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Furthering my mathematical knowledge has been a source of great pleasure for me for all of my academic career, and continues to be such. My dedication for mathematics comes out in my other A level courses of physics and philosophy, which have strong, long held links with mathematics; this is a strong motivation for me to study these areas in greater depth. Having frequently taken part in optional mathematics lessons outside of the standard curriculum shows an ongoing commitment to broaden both my ability and knowledge in the areas of mathematics, logic and other related areas. Studying mathematics at degree level is a logical course of action for me.
My key interests in mathematics are in the applied areas of statistics and mechanics. One area where I have enjoyed using applied mathematics is using the normal distribution and hypothesis testing, in statistics, to model and predict real world events. This may be because of my keenness to develop an understanding of how the universe works and the ways with which we attempt to model and predict the goings on within it. A keenness which drove me to take an Open University YASS course in astronomy. Although my key interests may be in these areas, a deep passion for pure mathematics still remains. It is because of this that I have spent time researching, for personal gain, some topics of number theory such as prime number patterns.
Furthermore, I believe that overcoming a challenge has also been a motive and determining factor in my progression in mathematics. For example, I have enjoyed studying circular motion in mechanics for the challenge it initially confronted me with, as it included elements from not only mathematics which I had not encountered before but also elements from my physics course. Another challenge I have overcome has been completing the aforementioned astronomy course, which led to me using and developing my independent learning skills. I felt both fulfilled and enriched by this course, and have found this experience in independent learning a great aid in other areas.
In terms of efforts outside of school, I have read a number of books related to philosophy, such as 'Why I am not a Christian' by Bertram Russell, 'Being and Nothingness' by Jean-Paul Sartre and 'The Existence of God' by Richard Swinburne. These books, although predominantly linked to my philosophy course, contain elements which have extended my understanding of some areas of pure and statistical mathematics. Having read books of this standard has shown my ability to understand and comprehend university level texts, which will aid me in future work and research.
To conclude, mathematics is a subject I have reveled in for the majority of my academic life and look forward to extending this recreational and educational development at university level.