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OK. Hello, everyone, thank you for joining us today in Oxford. And welcome to you, the Mathematical Institute.
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Welcome to the mats open that I hope you have have you have a fantastic day? Say it's great to see so many of you here today.
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So my name is James. I'm the admissions coordinator for Masa Oxford.
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It's my job to make sure the admissions process is fair between all of the different colleges to make sure we take the best mathematicians.
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Here's the structure of the day.
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I'm going to take half an hour at the start to talk about mathematics at Oxford, and then I'm going to give you two tasters of mathematics.
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First thoughts. Becky Neal is going to talk about pure mathematics. And then it's Dominic Vella is going to talk to you about applied mathematics.
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Just to leave come between the sessions if he wants to.
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Later on, we've got 11:30. Neil Lawson James starts talking about two of the joint honours courses over here,
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and you might also be interested in talks over at the computer science faculty over the right.
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OK, but first, honestly, everything you need to know about mathematics at Oxford.
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So I'll forget. So welcome to the Andrew Wiles building. We've been based here since 2013, when the new building opened.
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It's a really nice building. It's got lots of maths built into it.
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I hope that while you're here today, you get a chance to look around the building and see some of the mathematical features that we built into it.
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This is where all of the maths lectures happen.
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It's also where we keep all of the maths researchers and all the lecturers and all the people doing cutting edge maths research.
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It's really nice having everyone in the same place in the same building as the Andrew
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Wallace building home of maths in Oxford has an intro to the courses that we offer in maths.
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We have eight of these really for four different courses maths and three joint honours courses maths with philosophy,
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maths statistics and maths with computer science.
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Each of those are offered as a three year BA or a four year master's course, and I put the approximate intake up there.
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We don't have a precise number, but the approximate size is about 190 mathematicians, about 20 or 30 on each of the joint honours courses.
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So say a little bit more about the joint honours courses in a moment, but I always talk about just mathematics first.
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Since that the that's the biggest of those four courses. So here's what you might study in the first year of our maths skills.
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These are the courses that we've currently been lecturing to our first years in this lecture room.
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So we've put all of our first year mathematicians together and we tell them about these topics,
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and it's a mix of things you've already heard about at school. But towards the end, from the ground up, things you've never heard of,
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possibly your new favourite sort of maths introduced to you in first year through these topics.
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So we've got things that you might have seen before, from pure maths like algebra and calculus,
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but thought again, new things like group actions that maybe don't get to see at school.
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We teach remote very calculus and apply techniques like partial differential equations.
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These are core skills that we think every mathematician should have so that later on,
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as you specialise into different sorts of maths, you've got these core skills at hand off the first year,
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we the second year where we go again, some some core courses,
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more of those skills that we think all mathematicians should have at the top there in large writing.
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And then some options for you to choose from. So you'll take five or six of these options from this list here in smaller writing.
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And again, this is more and more options for you to think about taking.
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So we've got some pure maths up there, things like modules and topology,
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but also more applied maths options like learning about fluid dynamics and waves and quantum theory and mathematical biology as well.
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We teach our mathematicians special relativity if they want to know about special relativity.
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So as a second year and then in third year, it's kind of more of the same.
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I put the slide up.
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Not really, so that you can read it, but just to demonstrate the huge variety of courses we're currently teaching to our third year mathematicians.
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You'll take maybe eight 10 of these courses in third year.
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So there's a huge variety of subjects up that we try to keep this up to date based
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on what our researchers are looking into based on cutting edge mathematics.
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Lots of these topics of maths didn't exist when we started teaching mathematics hundreds of years ago.
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As we try to keep it up to date, that's all. That's our third year.
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It's just to either specialise into your favourite bits of maths or chance to do broad study in different areas of maths,
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putting together these different topics that you might have seen.
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It's just like I don't have a slide for fourth year of mathematics the Masters course, because there are even more courses to choose from.
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There are about 50 or 60 courses at the moment in fourth year just to really specialise into certain areas of maths.
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One of the aims of our fourth year maths course is that it's a good preparation if you want to do the current research in mathematics.
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If you're interested in doing a Ph.D. or defence research and then our fourth year maths course is supposed
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to get you up to date in those areas of maths that you're interested in lots more topics in fourth year.
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So it's a little bit about the joint honours schools. I'll start with Matins statistics because it's the easiest to explain.
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The first year for maths and statistics is exactly the same as maths. You do that that same core skills sets of courses in the first year.
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After that, you get access to more options in second and third year.
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I more statistics options are, you know, the option to do more than 50 percent statistics if you want to assess the maths and statistics course,
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the chance to learn about machine learning and cutting edge data techniques.
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We also offer mathematics and philosophy, which is a chance for you to learn some core mathematical skills.
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But also,
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the underpinning philosophy will take some philosophy courses alongside some of some of the core mathematics doing about 50 50 in the first year,
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with a chance to specialise through second and third years into those areas which really interest you.
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Mathematics Computer science starts out exactly 50 50 between maths and computer science,
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but has the chance for you to take more maths or computer science courses as you go through second and third year.
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There's a joint on his courses again with a kind of flavour of mathematics throughout them,
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but the chance to take options from those other other subjects as well.
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I thought I'd say a little bit about the choice between three and four years.
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So the good news is you don't have to decide now whether you're going to be doing three years of mathematics or four years of mathematics.
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This is a choice that I see lots of our students haven't made yet because we only asked them to make this choice at the
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start of third year based on how exams are going and how the sorts of topics that they're interested in developing,
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they might choose to stay on for this fourth year of mathematics.
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Students, I'm a as I've said, we use that fourth year as a way to get up to speed with cutting edge mathematics.
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But but both degrees the three are in the four year degree, are well respected by employers for teaching you problem solving skills to be numerous.
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And in some cases, schools are really good at arguing logically about what's what's true.
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That's a choice between three and four years. You don't have to choose yet.
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Always want to throw in a quick advert for another fourth year course. I'm good maths and theoretical physics.
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You can't apply for this one now because it's it's just a fourth year master's course and it's in cutting edge physics.
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It turns out that modern physics is really mathematical,
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and the sort of skills that you need to be a modern physicist includes lots and lots of mathematical skills.
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So this is the fourth year course that we have met people from, from either mathematics degrees or physics degrees.
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And so after three years of doing maths, all three years of doing physics or physics in philosophy,
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you can apply to this fourth year dream master's in matters where theoretical physics and a huge
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variety of cutting edge physics in the based on maths topics and physics topics it's taught from.
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Taught by both departments because a quick advert for a master's course that you can't just apply for.
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OK, so how do we teach all of that content? We've got a kind of unique teaching model.
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We've got lectures which you might expect to imagine 200 or so mathematicians in in this
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room in first year and somebody standing here and teaching you maths at the boards.
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We've got a taste of what that might look like in half an hour if you stay for 15 hours.
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Obviously, as a company by problem sheets, we like to tell all mathematicians what to do to test how,
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how well they understand the topic so they can think about this in detail. But the nice thing we do in Oxford is we run these tutorials as well.
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So in a small group with maybe two or three students and one cheetah will be a college lecturer or a college member
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of faculty or a graduate student or someone who really knows the course to go through those problem sets with you,
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to talk about the course and talk about where the course is going on is the chance to have an hour of discussion about the course in some detail,
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which is really helpful for our students. It means we can put a lot of maths into our maths scores because we know that we've got
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that tutorial support to keep everyone up to speed with all the maths this developing.
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If there's something you don't really understand in the lectures, you can think about it on your own and then talk.
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Talk about it in the tutorial to keep up with all the maths that we're showing you.
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That's in year one and two in years three and four. Again, we're still doing lectures for each option,
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normally in smaller class rooms as people who specialise more into those options and we run intercollegiate classes.
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So pulling people together from different colleges into a slightly larger group to talk
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about the problem sets with a teaching assistant and possibly lecturers lecturer support.
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So that's the third or fourth year that we support everyone. Here's where it might look like for a typical week in first.
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Or at least you'd have 10 lectures here in this room 50 minute talks about mathematics these days,
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the lecturer might have handed out the notes beforehand on paper or online,
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and there's one problem sheet sets for every teach for lectures, something for you to work on in your spare time.
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I want to really stress the independent study is an important part of university
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study of being a mathematician to have these problems that you're stuck on.
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You don't know how to do.
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You have to think about how you're going to overcome these, these challenges by really thinking about all the maths that you've seen before.
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So independence is important. I put that up as a research in libraries talking to other students because communicating about maths is important.
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And as I've said, we've got these tutorials to support you as well.
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While you're here, I can. What a typical week might look like in first year in terms of assessments.
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We run mostly exams to assess our students at the end of the year. In fact, you have five exams of length between two and three hours.
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But this also tells you some computational mathematics projects.
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We don't expect our mathematicians to know any programming languages or have any programme experience when they start.
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But we do expect that. If you taught them a bit of maths that it becomes easier to learn how to tell a computer how to do some maths.
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So we have these computational projects as well.
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In years three and four, there's a chance to do an extended project or write a dissertation alongside assessment through exams.
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This is also have some writing skills alongside of your maths skills. Employ a standard like if you can explain yourself.
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Explain your mathematician. Explain your mathematics, as well as doing mathematics assessment.
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How can I convince him to put Oxford down? Is as one of just five universities that you apply for?
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Three. You? Well, I hope you've.
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I convinced you that there's there's a lot of maths in our maths scores and we pack all of our maths into into that course.
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If you want a course with lots of different maths topics with lots of great teaching for that maths.
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And then this is a great course that you should consider applying to.
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It's also quite a difficult maths course, which means it's a challenge for people and for some mathematicians, that's really great.
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That's what you want. Of course, with lots of maths in it so that this is a sort of challenging test of how good you are at maths that's
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backed up by that tutorial support that I've mentioned through a friendly collegiate atmosphere,
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which I'll say more about in a minute.
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You might be impressed by the academic reputation of our course and cheaters, or by the employability prospects of our graduates.
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So our say a little bit more about colleges. I've mentioned this friendly collegiate atmosphere,
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not something I really believe in that are mathematicians aren't just members of the mathematical S.G.
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They're all associated with a particular college. And there are 29 colleges which admit mathematicians.
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I mean, that's the sort of community of not just that club of mathematicians, but also people studying other subjects.
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It means that our first years come to the lectures and they meet other mathematicians,
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but they also have a college community where they meet people who aren't mathematicians, which is always healthy as well.
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So meeting people, not mathematicians, and those colleges tend to organise student societies,
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sports activities and canteen a dining hall and opportunities to really gel as a as a college community,
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at least in first yacoobi accommodation in a lot of cases, second and third year accommodation as well through the colleges.
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If you're here in Oxford today, you've got a chance to visit some colleges.
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They're all open and very keen for you to have a look around and see the accommodation, see what the college site is like.
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People often ask me how to choose a college or which college is the best, and it's part of my job to say that every college is the best.
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Every college is fantastic in its own way. The colleges are much more similar than they are different.
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Remember, everyone comes here for their maths lectures, so everyone's getting the same quality of maths education.
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We get the same lectures and the same problems, that same exams.
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At the end, we take the best applicants, regardless of which college you've applied to.
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So we've got lots of processes behind the scenes to compare candidates from different colleges to make sure that we're taking the best people,
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regardless of which college they've applied to. As a result, 25 percent of our first years in this room aren't at the college that they applied to.
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But if you ask them which college is best at the end of first time, I've got a feeling that all of them know that their college is the best.
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Something about a college atmosphere again makes it a really nice place to be.
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And there's also the thing you can do good an open application.
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If you really can't choose between the colleges, then you might put an open application,
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in which case you'll be automatically assigned to a college by a computer algorithm and then treat it exactly as if you'd applied to that college.
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The Cheetahs won't know that you've made an open application.
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I'm quite keen to get treated exactly as if you made a direct application to that so that college is of no advantage, no disadvantage to them.
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OK, so I like thrown together, hear some some details of how the application process actually works.
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If you put the Oxford on your UCAS form, as I hope you will, and then you'll need to apply by the 15th of October.
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Deadline is 6pm on 15th October. Placing A-levels you expect to be doing maths on if your school offers both maths.
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We expected to be doing further maths as well. More on that in a moment. You also need to be registered to take the maths admissions test.
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I have some boring registration details coming up, I'm afraid, so most candidates will say this in their school or college.
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If you're if you currently sit tests in your school or college, then you'll probably set the maths there as well.
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Your school or college needs to be registered as a test centre, and they need to register you to take the test.
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In practise, this just means make sure that your school knows that you're you're going to be taking this maths admissions test at the end of October.
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The registration process takes at least day, and there are details on this website of the people who administer our test for us.
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OK, just details about how you register for the maths admissions test.
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I should say, if you're sitting this worldwide, then we say maths test for everyone around the world and you'll see this in a registered test centre.
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You can find a list of registered test centres on our website, the same website that you set for open test centres where you can take this test.
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OK, so details on the maths emissions do some actual actual maths.
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The test is on the 30th of October 2019. It's a two and a half hour long test, just maybe a bit longer than some of the other tests.
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It's a mix of multiple choice questions and longer questions where you'll need to show you're working out.
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So your reasoning? This photo marks on the Multiple-Choice section and 60 marks on the longer questions.
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It's marked by our graduate students and we got our graduate students into market because they're really good at maths.
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They're really good at noticing when your method is going to work.
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So if you do a question in a way that I wasn't expecting, then we've got the graduate students that see to work out how many marks to give you.
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So there's no one way to see the question that they're really respecting. Any attempt to questions that that will work.
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I put lots of pass papers, lots of solutions, average scores for past years, even histograms of different maths score distributions.
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If you're into that on the website, the only website needs go to, which is Maths Stockstill Act UK slash R slash MIT all lowercase.
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That's the maths the emissions test website's got. I hope everything you need to know about the maths emission test if anything's missing.
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Feel free to email me and suggest most up more stuff I can put on that website. So a little bit about the content.
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The maths is based on a really limited set of mathematics.
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I don't know if, even if, even if I know you're taking A-levels, I don't know if you're doing A-level maths and then further maths,
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or if you're doing both of those at the same time so that the only maths I can assume, you know, even if you're doing A-levels is a single maths.
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So if this really limited syllabus based on maths, we expect you to have seen by the 30th October 2019, it's one side of A4 and it's on that website.
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So if you want to check that you've seen enough maths to do this test,
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maybe you're sending a different exam board and you want to check that your exam board lines up at least slightly with A-level maths.
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I can take that one page syllabus on the website and see what maths we make.
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We make the questions difficult then, not by asking you about breadth of maths, but testing your depth of understanding.
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Can you apply these maths topics in unfamiliar situations? If I give you a question, that's a mash up of two different maths topics.
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Can you work out how to apply both of them? At the same time, you untangle that all of the problems look quite unfamiliar.
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When you first look at a problem, you won't know what to do. You'll be stuck.
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And that's kind of the fundamental state of being a mathematician to be stuck on a maths problem and say, we want to test, can you get unstuck?
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Can you work out what to do and how to make progress with that maths question?
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And then once you've thought of a plan, can you actually execute your plan fluently to get through that maths question?
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I guess the maths missions test these past papers online and an answer as well if you want to try out some, some past ask questions.
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I think I also encourage you if you're going to go down the route of practising lots of questions and maths, not the only test out there.
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There are loads of other maths emissions tests, I won't name them. It actually loads of other great sources of maths questions on on the website.
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If you can find other ways to practise being stuck on maths problems, then that's probably good practise for not just a matter of admissions,
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but good practise for being a mathematician, which is why I'm really interested in.
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OK, so I've got a list of all the stuff that we used to decide who's make offers to you.
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So you're put in a UCAS application and we get your previous academic performance from your UCAS application.
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We get your predicted grades. We also get a teacher's reference. Your teacher will tell us how keen you are on maths.
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You all right? A reference. You'll write a personal statement yourself, but tell us how keen you are en masse.
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We'll have your maths emissions test score, of course, and we use all of that together to decide who to invite to interview.
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We're lucky in that we get lots of great applicants and we can shortlist down to
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about three times as many applicants as we have places for the interview stage.
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If we're interviewing you, it's because we think we stand a chance of making you an offer.
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We interested in you from your application and your maths school. We look at that all together.
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There's no hard cut-off on GCSE use, for example. There's no hard cut-off on on that score.
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We we consider everything together. What we advise you to interview, obviously, will have the information from that interview as well,
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and we use everything together again to decide who to make the offers to.
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So we won't just use the interview as some sort of final hurdle. We've still got your UCAS application and your Mac school.
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And in fact, the paper that you wrote on for that for the map have the actual booklet that you write in,
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as we have really quite a lot of maths information.
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I suppose I should say at this stage the stuff not on this slide that we don't use to judge applications.
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We don't take into consideration things like your extracurricular activities,
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like if you're really good at karate or the tuba, then we don't take that into consideration.
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We really try to take the best mathematicians based on maths ability. OK, so here's more information about interviews if you're invited to interview.
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This will be in early December, and as said, that we invite about three times as many people as we have places to interview.
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We would invite more people, but we don't have the resources in early December to invite more people.
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If you live outside of Europe,
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then you're probably going to be invited to be interviewed by phone or over the internet through a programme a bit like Skype.
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If you live in Europe, though, we'll invite you to come to Oxford.
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If you've made it to Oxford today, then we'll invite you back for your interview here in December.
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You'll be accommodated if you come to Oxford at the college that you apply to or the college you were assigned to.
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If you made an open application and you'll have a chance to meet current undergraduates while you're here.
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If you come to Oxford, then you'll be interviewed not just by that college that you apply to, but also by a second college.
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That's been assigned to you by an algorithm. And that's one of our processes to make sure that you've been seen by two sets of
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tutors to make sure that we're we're cross comparing and taking the best applicants.
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OK, so you can expect as a result, at least two entities while you're here in Oxford and those interviews are going to be academic in nature.
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We can ask you maths questions and find out what happens when I guess you're stuck on maths problems again.
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I'm going to give you a quick, hard maths problem, probably because it's no fun watching you do maths problems that you give easily.
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We can give you a maths problem that you need to think about.
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And my main advice here is that to talk out loud about what your ideas are during that interview to do maths,
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but also tell us what you're thinking and tell us what you're doing. Listen to the hints that your interviewers are giving you.
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We're trying to get you unstuck.
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We're trying to give you hints and see how you responds to unfamiliar maths and a little bit of teaching academic in nature.
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You should expect prompts and hints. We know how to do the question. We're which to help you do the questions and see how you respond to that.
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And if you're applying for one of those joint degrees, you can expect to be interviewed in both disciplines.
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Nothing besides you expect questions from each of those disciplines.
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OK, so you be interviewed at least once by your First Choice college, usually twice, actually, and then at least once by your second choice college.
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You give a candidates in Oxford lots of interviews. We know that people tend to be quite nervous in their first interview,
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but then by the end of that three day period of interviews and people within quite a few interviews and more relaxed and doing better at maths,
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we've noticed, OK, that interview process. I should say we use all of this together to decide who's make office do,
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and we send our offer letters these days, I suppose offer emails in some cases in January,
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after after the Christmas break, I should say by that point in January, we've essentially made all of our decisions right.
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We don't we're not in the business of making dramatically more offers than we have places.
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We make about as many offers as we have places knowing that almost everyone we meet is obviously
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going to have no trouble with their A-level or equivalent is just going to start in October.
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So that's kind of the end of the decision process in January. Here are our standard conditional offers.
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But as I've said, these these tend to not be much of a hurdle for the people we've made offers to perhaps motivated by having an Oxford offer.
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People find that actually they can get a star in maths and they they can get a nice to our investments.
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That's the standard conditional offer for A-levels for mathematics,
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statistics and maths and philosophy I saw in maths and further maths and a in any third subject.
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We've got this system of reduced offers, though,
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because we know that some schools can't teach for the maths to full A-level or can't teach for the maths at all.
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If that's the case for you, then please mention this somewhere on your application.
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Our standard offer in that case is to base our offer on the maths that you are doing.
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So if your school doesn't offer advice at all,
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then we have the capacity to make an offer a a with the star in maths and an eight in two more subjects.
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I should say if you're doing four A-levels because you're lucky enough to be at a school that will teach you for four A-levels,
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and these are still the offers that we'd make on on three subjects, we don't make offers based on four full A-levels.
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The offer would either be worded to say a sorry maths, a in further maths, a in either of your other two subjects.
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Or we might pick one of the other two subjects we find it doesn't make much difference which of those we do in practise.
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OK, so three three A-levels Iby offer is thirty nine overall,
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with seven six six higher level four advanced highers two or three, depending on how many your school can teach.
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Obviously a in mathematics and for maths and computer science that joint on course, it's a little bit different.
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We're looking for one e-store that's in maths or further maths, but again, the reduced system of offers.
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If your school can't teach further maths, okay.
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But as I've said, when we get to exams, this doesn't prove much of a hurdle for the people we've made offers to almost everyone.
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We make an offer to you in January starts the course in October. OK, here's some advice very quickly on preparing for this application.
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I suppose my main bit of advice is to revise the maths that you've already seen before.
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Look at your A-level maths or equivalent. Look at the maths that you've done already and think about how it joins together.
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Think about the connexions between mathematical topics that you've seen.
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If you've got a favourite bit of maths from school, try and look into it a bit more.
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There is so much stuff out there on the web now. Wikipedia is quite technical and complicated.
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There's also Maths World, which is an encyclopaedia of maths and loads of YouTube videos or things recommending ways
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to to teach yourself a little bit more maths if you're interested in a particular topic.
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There's probably more stuff out there that you can find out about to look into.
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So this is a great time if you're interested in doing a little bit of independent study or research.
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That's a great skill. I'm not really recommending that just for application, but just for practising.
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Being a mathematician is looking into things on your own back. You might have a go at some past emissions tests.
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I hope you also have a go at some some other maths questions as well.
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There are things out there like UK, MTV Challenges, British Maths Olympiad Papers, Step four papers, AAA papers and rich website Underground Maths.
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There's a bunch of them.
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We don't use any of those in our actual admissions process, but I'm recommending that you have a look at them just because that cool maths problems.
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And if you think about doing maths for three years, then you might be interested in doing a little bit of maths now.
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You might like to arrange a mock interview with a teacher if you can't do a mock interview with a teacher,
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then perhaps consider talking to a friend about mathematics.
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I know that's drastically uncool. But if you can find someone who is willing to let you talk to him, talk about mathematics.
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That's really helpful practise of you explaining the mathematics that you're interested in.
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Perhaps they're also preparing for an interview, and they can explain French revolutions or historical studies or something.
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And then you can tell anyone else that this ever happens. You can also visit our website, which is a master AI expert, Oxford, the academic UK,
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the United Kingdom, which got loads more details about what you study on our course at the moment.
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What we're currently offering, it's got a synopsis of all of those courses that I throw up on the screen really quickly.
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If you want to find out what you actually do in 30 year fiscus flows and you can check
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on our website for more details about courses coming up and application details,
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I suppose as well. Final tips on how to find out more so you could ask questions today.
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I'll be taking questions in the livestream comments at 10:30.
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All the lights have just gone off. I'll be taking questions in the livestream comments from 10:30 to 11:30.
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I'm going to be taking questions in embryo life after that before the next session is over the lunch break.
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If you're here in Oxford today, you've got a chance to visit some colleges to find out more about that.
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And we're back. You got a chance to find out more about colleges. Maybe you visit a college and fall in love with what it looks like.
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Maybe accommodation would be great. Maybe you'd be really near a cricket pitch and you want to be near the cricket pitch.
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Maybe we'll have a couple of ducks in a pond and that'll be just the best thing ever.
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But I would encourage you to visit some colleges and talk to them about maths.
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If you're watching on YouTube, then you can email us. Undergraduate admissions master OKC's the UK.
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You also grab a copy of our prospectus, which you've handed out today. It's also online our slash prospectus.
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As I've said before, check the website for all the most up to date details.
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That's maths, the Oxford Actor UK all for general application details on Oxlade UK slash apply.
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OK, thanks very much for listening to all that rattling lightning speed took on this going be
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a minute now to swap over talks as we get ready for Vicky Neil to show you some maths.
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This is your last chance to leave if you don't want to see any pure maths. If you're watching on the livestream, we'll be back in two minutes.
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Don't go anywhere. Thank you.