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MA Mathematics, Mathematical Challenge UK

March 23, 2012

I find a constant source of pleasure in conceptualising unfamiliar ideas as well as thinking logically and analytically to arrive at satisfying and often beautiful proofs. I am fascinated by the ubiquity of maths and the way that it underpins everything around us. I encountered binary maths at the age of five and since then have found numbers and logic bewitching.

I have had many opportunities to apply my maths skills over the years. In year 7, I obtained a gold award in the UK Mathematical Challenge which gained me a place on a series of mathematics master-classes. These classes covered topics ranging from relativity to John Conway's Perpetual Calendar and showed me a more mature mathematical way of thinking. Reading books such as 'Fermat's Last Theorem' and attending various maths and science lectures also fuelled and deepened my interest. I regularly attend a maths club in Cardiff University, tackling problems independently then discussing solutions with other keen mathematicians. I completed a national engineering scheme where our team undertook a project to save water. We did extensive research to develop solutions for the company's challenge then produced a report on our findings and delivered an extended presentation to a panel. For the project to succeed we had to apply a wide range of skills for example ICT, problem solving, communication and application of number. I have enjoyed learning more about the way the world works through chemistry and physics lessons while the many unfamiliar and abstract ideas in maths have been fascinating. I thrive on independent study, yet enjoy collaboration. My tutoring of students for their GCSE maths was a fascinating experience which also helped me analyse and develop my own studies and mathematical skills. Over the last six months I have volunteered for over 100 hours in an after-school, play-care facility. I also run a book club and a contemporary dance club at my school where I have learned how to prepare suitable yet challenging work for the students then apply my preparation into practice. I subscribe to National Geographic and read the New Scientist regularly.

I am 'full of life', confident and at ease in new situations. I enjoy the unknown. I am determined and committed to everything I decide to do and like to arrive at my own conclusions through discussion and debate. Dance is a passion for me as a creative and practical activity. I do over 7 hours a week of ballet and contemporary dance training which has given me a high-level technique and skill base with a growing sense of artistry. I am a member of the national dance company of Wales' associates' scheme and am studying advanced grades in ballet. I travel widely, recently visiting places such as India, Morocco and Vietnam - all of which have increased my sense of independence and search for new experiences. I represent my County in cross-country races, which offers me physical and mental challenges which I face with eager enthusiasm.

The increased pace of Further Maths has suited me and I have succeeded in gaining 100% in four of my maths and physics modules in year 12. The far-reaching applicability and connections between different fields in mathematics gives me a thirst for knowledge across a broad spectrum of pure and applied mathematics. By tackling and discussing challenging maths problems and extending my knowledge in a variety of ways, I have found my passion for maths increasing greatly this year. I want this to continue in my university life through the intensity of the maths course and I want to gain a depth of knowledge in mathematics. I know this will lead me along fascinating avenues and I look forward to finding out about new and exciting areas of mathematics as I make the transition from school to university.

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