MATHEMATICS AT CAMBRIDGE
The undergraduate course, called the Mathematical Tripos, is a three-year or a four-year course. If you graduate after three years, you receive the BA degree. If you graduate after four years, you receive the BA and MMath degrees. In both cases, you automatically qualify, after a further three years, for the MA degree. In order to stay for the fourth year, you have to achieve a high standard in the third year.
It is widely considered to be a very tough course; and correspondingly rewarding. The range of subjects offered is exceptionally wide: you can learn about everything from black holes to the most abstruse problems in logic.
All mathematical students in Cambridge attend the same lectures organised by the University at the Faculty of Mathematics. In the first year, there are two options. Option (a), Pure and Applied Mathematics, is designed for students intending to continue with mathematics, while Option (b), Mathematics with Physics, is designed to lead either to Mathematics or Natural Science in the second year. For further details of the course structure and content see the Faculty guide available from the Admissions Office or at http://www.maths.cam.ac.uk/undergrad/admissionsinfo/
WHY STUDY MATHEMATICS AT CORPUS?
In recent times Mathematics has been strong at Corpus; there are usually about 20 students in the subject at any given time. Many proceed to do Part III (the fourth year postgraduate course) and a research degree in mathematics or another discipline. In 2016 half of our final year mathematicians received first class results, and we are very proud of their achievements. Our students often go on to success in mathematics research. In 2002 a former student, Dr Susan Howson, won the prestigious £12000 Adams Prize for her research in number theory, the first woman to do so in the 120 year history of the prize.
The College’s large research community is based at Leckhampton, a ten-acre campus ten minutes walk from the city centre. Supervisions, usually in groups of two, are arranged by the College. Most supervisions in the first two years are in house, and then in the third year Corpus joins forces with 9 other Colleges so that teaching may be provided with specialists in each option. Its central geographical position ensures that Corpus is well placed for many of the undergraduate mathematics lectures (within 300 metres). The College library has multiple copies of many standard undergraduate texts, but also enables students to broaden their mathematical reading away from the exam syllabus.
Mathematicians throughout the University join the Archimedeans, a society with a programme of speaker meetings and other activities for mathematical students. Social needs at Corpus are met by the T. Batterby Mathematics Society, named after a former Corpus mathematician.
The College is able in many cases to offer financial support to students who need it. As the result of a benefaction, in 2003 the Worshipful Company of Cutlers of London established an annual Richard Metheringham Prize for the Corpus mathematician with the best result in the third year exams (Part II of the BA) and awarded a Richard Metheringham PhD studentship in Mathematics at Corpus in 2004 and 2007. From 2006 the hedge fund, IKOS, has also sponsored a PhD studentship in mathematics at Corpus.
We currently have three Fellows in mathematics, researchers in topics ranging from algebra and geometry to fluid mechanics and logic. Dr. Gareth Taylor, our Preceptor in Mathematics provides a range of supervision teaching for students of Corpus.
|Dr. Chris Brookes
Dr. Brookes directs studies in mathematics. His research interests lie in groups, non-commutative algebra and geometry, homological algebra.
Dr. Kisil’s is also a director of studies in mathematics. Her research looks at solutions to Partial Differential Equations, in particular using the Wiener-Hopf method. The Wiener-Hopf method is used for a broad collection of PDEs which arise in acoustic, finance, hydrodynamic, elasticity, potential and electromagnetic theories. You can read more about her research on pgs. 26-27 of the Pelican, Corpus’ magazine.
Dr. Campbell-Moore is interested in mathematical philosophy. She is currently working on self-referential probabilities and probabilistic liar paradoxes, and has also worked on infinitary logics and on formal theories of truth.
|Dr. Gareth Taylor (Preceptor)
Dr Gareth Taylor, one of the most experienced maths supervisors in Cambridge, supervises a range of courses in the first and second years.
WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR IN APPLICANTS?
Most mathematics students have a science background but applicants with a broader selection of A level (or equivalent) subjects are not precluded. Likewise, while it is desirable for applicants to have covered as much material at school as possible, further mathematics AS level will suffice. The aim is to make an informed assessment of candidates on the basis of the application form, including school report, and personal contact through the interview process. There are two interviews in Corpus, each is about 30 min long and you will usually be assessed by two interviewers in each session. In one of the interviews you will be asked to do some written work on material previously prepared, but not part of the usual A level (or equivalent) syllabus, and the interview will largely be a discussion of this work. The other interview will consider more general mathematical topics, and you will typically be asked to think about two or three problems in different areas. The idea is to try to see how how candidates tackles mathematical problems and responds to hints from the interviewers.
Almost all offers involve a STEP paper requirement; the College receives the scripts of STEP papers and so it is possible to give borderline candidates careful consideration. However occasionally an offer may be based solely on A levels, usually A*A*A with offers at comparable levels made to candidates taking A level equivalents, for example the International Baccalaureate.
Deferred entry, while not discouraged, is not positively encouraged; the advantages of greater maturity and experience are often outweighed by the problems of rustiness associated with a long period away from mathematics.
If you have any queries about Corpus mathematics please contact the Director of Studies, Dr Christopher Brookes (firstname.lastname@example.org).