Ma Yawen

Wang Shuhan, the journey to Oxford University


Congratulations to Wang Shuhan on your successful enrollment in Oxford University's mathematical sciences program! 

What inspired you to pursue mathematical sciences as a field of study?

The primary driving force behind my pursuit is my deep interest in pure mathematics. Exploring new mathematical concepts, observing the development of modern mathematical theories, and applying my knowledge to solve challenging math problems bring me immense satisfaction and contentment. Additionally, the professors I have encountered during my academic journey have played a significant role in my decision to continue my pursuit of mathematics. Their meticulous guidance and prompt assistance have been invaluable in my mathematical studies, allowing me to fully appreciate the aesthetic aspects of this discipline. The passion they exhibit during their lectures has consistently inspired me to delve deeper into this captivating field.

Can you share your academic background and any relevant experiences that have prepared you for this program?

In terms of my academic background, I have completed a 3-year undergraduate study at XMUM. In addition to this, I've taken the initiative to self-study several pure math modules and hopefully can make me prepared for this program.


What specific areas within mathematical sciences interest you the most, and why?

Given my limited knowledge of mathematics, I have yet to narrow down my specific area of interest. However, I would say my general interest within mathematics lies in Geometry and Topology. Although many concepts in modern geometry and topology may appear very abstract, there are some toy models of them corresponding to some objects in real world, which makes them more accessible. Many intriguing but abstract theories are motivated by very simple and straightforward intuitions. Moreover, there are many algebraic and analytic tools can be applied in geometry and topology to solve problems as well, which deepened my understanding on how different fields of mathmatics are related.


Are there any particular mathematical theories or concepts that you find particularly intriguing or challenging?

During my journey studying mathematics, I've come across a range of interesting concepts. One of the most intriguing concepts for me is Euler characteristics. When I was in high school, I heard about the Euler characteristics of 'polyhedron', which is defined by the number of vertices minus the number of edges plus the number of faces, is always 2. After I entered university, I knew that this number is not always 2, but it can be served as a topological invariant for us to classify objects. For example, all the compact surfaces can be classified by Euler characteristics and orientability. Moreover, after delving further into mathematics, I've encountered this concepts several times with different approaches to define it, which makes this concept even more intriguing .

What are your career aspirations in the field of mathematical sciences, and how do you envision your education at Oxford University helping you achieve those goals?

My current career aspiration in the field of mathematical sciences is to become a mathematician and engage in work closely related to mathematics. Pursuing the master's program at Oxford University is an ideal opportunity for me, as it offers a wide range of advanced modules covering various fields of pure mathematics. I believe that these diverse and comprehensive modules will play a crucial role in expanding my knowledge and understanding, ultimately helping me identify my true research interests within this fascinating discipline.

Alumni (Mathematics)