Student profile
River Edis-Smith, BSc Mathematics with Music

River Edis-Smith

"I’ve realised that getting every last ounce out of university life is crucial because these opportunities won’t come along again."

Course
Mathematics with Music BSc (Hons)
Entry year
2017

Surrey is one of the few universities to provide this unique course which enables you to study both maths and music up to degree level. As a violinist who has performed with orchestras and ensembles, studying music further, while gaining a maths qualification which will make me highly employable, is the perfect combination.

Before coming to Surrey I was very impressed by both the Maths and Music Departments. The Department of Mathematics offers a good support network of lecturers and personal tutors, and a very impressive range of modules in the second and third years – I’m particularly looking forward to the ‘Numbers and Sets’ module which fits my passion for cryptography.

The Department of Music and Media is second to none when it comes to highly respected academics in musicology, conducting, performance and composition. Having our own music studio to perform in makes for a fantastic music community across the different years, and is something I feel is very unique to Surrey.

One element of my degree I’ve particularly enjoyed is the music composition stream, where I have been introduced to the many connections between maths and music, and how I can link them to create new music. In the maths stream, I’ve been fascinated by modules such as ‘Stochastic Processes’ and ‘Groups and Rings’, which touch on principles I’d like to explore in my final year project.

The academic staff at Surrey are excellent. The Maths Department takes feedback from students very seriously: I’ve seen changes both within individual lectures and at a departmental level which demonstrate that academics put students first. I also feel very much part of the music community both with students and staff, despite only studying one module a semester within the Music Department.

"Eventually I’d love to become head of maths at a secondary school, while I also plan to study a masters specialising in music performance."

River Edis-Smith

I’ve realised that getting every last ounce out of university life is crucial because these opportunities won’t come along again. I’ve attended some amazing maths seminars in topics like quantum mechanics and, on the music side, joined the university’s orchestra and choir, and helped to conduct the string orchestra. One thing I didn’t expect to get into was musical theatre, but I was approached by MADSoc to perform violin in a musical the Society was putting on, and am now signed up to conduct in the next one!

I’m a student ambassador, which has involved me in running workshops in both maths and music to inspire the next generation, and have also taught music to a range of students around Guildford including at a local infant school. When I graduate, my aim is to become a maths teacher, and with this in mind, I’ve enrolled on the national Future Teaching Scholars programme which recruits university students and places them in a job after their studies. Eventually I’d love to become head of maths at a secondary school, while I also plan to study a masters specialising in music performance. Ultimately I’d like to make up my own job title of ‘mathmusician’!

 

Discover our courses in mathematics, including our BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Music.

Share what you've read?