Sophie Newton can count herself a very clever mathematician

By Candice Krieger, August 4, 2010

Carol Vorderman could have some competition.

Sophie Newton, 21, has received a double first in mathematics from New College, Oxford University. She is believed to be the first Jewish woman to achieve such a result. She gained the highest marks in her year — with an average of 86 per cent for her final exam — and was awarded the Gibbs prize as a result. Later this year she will embark on a masters in maths at the same college.

She tells People: “We did 40 per cent of our exams in the second year, which gives you a good indication of how you’re doing, but you are never certain.” Miss Newton, who attended South Hampstead School in north London, says she enjoys maths that has no application in the real world.

“Not the ‘why does this ball fall off the table?’ type of thing but the more logical stuff. ” Yet Miss Newton is, as she puts it, not a “typical mathematician”.

She is spending the summer holiday doing an internship in fashion PR. “Fashion is my other love. I spent a lot of time at Oxford reading fashion blogs.” A member of Alyth Synagogue. Her mother Irene is a former editor of the New Zealand Jewish Chronicle.

Last updated: 3:45pm, August 4 2010