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$300k to study maths at Cambridge

By Hayley Gastmeier

[email protected]

A young Masterton mathematician has been given a leg up to achieving his dreams with a $300,000 scholarship.

The former Dux of Wairarapa College, Liam Jolliffe, was one of four Kiwis awarded the prestigious Woolf Fisher Scholarship, which will see him travel to the University of Cambridge to complete a PhD in pure mathematics and statistics.

“It took a while to sink in. I had to read the letter a couple of times before I was sure what it read,” Mr Jolliffe said.

The 22-year-old, who attended Opaki School, won numerous awards for academic excellence while studying at Victoria University in Wellington, gaining a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics.

“The scholarship had a large emphasis on academic results and I’ve always worked quite hard to get good grades and then I continued that at university.

“Because I enjoyed the subject that I’m studying it makes it easier to work hard at it.”

Mr Jolliffe said he had been interested in maths from a young age.

“I’ve always been interested in different patterns and numbers… I enjoy learning new concepts and I basically just want to keep doing that and learning the world of maths.

“It’s always new and its always evolving. There’s always some sort of new branch or new area being discovered or thought about.”

He is set to fly to the United Kingdom in September next year to begin his PhD.

In between now and then he is “looking forward to a breather”.

Mr Jolliffe’s mother Amanda told the Times-Age she was “extremely proud” of her son.

“His hard work has been rewarded.”

Mr Jolliffe, a keen footballer and saxophonist, aims to teach maths at a university level.

His flights, study and living costs at Cambridge will be covered by the Woolf Fisher Scholarship, which has recognised and rewarded excellence in education since 1960.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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