I’ve been filling in so many job applications, it seems my head is completely full of writing about myself, my skills and work experience, and it reminds me of a couple of years ago when I was writing my personal statement for UCAS a few years ago.
Some of you will already have sent off your UCAS applications, but for anyone who hasn’t, then the chances are you’re still fine tuning your personal statement. It took me at least 4 redrafts before I had anything I was happy with what I’d written, and I still worried that it wasn’t going to be good enough.
Especially with a subject like maths, I found it really difficult to talk about things that I had done outside of school, but doing some background reading really helped me to have things to talk about, and gave me an insight into mathematics outside of the A level syllabus.
The music of the primes by Marcus DuSautoy (you might have seen him on the popular maths programmes on tv.) was one that I really enjoyed, as although I didn’t understand a lot of the maths at the time (I mean to read it again now, as this year I’m taking a module in number theory, which is the main subject of this book), it’s great to see where your maths can lead you, and this book also has lots of history and examples which make it a bit easier to read. This is definitely not a textbook.
I also read, and really enjoyed a mathematician’s aplogy by GH Hardy, a brilliant British mathematician alive in the early 1900s. This is an explanation of mathematics and the mind of a mathematician, much more than it describes any actual topics in maths. I would recommend anybody with even a slight interest in mathematics reads this, as it is really interesting.