A budding Sedbergh School mathematician, Angel Zhen (L, Year 11), from Shenzhen, China, has won a coveted place on the 45th Oxford University National Maths Summer School. The course, established in 1994 by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust, is held at Balliol College.

Angel, Year 11, is among the top 1.5% of scorers in the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge in the country. She is studying English, Maths, Sciences, Geography, Graphics and English as an Additional Language at Sedbergh School and chose to take the Maths challenge because she wanted to explore some different tasks and try some more challenging problems. 

Keen to make the most of her experience of English education, she said: “I wanted to an opportunity to get to know more people and to learn from them – they may well be cleverer than me but I think if I can gain some different experiences from working with others, this will make me more interesting as a student.

I have never been to Oxford and believe I will find the architecture there very inspiring – I appreciate the beautiful surroundings here in Sedbergh, a different type of environment because it’s not a city, but it’s the perfect place to study and I enjoy school life here. I hope to study Maths at university and to follow a career path that’s connected to it.”

Caroline Morgan, Head of Maths at Sedbergh School, said: We are delighted with Angel’s success. It is well deserved; Angel not only has a natural talent for Maths but she is hard working, meticulous in her approach and is happy to share her ideas with friends. Angel’s friends and teachers are very proud of her and we are certain that she will throw herself into the experience at Oxford University.

The United Kingdom Mathematics Trust runs this summer school in order to promote mathematical thinking and to provide an opportunity for participants to meet other students and adults who enjoy mathematics. At each summer school, 48 students take part in demanding and stimulating sessions led by UKMT volunteers.

They are supported by a group of senior students who have previously attended a summer school. Time is set aside to allow students to work together informally on problems and to socialise.  

Only students among the top 1.5% of scorers in the country are invited, and only one student per school. The programme includes sessions on geometry, on writing mathematics, the pigeonhole principle, modelling a zombie apocalypse, finished off with a Mathemusical Extravaganza. 

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