Kaveen Parthiban is currently studying MORSE at the University of Warwick. Kaveen completed his Higher School Certificate at the Australian International School of Malaysia (AISM) and will be graduating in 2022. This personal statement was part of his successful application to the University of Warwick (MORSE), Durham University (Mathematics with Economics), UCL (Mathematics with Economics), University of Edinburgh (Mathematics with Economics) and University of Manchester (Mathematics with Economics).
The applicability of mathematics to economic theory in order to guide policymakers is a fascination of mine. Hans Rosling’s ‘Factfulness’ puts it beautifully, explaining that “The world cannot be understood without numbers. And it cannot be understood with numbers alone”. Rosling’s work has opened my eyes to the necessity of mathematics and statistics in making informed and rational choices in the global economy.
In the HSC Mathematics Extension 2 course, I was challenged by topics such as the complex roots of unity, conic sections and combinatorics. In a combinatorics assignment we were pushed to give reasons as to why a single formula would not yield the correct number of circular arrangements when only blue and green marbles are arranged in a circle, rather than ‘n’ distinct marbles. This was intriguing as it required lateral thinking and creativity when formulating arguments using properties of rotational symmetry, induction and logic. It showcased to me the variety and nature of proofs that exist; pushing my mathematical ability and creating a desire to explore mathematics further.
I have also been captivated by output gaps. Even though it is useful in understanding inflationary pressures and economic growth, I was surprised by the variety of methods it can be calculated from the production function to the Hodrick-Prescott (HP) filter. Even though the HP filter seeks to highlight long term trends, it can be highly sensitive and can incorrectly determine the performance of an economy. This provided me with insight into the variety of statistical modelling, but also its ability to negatively affect decision making.
Whilst undertaking the Australian HSC Economics course, I was fascinated by the Australian government’s macroeconomic policy mix that has allowed the economy to avoid a recession since 1990. Especially following the GFC, it was interesting that they avoided a recession by coupling low RBA interest rates with high levels of government expenditure in infrastructure and helicopter money, whilst European and American countries struggled to keep their economies afloat. This highlighted to me how smart governance is significant to a country’s growth path.
I was also a participant of THIMUN Singapore for 6 years. I was a delegate thrice, a Chairperson twice and an ICJ advocate once. Here I was able to pursue my passion of development economics by deliberating and developing solutions on issues such as organised crime and the rise of coca plantations. It put my economic theory into practice and developed my writing ability whilst always pushing me to seek new solutions. In addition my ability to negotiate in stressful situations allowed me to develop a calm and measured approach to life.
In my final year I was School Captain, in which I organised events, ran assemblies and managed the student body. This also meant juggling responsibilities of being the pianist in the senior band which performed at school dinners and concerts whilst providing mathematics tutoring for students in the year below me. I had to stay focused, dedicated and organised in all aspects of school, for which I was given the Principal’s Award. Moreover being part of the school debate and football teams developed my interpersonal skills. I have
also volunteered in community service trips to rural Sabah to teach students in a hostel my school funds.
To be able to further my interest in Mathematics and Economics in a top UK university is an exciting prospect. It would allow me to explore challenging ideas, grasp a clearer understanding of the world and to strive to make meaningful impacts on society.
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