MA Mathematics, UK, Army Cadet Force

March 23, 2012

Mathematics is a concept used by most, enjoyed by few. I have always considered myself a member of this minority, yet the question of why it was mathematics I wish to study at university puzzled me. I thought that not to find a logical answer for this question would undermine the foundations of the subject which I have regarded so highly. After thorough contemplation of this question it came to me that my passion for the subject did not come from my personal ambitions of becoming a mathematician. It was from the elegance and logic of the subject, which will always be thought of as the mother of all sciences, that has fuelled my aspiration of continuing it a higher academic level.

Academically I have always driven myself to be able to attain my potential and to cope with any circumstances which may hinder me achieving my goal. I am currently self-taught in two of my mathematics modules, M1 and S1, due to staff retirements and the fact of their being no alternative modules which I could study. Although I am in this situation I am determined to use the self-discipline I have gained through my extra-curricular activities to be able to complete my mathematics A level to the highest possible standard.

I have taken part in a variety of extra-curricular, some of which I have had to dedicate myself to. This has taught me the vital skill of time management. In the Army Cadet Force I learnt how to discipline myself to be able to achieve tasks that would require great deals of effort, both physical and mental. The Duke of Edinburgh Award (Bronze) showed me how to plan and execute expeditions whilst being responsible for my team members. Simultaneously I was a youth worker at Epping youth centre for eighteen months; my duties included planning activities and maintaining a safe atmosphere. I feel the combination of all of these skills has helped me to cope with my A level work and it is to my belief it will do equally as much when I join university.

In mathematics I have constructed a method of making questions more feasible by the philosophical concept of reductionism, which brings a question down to its core elements allowing the ambiguity of questions to be eliminated by reapplying the simplification. This has been particularly helpful in trigonometry and algebra to an extent where my colleagues have adopted this approach to mathematics. From what I have learnt about the difference of mathematics at A level and degree level is that the questions will rarely show a straight forward method of being solved as in A level. I believe I will enjoy this transition, since it will allow me to have an opportunity to meet challenges which I have not had the chance to meet at A level.

To conclude this statement, I feel that university is certainly the next logical step for me and I am looking forward to the transition between college and university. My image of university is a place where I will not only gain a higher understanding of the subject I am passionate about, but a place I will be able to bring what I have learnt to a variety of people; sharing my own culture and views, whilst learning theirs. If accepted I believe I will gain a lot from university, but also contribute to it, equally as much.

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