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MA Mathematics UK, Brownie Unit Volunteer

My passion for mathematics was fixed at the age of ten, on the morning that my mathematics teacher told I would be sitting the Junior Maths Challenge, 'as practice for when you are older'. As I nervously started to answer the questions, a whole world began to open before me. I revelled in the problem solving, answering questions of a nature I had not seen before. My teachers were delighted when I emerged from the exam hungry for more. Since then I have consistently demonstrated my aptitude, achieving gold awards through to senior level, and scoring highly in the European Kangaroo.

My middle school supported me by arranging weekly one-hour lessons with Dr Taylor, a local upper schoolteacher. These sessions nurtured my inquisitiveness and explored all areas of science, from genetics to decision mathematics. I thrived on these lessons, which often required independent research or experimentation. My mathematics teacher then nominated me for a two-week summer school for gifted mathematicians in Bedfordshire. We explored encoding and code breaking at Bletchley Park, spread betting with theoretical money on the LSE, and algorithms and their appearances in patterns and nature. I was delighted when I was awarded first prize, particularly because the competition was from extraordinary young people whom I had assumed were far more gifted than myself.

My love of maths is apparent to all those around me - although they do not always understand why! - and I have consistently achieved at a high level. Last year I was awarded the school Mathematics Prize for excellence. My tutoring has enabled several GCSE students to achieve their full potential in their examinations. Tutoring has been a thoroughly enjoyable insight into the fascinating process of teaching and learning.

My A level studies in mathematics and further mathematics have been well rounded, studying all four branches of the syllabus. Pure mathematics is my favourite section as I find satisfaction in the way ideas are developed and put into practice, and the varied applications of integration, differentiation and trigonometry.

Much is made of the relationship between mathematics and music; both have strong intellectual and creative foundations. I believe my mathematical studies are complemented by my third A level - music. I hear and see music in numbers, and my approach to playing or singing is similar to the mindset I use in maths.

I am a dedicated and conscientious student in class, and a key member in many extra-curricular activities. As a keen musician, playing violin, trombone and piano, I contribute to a number of musical ensembles in school and played an integral part in the organisation of our school's summer concert. I am also a member of several local youth orchestras and bands, with whom I have toured abroad many times, most recently to Italy, France and Belgium.

I have been a volunteer at my local Brownie unit for four years. Over this time I have taken on an increasingly important role in the organisation: working with the girls, the leadership team and the division executive team, running meetings, and latterly keeping the unit accounts. I am working towards my leadership warrant to become a Guider. I believe that the skills and experience that I have gained as a Brownie volunteer have benefited all areas of my life, including in my role as Deputy Head Girl.

It is my ambition to enter a career directly related to my degree. At present I am considering either the teaching profession, or post-doctoral research.

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