Talented mathematicians and aspiring Oxbridge undergraduates from QE have obtained an exciting flavour of higher-level study following a visit to the College by Dr Matthias Dörrzapf from the University of Cambridge. Matthias is the Director of Studies in Mathematics at St. John’s College and has lectured at the prestigious University since 2000. Speaking to a packed room of engaged students, he explored a variety of different topics covered in maths-related degree programmes, including how symmetry is related to conserved quantities, whilst making links to other popular subjects, such as physics.

First year student, Corey Fox, who studies A Level Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics at QE, thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to new concepts. The Billingham teenager says: ‘Matthias taught us about ideas that I would like to investigate further, especially invariance in physics.’ Fellow first year, Joe Mcquade, who is enrolled on A Level Maths, Further Maths, Computer Science and Physics, found the topic of the universe particularly interesting. The 17-year-old, from Stockton-on-Tees, enthuses: ‘I enjoyed when Matthias talked about invariance, where energy comes from and how it is transferred through the universe.’ For 17-year-old Cara-Jane Neild, from Heighington, it was great to learn ab out maths and physics outside of what is taught in lessons. She adds: ‘I found the talk really fascinating.’ Cara-Jane is a student of A Level Maths, Further Maths, Computer Science and Physics at QE.

Following the mini lecture, Matthias was also on hand to discuss undergraduate life at the University of Cambridge and provide advice on the application process and the different courses available. Visiting the College for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, he was very impressed at the levels of engagement shown by the students. Matthias explains: ‘It was wonderful to be here and a pleasure to work with such interested individuals who asked deep questions about energy and momentum.’

Simon Nicholson, Oxbridge Co-ordinator at QE who organised the visit, concludes: ‘It was brilliant to see so many students attend Matthias’s talk and take a keen interest in both maths and Oxbridge. Each year, we have a good number of students who apply and progress successfully to these internationally renowned universities, and it’s fantastic that we are able to give them information on the institutions, along with a personal insight into the courses offered. Thank you to Matthias for coming along and showcasing both Oxbridge and maths at undergraduate level.’