After studying Maths for 2 years at degree level, I’d like to think I have a little bit of know-how which can be passed onto those who may be thinking about studying Maths, or have chosen to study Maths this year. Here are a few things that I think every Maths student needs.
Calculator- Completely obvious and because when DIDN’T a Maths student need a calculator (actually there are many cases but we’ll save that for another time). Just make sure it’s one that adheres to the Department’s policy.
Scrap Paper & Patience– There are going to be questions that no matter how many times you do them, you always get them wrong. And that’s okay. The beauty of Maths is that there is (usually) always a logical and set way of working something out. Keep going at it, keep trying and eventually, one day, it will click!
An Introduction to Mathematics Book– No matter how much depth you go into when studying a module, it’s always handy to have a book with the basic principles in it, so that if you find yourself struggling to remember the Fundamental Theory of Linear Algebra, you always have a reference point.
An Open Mind– Not everything is going to make sense. Let me take you back to my very first Calculus and Analysis lecture. I walked into my lecture expecting the professor to take it slow: introduce herself, begin with a few things that we may have learnt at college and tell us how it leads in to what we’re doing now. But no. That’s not at all what happened. My lecturer went full speed straight into the course, writing complete gibberish (Greek letters) on the board and talking about this very strange concept called Limits (what are THOSE?). I left the lecture completely baffled and began to understand just what I had let myself in for. But throughout the years things start to make sense and pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together. And even though I still may not completely understand concepts, I have a good (ish) grasp of them.