Students visit St John’s College for Year 11 Girls in Maths Day

In 2023, to celebrate one century of their mathematical society, St John’s College, University of Cambridge hosted a Year 11 Girls in Maths Day. It proved such a roaring success they decided to host the event again this year, inviting six young mathematician’s from CATS Cambridge to join them for a day of inspirational talks, mathematics and muffins.

The group of young women began the day with refreshments and mathematical puzzles before joining Dr. Matthias Dörrzapf, Director of Studies in Applied Mathematics, for a talk on the multitude of industries applied mathematics can lead to careers in, subverting the common belief that it’s just about mechanics. Applied Mathematics is relevant within international banking, particle physics, pandemic planning and many other fields.

Following their talk, they broke for some fresh air and enjoyed a tour of St John’s College and its grounds. The college has an extensive list of alumni including former Nobel Prize winners, Prime Ministers, artists, scientists and pioneers of industry, dating as far back as 1511 when the college was founded. Touring the grounds was a wonderful chance for our students to soak in and be inspired by the centuries of academic history surrounding them.

Following a well earned lunch break our students got to visit Dr Jack Smith who is the Director of Studies in Pure Mathematics. They got the chance to study platonic solids and 3D Geometry. They investigated different methods of mathematical proof and touched on geometry in higher dimensions. Our students even managed to ask Dr Smith a few questions along the way.

The activities were concluded by a question-and-answer session with college alumni and current students. Students asked:

  • What is it like studying at Cambridge?
  • How can students prepare for the application process?
  • What to expect from a Cambridge interview?
  • What advice would you give to your sixteen-year-old self?
  • What can you actually do with a mathematics degree?

As the panel said, “Anything you want but ‘spoilers’ two of us work in the City of London as traders and analysts!”.

Exams and studying can get really stressful, and it can be easy to forget your motivations and lose focus. This visit proved to be very inspirational to our students as they got a taste of what its like to study at such a prestigious institution. They also got the opportunity to speak to alumni who were in their shoes just a few years back, hearing about their first-hand experiences with applying to The University of Cambridge and studying at St Johns College.

With just 37% of Mathematical Sciences being studied by women* it’s clear young women are less likely to pursue STEM Subjects than their male counterparts and are under-represented in the field. As an international school we know that diversity leads to innovation, which is why we were so pleased to be able to offer this brilliant, informative and inspirational day out to the young women who study with us.

Innovation and Exellence

At CATS Cambridge students receive a well rounded and innovative educational experience with lots of opportunities for growth inside and outside of the classroom.


* Based of information from

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