entirely correctly) that most things boil down to a matter of ratios, and it is clear that musical notation is exactly that. An increase of one octave is a doubling of ratios, and the relationships between notes can be described in mathematical terms. At the same time I enjoy the way that maths relates to the real world we live in, particularly in its applications in mechanics and computing. I am a keen programmer and computer engineer, and very interested in the notion of artificial intelligence, particularly the way it reveals such astonishing things about the working of the human brain. To be able to mimic this complexity must be the computer designer’s ultimate dream. All areas of maths interest me, and I am keen to study the subject at degree level, to investigate areas such as number theory, abstract algebra and calculus, as well as the practical applications such as decision theory, quantum mechanics and aspects of financial mathematics. At present my ambition is to spend my career in research, possibly in a university or perhaps in my own research company, and my academic aim is to attain a PhD in mathematics. I know that numeracy and problem-solving skills are highly valued by employers, too, so that the prospects for the future with a maths degree are very attractive.

I am academically very able, with a real aptitude for maths. I managed to get through to the national round of the UKMT Team Challenge in London, and I have achieved Gold in previous challenges. My interest in computing has led me to teach myself programming and gain much experience in web applications. This has not been difficult because of the near universal availability of documentation and web browsers. I am fluent in several programming languages, including Javascript, PHP and Python. With a friend I invented an application which uses computer vision to convert a normal computer screen into a touch screen using a webcam. I frequently work as a freelance programmer, which involves managing and completing projects for clients. I have worked in a computer sales and repair shop, fixing computers in people’s homes, which was an interesting and informative contact with the real world of mathematical applications, calling as it did for the ability to deal efficiently, tactfully and politely with customers, and the self-discipline needed to work under time pressure.

I have attended lectures connected with my subject at the University of East Anglia, on facial animation and set theory. I read Simon Singh’s book, Fermat’s Last Theorem, which was a great thriller as well as a wonderful tale of mathematical puzzlement and dogged determination. I should have loved to be at Andrew Wiles’ lecture! Outside my mathematical interests, I gained a D of E Silver award and successfully ran a company in the Young Enterprise scheme.

I am full of curiosity and crave knowledge of all sorts. I thrive on problems and see them as an exciting challenge which I cannot abandon until a solution is found. If I do not understand something I will do whatever is necessary to gain that understanding. I am a strong believer in teamwork; my motto here is, the more brains, the better. But I am also a confident worker on my own and quite happy to take responsibility for my own decisions. I am indeed devoted to my subject and excited at the idea of being able to study it to the highest level. I have the ability and commitment to make a first-rate undergraduate, and I hope you will consider my application.

This sample Mathematics personal statement is designed to act as an informative guide when writing a personal statement of your own.