I see mathematics as a solution to my daily activities. It enables me to answer my questions in a clear and logical manner, while at times, being creative with the workings too.
For my Extended Essay (EE), I am investigating past-year IMO combinatorics questions. It involves exploring the conditions that satisfy the rules of a Sudoku-like game, calculating the number of possible puzzles, and deriving a formula for the number of possible configurations for different matrix dimensions. While it is based on a widely-loved puzzle, it is about analysing the probability and algorithm that will find the “best” structure within a finite system. I realised this approach lies among the foundations for econometrics and operational research – an area which I first learned about when researching on the impact of machine learning on studying mathematics and economics for my Theory of Knowledge (TOK) presentation. It is also one that I would like to explore further in university. Moreover, I relish the great sense of independence when undertaking this project.
My love for mathematics allows me to develop and apply my analytical skill and mathematical knowledge when I am working with organizations, such as World for Refugees (WFR) and Zomi Education Centre (ZEC). WFR is a newly established international youth-led advocacy organisation for global refugee rights, while ZEC is a local school for Zomi (Myanmar) children.
Since working as the Deputy Communications Director for WFR, I understood the growing needs for employees with quantitative, mathematical and technical skills in many industries. Marketing was traditionally perceived as more of an art through its creative processes. In today’s digital era, it is the statistics from our website and social media metrics that help my team and I understand our audience. Even though it can be challenging since we are running a digital campaign on a global scale, it remains vital in optimizing our efforts – refining our tactics, preparing our advocacy and outreach campaigns, and achieving our goals.
At ZEC, I am a volunteer mathematics tutor for Year 5 and 6 students. Since joining last August, I prepared assignments and in-class tests to improve their mathematical skills. Little did I realise, teaching allowed me to reflect and reinforce my understanding of every mathematical concept I learned since primary school, including arithmetic, geometry, and probability. During my lessons, I ensure that I do not only cover how the mathematics work in class but also why we study these concepts and their applications in order for the students to gain a holistic learning experience. Hence, I am proud of my students’ tremendous improvement in their mathematics results during their end-of-year exam – the average class mathematics score improved from 34% to 65%.
I am confident that my pursuit in mathematics will allow me to advance to the next level where I aim to directly apply my mathematical knowledge in the finance and investment sector – deducing optimization methods, managing risks, and practicing sustainable investments. Throughout my undergraduate career, I plan to intern at established financial consultancy firms and investment banks, such as PwC and Citibank. I hope this highlights my determination to succeed in university and beyond. I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.