Dhaval – Mathematics
What do you like best about your course?
The great thing about maths at Oxford is definitely the variety of options you can choose from. Being able to pick modules from as early as 2nd year means you can follow your interests – and it never gets boring!
How is your subject taught at Oxford?
Mathematicians can expect about 10 hours of lectures a week, and problem sheets based on these lectures. These problem sheets form the basis of tutorials, of which there are approximately 2.5 hours worth a week. However, you are encouraged to explore areas of maths that interest you, even if they fall outside of the formal syllabus.
What advice would you give potential applicants interested in studying your subject?
Maths at university is quite different from maths at school. If you enjoy the ‘why’ behind the maths, then it’s definitely the subject for you. I would recommend attempting harder questions based around the school syllabus (e.g. MAT or STEP questions), and reading around the subject.
As for interviews, the mathematics tutors are more looking for how you think, rather than if you get the right answer or not. Being able to vocalise your thoughts is important, so the advice I would give is to relax and be yourself – don’t be disheartened if you can’t solve everything! You could also try explaining a maths problem to a teacher/friend, just to get practice in explaining your thought process.
What is life like as a student here?
The small physical size of the college means that everyone knows everyone, creating a really close-knit community. Aside from academics, there are also a whole range of things to get involved in around college, from sports to art to music to name a few. If you have a interest in anything, Teddy Hall will most likely be able to cater for it.
What sort of extra-curricular activities are you involved in at Oxford?
I’m involved in the Boat Club at Teddy Hall, having taken up coxing in my first year. I’ve also been involved with coxing at university level, representing Oxford at the 2018 Lightweight Boat Race.