Chris, Mathematics

Maths Chris

The college system at Oxford gives the teaching a more personal touch, and provides a great student community.

Throughout school, I enjoyed studying science subjects, and I deliberated between applying for Maths or Physics. I settled on Maths as it seemed to encompass a wider range of topics.

Oxford didn’t seem a realistic option for me until Year 12, when some older students at my school convinced me to apply. Oxford only takes up one space on your UCAS application and I’d say it’s definitely worth taking a chance on. You might surprise yourself, I certainly did!

I looked at a few college websites before coming to an Oxford Open Day. Trinity’s central location made me check it out, but I was convinced to apply by its friendly atmosphere. Everyone was eager to help out and answer any questions. Trinity being such a beautiful place to study also made my decision of where to apply much easier.

The college system at Oxford gives the teaching a more personal touch, and provides a great student community. At Trinity, living on the main college site for your first two years means it’s easy to make friends with a range of students doing different subjects.Eating in the dining hall is a fantastic way of meeting new people. The food is great and reasonably priced too!

The Maths course at Oxford is a lot of fun (and hard work!), especially in the later years where there is a wide array of topics to choose from. You notice the step up from A-Level straight away but it doesn’t take too long to get used to the pace of the learning. The feeling of rising to a challenge is great. If you enjoy problem solving and have a keen eye for detail, then I’d say the Maths course would suit you well.

My favourite topic at the moment is Waves & Fluid Mechanics. I have specialised down the ‘applied’ branch of Maths, where I enjoy solving problems that correlate directly to the real world. Fluid Mechanics has some of the most interesting applications, such as air flow past an aircraft wing and in ocean currents.

During most of my degree, I have had two lectures per day, generally in the morning, where we are taught the course material. We then get set between two and four problem sheets per week, which are handed in for tutorials where we go over the parts we had difficulties with. You can expect two tutorials per week in groups of 2-3 students. Later in the course, more specialised topics are taught in classes of 8-10 students at the Maths Institute.

The workload is manageable, giving me time to pursue other interests as well as to relax. There’s always something to do at Oxford which means although it can sometimes feel full on, you’re never going to get bored. I’ve managed to play my cello in Trinity’s Orchestra every term so far. I also teamed up with a singer from Trinity, and it’s been a lot of fun performing at gigs in Oxford and elsewhere. Being Trinity’s tennis captain, I’ve also seen how much fun college-level sport is. It’s a lot less demanding than university level and a great way to try something out that you don’t have much experience in.

Now I’m just hoping to find something interesting for when I’ve finished my degree! I’d like to continue my interests in fluid mechanics if I can, maybe as an aerodynamicist, but cyber security also looks an interesting field where I can use the skills I have developed over the course of my time at Trinity.

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