Draft Personal Statement
lekikui writes | about 6 years ago
According to G. H. Hardy, "Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics." (A Mathematician's Apology) It is primarily for this reason that I wish to study it at university -- formal mathematics at university level has this beauty and grace to it that many other subjects lack. Reading around the subject has further developed my interest, and I have learnt a great deal from books such as Numbers and Proofs, by R.J.B.T Allenby.
In particular, I am interested by the applications of mathematics to the study of computers and intelligence, and the shared links between these subjects. I have spent time working independently through textbooks which focus on this area, primarily Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, (Abelson, Sussman, and Sussman).
Through my independent work, I have gained an understanding and love of mathematical problem solving, particularly in the more abstract areas. This is also applied to computational contexts, including algorithms and programming theory. Furthermore, this has honed my self motivation, and my ability to work in small groups on difficult problems.
One of the more interesting intersections of mathematics and computing is in the field of computer typesetting. Doing this well requires the use of well designed algorithms, in order to produce the best results. I have attended a number of conferences on the TeX system, including the TeX Users Group meeting in 2008. I have also done contract work in it for the Iranian Bible Society.
Speaking of employment, I have a part time job at a local computer store, which is primarily retail work and dealing with customers. My responsibilities include running the store for a number of hours while my employer is at a client's, and closing the store, including clearing away the till.
In my spare time, I am involved with a local musical theatre group (Chinnor Musical Theatre), primarily as a technical assistant, and have worked on lighting, sound, and backstage on a number of previous shows. I am also active in my school's Debate Society, and have spoken in debates on topics as diverse as compulsory organ donation, privacy and ID cards, and the effects of religion.
I am also fairly active online. I administrate one forum (The Gaslamp Bazaar), and debate actively on a number of subjects on others. As a result, I have learned a lot about writing and conveying my position in text, along with exposure to a wide number of political views. One of the most interesting aspects is the very broad background many of my fellow debaters have, and this differing outlook provides for insightful discussion of subjects.
As a University student, I would be primarily looking to further my understanding of mathematics, in a friendly and enthusiastic group of fellow students.