Overview

The mission of COMPOS is to help enthusiastic high school students to systematically learn mathematics and physics at a deep level.

Why take part?

Take part in an active learning programme by:

  • Solving problems
  • Explaining you work to others
  • Discussing your work with a mentor 

 

Teaching and learning at COMPOS:The bi-weekly cycle

How COMPOS works

  • You will receive a homework assignment every 2-3 weeks. The assignment will consist of reading materials, links to online lectures and a problem set.
  • We will help you learn through online teaching:
    • Regular webinars will be offered by the COMPOS Academic Coordinator or one of the Oxford academics to all COMPOS students
    • There will be an active online forum to discuss questions and difficulties.
    • You will be assigned a tutor – normally a senior undergraduate or graduate Oxford Physics student. The tutor will provide weekly online classes in groups of 5-6 students.
  • You will need to study the material in the assignment and solve the problem set before the deadline. You will then email your solutions to your tutor.
  • The tutor will mark your work and email it back to you with comments and critique.

COMPOS is led by Prof. Alex Lvovsky. Academic Coordinator: Vlad Chernov

Alex Lvovsky     Vlad Chernov

Programme dates

The programme will run for the academic year. 

Eligibility 

Webinars and home work: The homework will be publicly available and the webinars can be attended by anyone in Year 12 (the first year of your A-level studies)

TutorialsYou may participate in COMPOS tutorials if you are currently in Year 12 at a UK state school. However, in order to be eligible to participate in tutorials, you will also need to regularly submit high-quality homework. The first problem set will therefore serve as an admission test. We will assign you a tutor if you do a reasonably good job (i.e. solve most of the problems) in that set. Priority may also be given to students who are from groups under-represented within STEM.  

Introductory video

Contact us

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Mr Chernov by email via vsc[at]rgshw.com

How can I apply?

Please complete the form below to receive the first assignment and an invite to the webinar. The registration will remain open till the first homework deadline (15 November).

Information for participants

Syllabus and assignments

Mathematics

 

Physics

Send your homework to compos.oxford[at]gmail.com. Your written work should be included as an attachment (PDF preferred). To make sure we don’t get confused, please make your first and last name appear both in the body of the email and in your write-up. The maths and physics homework need not be in the same email.

Webinar dates
 

The webinars take place every Tuesday 18:30-19:30, unless announced otherwise. The Zoom links are sent to the COMPOS discussion group. The recordings are posted below.

  • 2nd November 2021, 18:00-19:30 Video
  • 9th November 2021, 18:00-19:30 Video
  • 16th November 2021, 18:00-19:30 Video

Webinar whiteboard

FAQ

How much does it cost?

COMPOS is free of charge. The costs are borne by a philanthropic donation from Mathematics Education for Social Mobility & Excellence (MESME), to whom we are supremely grateful.

Why is COMPOS limited to year 12?

This is a pilot phase of the program. If successful, we hope to extend it to years 10-13, as well as to STEM subjects beyond mathematics and physics.

Will you prepare me for Oxbridge admission tests, A-Level examinations, or Olympiads?

Our goal is not to prepare you for a pilot license test, but to teach you how to fly! We do not target any specific tests, but we certainly hope that that the knowledge and problem-solving skills you acquire at COMPOS will help you to pass such tests, and possibly do well in competitions.

Will you prepare me for higher education in maths and physics?

We do aim to provide you with base knowledge, upon which it will be easier for you to build your further education. We also hope that you will acquire a somewhat accurate idea of what everyday work in science is like and learn to be not afraid of it.

How many places do you have in the program?

We have 100-120 places in the pilot phase this year, which we hope will enable us to accommodate every deserving candidate.

How much time do I have to commit to the program?

In addition to the weekly tutorials, you will need to plan to work on the assignments for at least five to ten hours per week. This is a serious time commitment; you will have to sacrifice a lot of partying, sports, dating, and other fun activities! Please think carefully what you are signing up for.

Can I take only math or only physics at COMPOS?

No - the two parts of the program are deeply interconnected, so we expect our students to study both subjects.

Do I need a tablet for the tutorials?

This is helpful: a stylus-enabled tablet allows us to create a virtual whiteboard, on which you, the tutor and other tutorial group members can write at the same time. However, there are inexpensive alternatives such as stylus pads. In the worst-case scenario, you can contribute to discussions using your phone camera.

I cannot attend on a specific day of the week.

There will be multiple groups with different tutors, so we can surely find you a group that meets your restrictions.

Will I get a certificate in the end?

The tutors will keep track of the problems from the assignments that each student has solved. We will be happy to provide a letter in the end of the course certifying the progress you have made. However, such a certificate is not of much use for college admission: particularly at Oxford, we never ask our candidates to produce paperwork of any kind, but we do test their knowledge and problem-solving skills. These are your true certificates, and they will stay with you forever.