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The fun of thinking logically

Mathematics student and Germany Scholarship holder Felix Harder has late discovered his mathematical talent, but today convinces with consistently good accomplishments

  • Felix Harder feels more challenged and can deepen his interest in mathematical issues since he studies Mathematics at the TU Chemnitz. Photo: Andy Schäfer

Felix Harder says that he had always been pretty good in Math. There was a noticeable distance to his classmates in his primary school days – an indication that the Kassel-born finds dealing with logical and mathematical tasks easier. The advantages of the subject Felix Harder sees in the disappearance of the “faith-needing”, because in Mathematics all statements are exactly provable – a general claim that the student finds nowhere else: “It is very pleasing, if you as a student know exactly why the statements presented are valid. I think many are missing this point in school Math.“ In his time at the Free Waldorf School in Weimar, the fostering of his mathematical talent has been somewhat buried, which could have possibly been spotted earlier. However, Harder says: “My teacher of Mathematics has always good delivered the facts and, thus, I have associated this subject at school with something positive.“ He himself had his talent noticed by participating in the Mathematics Olympiade 2012 in Thuringia, as he won the first prize of the regional competition. “This was totally surprising even for myself. In the previous years, I had no idea how my achievements in Mathematics were to be evaluated at all“, admits the student.

Ever since this experience, it was clear for the 21-year-old how to proceed further after graduating from school with 1.1. grade point average. “A study of Mathematics came to me into question because of my curiosity about mathematical statements and concepts“, said Felix Harder. The plan to come to Technische Universität Chemnitz in 2012 matured to the Open Day at the university, which made a good impression on the young school leaver. “I have heard that there are not many Math students at TU Chemnitz and found it interesting to study in smaller groups“, says Harder. Today, he would like to welcome more young students of Mathematics. The student was not disappointed of the study. “There are many exciting subdivisions in Mathematics!“, he concludes. Harder continuously produced excellent results in examinations and has already visited courses of the combined subsequent Master’s degree program at TU Chemnitz. The student of Mathematics receives his motivation as follows: “If you learn for an exam, you get the opportunity to capture the whole issue again in its details. Moreover, the good grades in exam motivate for further examinations.“

Right from the start, Felix Harder receives the funding of the Germany Scholarship for which he has applied as a pupil. Since 1st of April 2015, he receives a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation for his convincing achievements. Here, the 21-year-old receives both, financial and moral support. The well-connected organization hires confident tutors for German universities and offers in the summer break a range of seminars and events that Felix Harder would like to visit.

Compared to his school days, Felix Harder feels more demanded during his university studies. “Now it is my responsibility not to be subchallenged“, he stresses. If the student can spend time and has interest in a specific topic, he is also concerned with the literature on this subject outside the university or while learning together with fellow students. For the basic courses at the Faculty of Mathematics, Harder, as a scientific assistant, accompanies the homeworks of the Math’s freshmen for over two semesters. “It is something else than thinking only about the own homework and it is fun“, said Harder. The general exchange with others, who share a mathematical way of thinking is highly appreciated by him. Harder has no concrete plans for the future yet. However, his primary desire is to remain active at the university even after the Master’s degree.

(Author: Andy Schäfer, Translation: Nataliia Boiko)

Katharina Thehos

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