Propositions & Proofs: Mathematics in University
Reading mathematics at university is a whole different ball game. No, it is not for the faint hearted; but if you have the strength, determination, and perseverance, you will feel extremely satisfied.
It is the time of the year one starts frantically applying to universities. Those applying to UK universities have to decide their major. If you are applying to the states, you have one less worry. You aced your mathematics classes in school and you think mathematics at university level is going to be manageable. Really?
You can get a good glimpse of university mathematics by attempting the STEP or AEA papers. They are often used as conditions for your university admittance, especially to competitive ones like Cambridge, Warwick, etc. NOTE: Oxford uses the MAT.
Mathematics at university goes back to the fundamentals. You get introduced to new areas such as Analysis and Algebra. You gain new tools and methods in solving equations. You will get a thorough foundation in undergraduate mathematics during your first 1.5 – 2 years. This is the time you will question your abilities in your chosen field. Don’t worry because if you were to ask your course seniors, TAs, or even professors, most will agree those are the toughest years.
Thereafter, you start to specialise in areas that interest you. To many people, mathematics is a subject. So if you study mathematics, you should be good in everything ranging from geometry to fluids, right? Absolute misconception. In broad general terms, we can divide the field of mathematics into Pure and Applied.
Chalkdust: A flowchat to read your mathematical destiny, because we extrapolate. Click on the image, to visit UCL Mathematics Department’s very own mathematics magazine!
Imagine this: You are introduced to Science in primary school. When you progress to secondary school, you realised that Science is actually an umbrella term for Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. The three are very differentiable from each other. And then you move on to a higher level, and you discover the finer aspects. Likewise, there is so much more to Mathematics!
If you are still up to join us, we are lovely people. That is a proposition of course, and you can try to prove it by contradiction. Mathematicians love to discuss problems over food, coffee, and pizzas. We carry scratchpads and pencils. We are extremely low maintenance. All the tuition fee you will pay doesn’t really add up to the number of facilities available for you in university (ahem, UCL).
You can assume the money goes out to charity organisations planting trees to replace all those you have killed so that you can submit your problem sheets in time.
Some things most mathematicians agree on:
We are not statisticians. No, a BSc Mathematics is different from a BSc Statistics. Check out this blog for some insights.
We do take great pride in the maths puns we create. Can you find them in this article?
There is a limit to how much patience we have to questions such as “Are you going to be a teacher?” (writer’s note: to be very fair, I am.)
I hope you all are now encouraged to study the beauty of mathematics in university. It is a tough degree that uses many greek letters so you will essentially have a basic fluency in reading the greek script by the end of your three/four years. What a bonus!
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