I’m Molly, a 3rd year studying maths. I can think of hundreds of things I love about studying at maths at York, but I’ve narrowed it down to my top 4 things to look forward to.
1. Great community
Arriving at York, I was struck with how friendly everyone was. By the end of my first lecture I had met someone who shared my love of sport. Everyone I met was keen to socialise and meet new people.
As well as the general welcoming atmosphere, MathSoc (the student-run maths society) runs events to help build the community. There are social events such as puzzle hunts, quizzes and bar crawls. There are also academic events: ‘Cake and Calculus’ is a peer support session where you can get help on assignments and munch snacks.
The department also has an undergraduate study space, with an online version running this year. It’s nice because all the year groups mix together here. I often like to chat about module choices with older years, who give help on problems I’m stuck on.
Lecturers and staff are approachable and always excited to talk about maths with you. There is a lot of support on offer from the department and I regard the maths department as a home away from home.
As you would expect, a big part of teaching comes from lectures. What is great at York is that opportunities to actually do maths yourself are equally important.
Notably, most modules will have regular seminars (small group classes) attached to them. In these seminars, you have the chance to work on problems with your course-mates and talk through solutions with your seminar leader. It’s a lot easier to learn maths by doing it, so they really help with understanding the content.
Some modules also have problems classes or computer practicals, so there is no shortage of ways to learn!
3. The Maths!
In the next 3 or 4 years you are going to learn so much amazing maths! At York, the maths course has a really good mix of breadth and depth.
In the first few years, you touch on lots of different areas of maths and ensure you have a solid foundation. I particularly enjoyed linear algebra which reveals how useful matrices are.
In the final year(s), you choose modules that match your interests or career plans. There is a huge range on offer, including biological applications of maths, theoretical physics, statistics, and computational maths.
I’ve chosen to take mainly pure mathematics modules because I hope to continue studying number theory in the future. I am also studying fluid dynamics. I didn’t expect to be sketching the motion of a zebra fish in my degree but I am enjoying exploring this different side of maths.
4. The Campus
The campus is so beautiful (and such a big part of your time at York) that I’ve decided to include it as a section!
The maths department is situated on West Campus, overlooking the lake. There are picnic tables just outside and it’s lovely to work outside during the summer.
The campus has a lot of open space and trees. It comes alive during the spring when everyone is outside relaxing (or sometimes even studying!). I love timing walks with the sunset as there are some great places to watch it.