Mathematics with Economics
Applied in: Winter 2013
University Offers: LSE, UCL
One of the most amazing parts of Mathematics, historically, is the concepts behind various proofs. For example reading William Dunham's 'Euler: The Master of us all' gave me an insight into how great Mathematicians can tackle problems. Euler's solution to the Basel Problem was outstanding; I was astonished at his ingenuity in taking an infinite sequence to prove an exact result for a seemingly inexact one. Reading David Acheson's '1089 and all that' when I was younger introduced me to more complex ideas such as imaginary numbers and chaos theory. Keith Devlin and his online lectures have been of great interest and his book 'The Language of Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible' was enjoyable to read and showed how much of the world we live in can be explained and understood in a mathematical way. Although not going into great depth mathematically, it gave a good overall summary of the ways in which Mathematics can be used as a tool to explain life and the universe.
One of my favourite equations is that of the quartic formula and its solutions. Lodovico Ferrari's solution was impressive enough, but Euler then proposed that each depressed quartic equation had a resolvent cubic, three roots of which were identical. This is what impresses me the most: individuals' ability to approach problems differently, and come up with unique solutions.
I engaged with the subject from early on, going to classes with those in the years above me in primary school. Ever since then I have set high standards for myself. From years 9 to 11, I was awarded the Mathematics Prize for the best in year, also being the only pupil in my year to achieve an A* with distinction in the Level 2 Further Mathematics Certificate. In Year 12 I obtained a gold award in the UKMT Senior Mathematics Challenge. The A Level modules I have taken have been hugely enjoyable and I am very proud to have attained 100 UMS in both C2 and M1. I found particularly interesting the Pure Mathematics modules, as they offer wonderfully complex problems and methods that are extremely satisfying. An excellent part of taking A Levels is being able to tie all my knowledge in together; Physics has been made far more enjoyable with the mathematical underpinnings of Quantum and how simple mathematical equations can relate so heavily to the world we live in. I have also taken part in various Mathematics-related courses at Sussex University, consisting of eight consecutive Sundays and a residential three-day course at Oxford University among others. These two courses introduced me to a lot of material beyond the shackles of A Level syllabi, such as coding relating to the enigma machine and the pigeonhole principle. I was fascinated by the influence that the mathematicians during World War II wielded and how Turing managed to calculate and break down such a sophisticated method of coding that the Germans were using.
I also took part in a Salter's Chemistry Course, which I really enjoyed and spurred me on further. I have also tutored people taking GCSE Mathematics, helping them in the months leading up to exams.
Besides academia, I enjoy participating in sports such as hockey and tennis, always trying to improve my skills in both, joining clubs locally and playing competitive matches against other teams, something which I find extremely satisfying given my competitive nature. I also thoroughly enjoy playing the piano and learning about some of the great composers of Classical and Romantic periods. Mathematics has always been my greatest interest, though, and I look forward to being able to focus on this exclusively at university. It is an exciting prospect to look forward to.