# I’ve interesting maths problems from STEP and

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of proof, and this interest hasonly deepened as I have progressed in my study of mathematics. This is whattruly separates mathematics—in no other discipline is there such a thing as an absolute proofed truth. I find asheer beauty in the process of deriving a rigorousproof, and this is why mathematics is the onlysubject for me.

For me, mathematics goes beyond what is taught in the classroom. I am amember of my school’s maths society, which organises events for students toshare a range of interesting maths problems from STEP and the UKMT SeniorMathematical Challenge, and collaborates in tackling mathematical problems. Wehave also held Fermi evenings, where we explore various estimation problems. Ihave opted to attend sessions at my school where I tackle maths questions muchmore interesting than the standard ones. Thinking about how to solve them hasgreatly improved my rigour in approaching other problems. On many an occasion,I have uncovered either something entirely new or a neat trick that I hadn’tthought of in more familiar territory.

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I think thisis one of the most interesting experiences in mathematics.  My interest in the discipline of mathematics has been deepenedby reading. ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’ stands out for the work ethic, attitude of rigorous proof, and the faith in mathematicsthat Andrew Wiles demonstrated. The book inspired me and ignited my interest inthe work people do in order to prove or disprove competing conjectures andclaims.

Certainly, I willnot understand terminologies do you meanyou do not get these terms? Probably not something to point out in a statementsuch as the ‘elliptic curve’, ‘Modular functions’ and so on. I also gained great satisfaction from ‘The Music of Primes’, which dealswith the concept of primes, its paradoxes and its implications in areas such as… give specific examples of areas that interested you. I most enjoyed ‘The Nature’s Number’ by Ian Stewart for itsreal-life applications: examples such as … again,name some specifically served as interesting in starting points for meto approach more abstract problems I anticipate facing later on in my studies: … again, examples! I particularly enjoy the pure side of the A-level syllabus.

Trigonometry, number theory andcalculus involve a certain degree of proof and arefundamental to topics I will study in future. I chose myother academic subjects to complement and balance mathematics: unlikemathematics, all of them are about finding ways of describing reality, but atthe same time they offer opportunities to practise mathematical skills, be itthrough equations in chemistry and models in physics. This is far too vague – can you go into more detailabout how you used mathematics in chemistry and physics? Criticalthinking, which I have also studied, is especially relevant, as it requires theconstruction of sound logical arguments, an art lying at the heart ofmathematics in proof. forexample… From open days and discussions with undergraduates currently studyingmathematics, I have gained a picture of what a degree in mathematics wouldentail, which has convinced me that this is the road I want to continue down for as long as possible.

By the endof my course, I hope to be better able to see my way into problems, quicker todigest complex ideas, more resilient in the face of mental challenge and moreflexible in my ways of thought. These qualities are important to me to become the person that I want to be: why do you want to be this person? For the satisfactionof being able to use these skills to understand the world around you? Orperhaps for a particular life path you have in mind?

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