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‘Everyone is from different backgrounds but we are all interested in maths’

Rhianna from Skegness was one of 60 school students from across the UK who attended the Women in Maths Residential, jointly run by Christ’s College and Trinity College, 23-25 March.

Rhianna said:

At the beginning I didn’t know anyone, but someone set up board games for us which helped to settle us in. It’s been really nice to meet women with different aspirations and passions. Everyone is from different backgrounds, but we are all interested in Maths and help each other in lectures.

The annual three-day residential is open to women in Year 12 in England and Wales, Year 13 in Northern Ireland, and S5 in Scotland who are interested in studying Maths and related subjects such as Engineering and Economics.

The event also targets students with little or no family tradition of higher education, students at schools with few applicants to Cambridge University and any students who have spent time in care.

Admissions Directors at Trinity, Dr Glen Rangwala, and at Christ’s, Dr Emily Tomlinson, welcomed the students and held a Q&A.

Participant Katherine said:

I found it so useful to gain an insight into the process of applying to Cambridge as well as student life and perspectives of Cambridge. Also it definitely cleared up some of the misconceptions I had before arriving.

Vered agreed, saying the residential had been invaluable. ‘I gained so much invaluable information and this experience has given me so much confidence.’

Participants on this year’s residential at Christ’s College. Photos: Graham CopeKoga

Students attended lectures and classes taught by Cambridge academics including Dr Ems Lord of NRICH, the University’s Maths outreach programme, Dr Robert Hunt, Fellow and Director of Studies for Mathematics at Christ’s, and Christ’s Fellow Dr Henry Bradford who spoke about prime numbers.

Helena from Somerset said:

In Maths I like simplifying problems and coming up with new ideas and during the residential it’s been really interesting to see how Maths can be applied in such a huge range of topics, like in medical research.

Participants also met current students and admissions staff for the opportunity to tour the two Colleges and to learn about student life, the city, and the application process.

Amber Silk, Trinity’s Outreach Coordinator, said the students were ‘all wonderfully motivated and curious.’ ‘Students particularly enjoy the collaborative atmosphere of residentials where they can get to know new people with a good balance of learning at the same time,’ she said.

Students in Year 11 in England and Wales, Year 12 in Northern Ireland, and S4 students in Scotland can now register their interest for the 2024 residential course.

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