Maths teaches you problem solving to explain both abstract systems and our physical surroundings. Through maths you can study from quantum physics and financial markets to quintics and prime numbers.
Here are some general resources related to Mathematics. These should be a useful introduction, regardless of which Mathematics related course you’re interested in and where you might want to study it.
Reading about maths is a great opportunity to think about the subject, why it’s important, and why you’re interested in it. This might be useful in making decisions about whether you want to study maths at university, and in shaping what you say in your personal statement.
Nrich Maths website 🔗 One useful section of this website is the ‘Articles and Books’ page, which suggests some resources for students thinking of studying Maths at degree level. These include: ‘The Mathematics of Games and Gambling’ by Edward Packel; ‘How to Study for a Mathematics Degree’ by Lara Alcock; ‘How to Think Like a Mathematician’ by Kevin Houston. Many of these books will be available in your local library. Alternatively, you could order second-hand copies online - sometimes these will also contain some insightful annotations!
Plus Magazine website 🔗 Learn about the mathematics behind everyday topics, including democracy, sweepstakes and architecture!
Challenge yourself by seeking out advanced maths problems. Spend time with questions you don’t understand and get thinking - this is something you will have to do a lot of at university, so is useful preparation. This will also be useful in preparing you for any additional assessments as part of your application (e.g. interview, admissions assessments, STEP) and your school exams.
Also take a look at the ‘Preparing for University’ 🔗 section of the Nrich website. There are selections of problems to attempt based on difficult and unfamiliar concepts, which reflects the mathematical styles of thinking that are useful at university.
STEP Support Programme 🔗 Even if you aren’t planning to apply to Cambridge specifically, the STEP support programme provided by the University for maths applicants is still a useful resource for anyone wanting to explore some advanced mathematical content in preparation for any Maths-based degree.
The STEP question database 🔗 contains hundreds of past questions which can be used to brush up on your Maths abilities before starting your course!
Underground Mathematics website 🔗 This contains resources that explore the connections between various areas of mathematics, which will really help to develop your thinking with regard to university-style questions.
Podcasts are a great way of integrating maths into your everyday life - listen while you’re doing the dishes or on a walk. Again, this sort of thing is useful for getting you thinking about the value of studying maths, and could be useful in helping you find new areas of interest, and in writing your personal statement.
‘A Brief History of Mathematics’ Radio 4 podcast 🔗 This fascinating podcast about various mathematicians by Marcus de Sautoy argues that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science.
Numberphile podcast 🔗 A huge variety of episodes by different mathematicians. You are unlikely to have come across some of these concepts before, but taking up the challenge of learning about something completely new is a good test of whether you would enjoy studying Maths at university!
Similar to podcasts, videos are an easy way to get thinking about maths. Take notes as you go and follow up anything that the videos make you think about - via google, linked videos or connecting ideas with reading or problems you’ve previously done. This process of making connections is good for your thinking skills, which will help with the application process - both as something you can evidence in your personal statement, and which will come across in interviews.
Numberphile YouTube channel 🔗 These videos contain maths content on hundreds of different topics. Pick something which interests you and explore it further!