The advice below was written by Dr. Martin Lavelle, who is Associate Head of School – School Outreach & Admissions.
UCAS Personal Statement
As an admissions tutor, when I read your personal statement I look first for enthusiasm about the subject. Which topics have already engaged you and which books have you read? Your statement should paint a picture of why you want to study your degree. If you know what you want to do after the course that is great but it is not essential. Your outside interests and work experience can show more about you – including important communication skills. Have you been a trusted person at work? Have you volunteered to help others learn at school? Have you trained people in a sport? Any of these things makes you a stronger applicant.
Try to avoid clichés and to give a sense of yourself.
Although we are are at the start of the exam period for the 2017-2018 academic year, we are starting to plan the teaching activities for the 2018-2019 year. As with many degrees, the students have the option to do a project in the final year of their degree. The project allows the student to do research in a project of their choice, which is supervised by a staff member. The system has changed this year, so that the project is worth 40 credits and lasts the entire year.
Students select their topic and supervisor and they start to do background reading in the topic over the summer. The topics the students will be working on next year are below, with the staff member supervising the project.
Supervisor Working Title
Nathan Broomhead, Reflection groups and root systems
Tom Heinzl, Relativistic Charge Dynamics in Electromagnetic Fields
Matthew Craven, Computational Hardness of Base Problems in Cryptography
Vincent Drach, The Path Integral Formalism
Gosia Wojtys, Investigation of ONS Personal Well-being Data Using Data Visualisation and Data Mining Techniques
Daniel Robertz, An investigation into sets of primes with a common difference and consecutive primes in arithmetic progression
Matthew Craven, Assessing the security of cryptographic primitives for infinite groups
Gosia Wojtys, How Risk Theory is used within the Actuarial Profession
Alesandro Cardinali, Statistical techniques for Financial Asset Management
Raphael Stuhlmeier has been invited to give a talk at the 113th meeting of the Society for Underwater Technology’s meeting on Environmental Forces, on May 24th at St. Peter’s College, Oxford. Raphael will be presenting recent research on “Stability and evolution of non-homogeneous ocean surface waves”, more details of which can be found in the January issue on “Nonlinear water waves” of Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A
Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter FRS, OBE gave a talk on Trust in Numbers to the SW RSS local group on the 25th of April. He stressed the importance of statisticians in helping people form critical thinking and that organisations should seek to be trustworthy rather than aimed to be trusted. The photo shows the Secretary of the local group, Dr Yinghui Wei, with David on Plymouth Hoe.
Dr Martin Lavelle gave a masterclass in Bideford on the 21st April 2018 on the mathematics of powers, exponential growth and guesstimations. As part of this the students folded a long piece of paper 9 times so that the resulting folded sheet had 512 layers.
Dr. Vincent Drach from the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at Plymouth University has been awarded 830 000 CPUhs from Dirac (a distributed supercomputer in the UK) for a project with the title: Signature of compositeness at the LHC. The aim is to study the resonance properties of the vector state in the theory, because this will provide useful information in the search for this theoretical particle at the LHC.
Dr Matthew Craven has published a collaborative work on the visualisation of algorithm parametrisations. The algorithms are of several different widely-used types and are used on OR/Mathematical benchmark problems and water network design in the water industry. The paper was presented by collaborator, Dr David Walker from the University of Exeter, yesterday at the EvoIndustry conference in Parma, Italy, and feeds in to a journal paper currently being written for imminent submission.