Computer Science Personal Statement
Computer science has dramatically changed the way our species has socially and economically developed over the past century.
The ability of the computer to quickly and accurately perform calculations combined with our ability to form principled judgements and creative solutions makes computer science integral to the overall development of our species.
I consider the integration of human nature and fundamental mathematical processes to be one of the biggest challenges in computer science, but also the one of the most fruitful.
The developments in computer science are applied to all areas of science and culture, often used by large groups of people with little knowledge of computer science itself; this ability to change the way society functions is why I want to study computer science.
I enjoy solving abstract mathematical problems and have investigated various techniques for algorithmic design, for example, I have implemented a heuristic genetic algorithm that can quickly approximate substitution ciphers.
My fascination with astronomy has led me to develop a C# program which plots the positions of the planets in the solar system and allows them to be viewed at any angle using transformation matrices. The power of maths lets us find countless truths from a fundamental set of axioms.
As well as being the only pure subject with definite proofs, it is bursting with splendid patterns and relationships. Perhaps the finest of which being Euler’s identity, with the Mandelbrot set being a close contender.
I have recently read The Emperor’s New Mind by Roger Penrose; I enjoyed its chapter on Turing machines, learning more about the development of the machine gave me a greater insight to the beauty of computer science and inspired me to read one of Turing’s biographies.
I think the focus of Penrose’s book covers one of the most interesting questions in computer science - can a machine ever be conscious? It was because of Penrose’s ideas on consciousness I decided to read The Copernicus Complex by Caleb Scharf, which discusses arguments about our significance as conscious beings from a philosophical perspective.
Before reading Penrose’s and Scharf’s books I strongly believed that artificial intelligence would be achievable, however their arguments have made me realise that the answer isn’t that simple.
Before even trying to comprehend how to algorithmically replicate intelligence, computer scientists must first agree upon a definition for it. T
hese two books have given me a much wider perspective on computer science and thirst to develop a greater understanding.
I believe the cutting edge of computer science will be securing what computer science actually encompasses and it is this frontier nature which has drawn me to make it my career choice.
Over the summer I worked with a bespoke software development company. During this time I wrote code which has been included in their software, one example of this was writing a method which finds a given number of cluster points of data on a spherical surface, due to the amount of data being clustered I implemented a k-means clustering algorithm. I am now employed by the company as a trainee software engineer.
This is also teaching me valuable skills in balancing work, studies and pursuing my other interests effectively.
In my free time I enjoy playing the violin and piano and for the last 10 years I have enjoyed playing in the Worcestershire youth orchestra, in which I have been one of the section leaders.
I am also a member of the Cyber Apprentice Development Scheme (CADS) in which students work alongside field experts in cyber security from QinetiQ and 3SDL.
Within the group I have worked on a variety of tasks including organising various events to encourage students to pursue STEM subjects and helping with recruitment of new members.