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Maths Open Days sum up what it is like to study Mathematics at St John’s

“We’ll be able to give a flavour of what makes St John’s such a special place”

St John’s will be holding live online Maths Open Days for the first time to give prospective Mathematics students a taste of the course and College community.

The interactive sessions will take place on the morning of the Faculty of Mathematics Open Days on 1 and 8 May for those considering applying for the Undergraduate Mathematical Tripos at Cambridge. Each St John’s open day starts at 11am with a presentation by either Dr Jack Smith or Dr  Matthias Dörrzapf, the College’s Directors of Studies in Mathematics, and will be followed by a Q&A with current students. These events will end at noon so prospective candidates can join the live Faculty Open Day sessions at 12.30pm.

In a normal year, St John’s Mathematics would hold in-person open days to coincide with those organised by the Faculty. They provide a great opportunity for the College’s Maths community and prospective undergraduates to meet, ask questions, and learn from current students about their experiences of Mathematics at St John’s. Although no in-person open days are taking place for a second year due to the pandemic, the interactive sessions offer the nearest to normal experience as possible.

Anusha maths photo

Dr Smith said: “We’re excited to be holding live online Maths Open Days for the first time this year. Last year sadly the Faculty and College Maths Open Days had to be cancelled at short notice. We produced some videos that allowed applicants to learn about the course and the College, but it was a shame not to be able to do something more interactive.

“This year, now that we’re all Zoom veterans, we’re pleased to be able to offer something more like the normal experience. Of course it's disappointing that we can't meet attendees in person, and that they can't wander around our beautiful buildings, gardens and grounds, but I'm confident that we’ll nevertheless be able to give a flavour of what makes St John’s such a special place to study Maths. 

“I hope that this format will also make it possible for people to take part who would not normally be able to travel to Cambridge for the open day, due to their location or personal circumstances.”

St John’s has a large Mathematics community with about 15 undergraduates in each year group, drawn from across the UK and internationally. Students attend lectures organised by the Faculty of Mathematics, alongside their peers from other Colleges, and attend small group supervisions in College with a Fellow or research student. Applications are invited from bright students of all backgrounds, and an annual Pythagoras Prize of £10,000 is awarded to a first year home undergraduate in Mathematics, based on academic excellence and financial need.

“If you’re thinking about applying to Cambridge to study Maths - whatever your background - then please do sign up for our open day,” said Dr Smith. “You'll get the chance to meet one of the Directors of Studies, who will be your main subject advisor in College if you eventually come here, and hear about the course and the St John’s Maths community.  We'll then hold a Q&A session with some of our fantastic undergraduates, where you can ask those questions you've always wanted answered about what Maths at Cambridge is really like.”

The Maths Open Days follow on from the College Undergraduate Admissions team’s interactive Sciences and Arts Taster Days in March, which proved to be a huge success. Gaia Lambert, Schools Liaison and Access Officer, said: “We had some wonderful feedback from these events, with many students telling us how much they enjoyed them and found them helpful and interesting. We’re very excited about the live online Maths Open Days, they will provide an excellent introduction to studying Mathematics at St John’s.”

The College will be joining in the University-wide Virtual Open Days on 8 and 9 July 2021.

Register for the Faculty Open Days – Undergraduate Mathematical Tripos

Sign up for the St John’s College Maths Open Days by Wednesday 28 April 2021.

Published: 21/4/21

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