Maths at Imperial
UCAS Personal Statement
I find deducing patterns and sequences in unexpected situations as the most satisfying aspect of solving problems in Mathematics. From the sum of the diagonals of Pascal’s Triangle equalling the Fibonacci series, to the ‘Hilbert’s Hotel’ paradox, I enjoy applying different aspects of Mathematics when I tackle challenging problems that at first seem unapproachable. The ability to get to the absolute truth using Mathematics is what motivates me to go beyond and broaden my mathematical horizons.
Selected to participate in advanced Mathematics classes after school, I was particularly intrigued by Chaos Theory. Doing my own research, I came across ‘Numberphile’ and their video ‘Chaos game’. The video showed a form of iteration of randomly generated numbers which are located halfway between a fixed point and the previous point. The iteration carves out a picture of attractors, known as the ‘Sierpinski gasket’, which all would be able to appreciate. The unpredictability of Chaos aligns with my desire for awareness of the finer details, and it shows that the smallest of changes can result in the most unexpected findings. This is my aim in studying Mathematics, to branch into new areas of the subject, and to apply them to solve more abstract problems.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about proof during my A-level. The idea of being able to use deductive reasoning to rigorously prove a conjecture shows me what is capable through proof. In an effort to expand my knowledge, I read an extract from “Euler: The Master of Us all” about Number Theory. In particular, it covered the history and understanding of perfect numbers: a number equal to the sum of its divisors. Known to be remarkable and rare, only four had been discovered by the Ancient Greeks, until Euclid gathered the proof for generating perfect numbers which then meant that the search for perfect numbers was reduced to the search for finding primes of the form 2^k -1. This really caught my attention as it shows the importance of proof in advancements in Mathematics.
Interested in going beyond the A-level syllabus, I entered the UKMT senior challenge in year 12. It tested my problem solving and logical thinking skills. Managing to secure silver, my biggest takeaway was my newfound understanding for the mathematical strategies needed to answer those style of questions, which led me to attend classes after school to strengthen my ability by working with other like-minded Mathematicians to solve the hardest of problems. I particularly enjoyed using arguments about the different types of infinity to solve the increasingly difficult problems associated with Hilbert’s Hotel.
I was chosen to participate in a six-week coding programme organised by a university. This involved working in a group to develop an LED temperature “smart clothing” item, which was designed to change colour depending on body temperature. This gave me an insight into a cutting-edge field of applied Mathematics, using maths to make advances in technology. I was able to learn to code using Arduino Software, which came with challenges. For example, my team and I were unable to colour coordinate the temperatures. After scanning through my code, I was able to spot the error and get the prototype working. This taught me the importance of resilience and how minor mistakes can have big effects.
I was successful in gaining a one-week placement at the economic development firm Aecom. I had the opportunity to see more aspects of applied Mathematics. Completing a report on the socio-economic impacts of a shopping centre on regions in London, I collected quantitative data in areas such as income, and then carried out statistical analysis in order to determine the suitable location of the centre.
I believe my eagerness to acquire new knowledge and ability to adapt to meet the demands of the environment makes me an ideal candidate to study Mathematics at university.
Behind the Statement
How did you make start on your personal statement or begin planning?
Made a list of all academic achievements I have made throughout sixth-form and shortlisted which ones were the most significant to my course and which ones would make me stand out the most. I then collected research, which was not part of the A-Level syllabus, on particular topics which I enjoyed most and made sure it wasn't too general that everyone would use. Make sure to always Link back to why you want to do your particular course.
How did you get these experiences in the first place?
Some experiences were available from the sixth form, others I had applied for.
How did you structure your personal statement?
introduction - what about the course do you enjoy Further reading - mentioned parts of my course which I had not yet learned in school. Experiences - what I had achieved during my studies and how they link to my course. conclusion - why I am perfect for the course/ university
How did you decide on an introduction for your personal statement?
Straight to the point and displayed my love for the course.
How did you decide on a conclusion for your personal statement?
linked it back to myself to cement why im perfect for the course chosen.
What do you think are the strengths of your personal statement?
Further reading out of my syllabus. My achievements related to my subject.
Is there anything you wish you knew beforehand/advice?
Make sure you dont get too many opinions on your personal statements otherwise you will get confused on what to keep and not, as different opinions will lead to different results on your personal statement.