Computer Science Personal Statement
My fascination with computers naturally arose from my love for computer games. However, my interest in computer science was initially sparked when I read "Gödel, Escher, Bach", by D. Hofstadter. This book enlightened me to the simplicity of mathematics, logic, cognitive science and their applications. To further understand the book and its meaning I watched the Gödel, Escher, Bach MIT lectures on YouTube, the concept of self-referencing intrigued me. I still re-read this book as I believe it is one that takes a lifetime of experience and observation to fully grasp. My desire to expand my knowledge of computer science is fuelled by the idea of creating something simple, like a piece of code, and seeing it evolve into something great.
Mathematics is fundamental to the study and progression of computer science. Studying Mathematics has helped me develop my analytical skills and my ability to think logically when tackling problems. This year I have decided to study AS Further Mathematics as it is now being offered at my school. To extend my studies beyond the classroom, I read further into mathematics and physics; Ian Stewart and Richard Feynman being two of my favourite authors. Their works have not only developed my mathematical skills, but raised my awareness of the history and concepts of the two subjects. To compliment my reading I watch documentaries on quantum physics and history. Additionally, I enjoy learning about number theory and doing mathematical puzzles, which is why Numberphile videos are something I avidly watch.
Attending a Sutton Trust Summer School gave me a valuable insight into the life of a Computer Science undergraduate. I found the lecture 'Designing Algorithms' of interest. The lecturer made us sort a pack of shuffled cards into order. From this seemingly simple exercise I was able to understand the difference in efficient algorithms a human might use in contrast to a computer. A computer cannot reason or solve problems with intelligence like a human; a set of steps with the minimal amount of operations must be set for a computer to complete the same task with a similar level of efficiency.
Outside of school, I taught myself HTML, CSS and Python through Codecademy and YouTube tutorials. Currently, I am part of a coding team, our aim has been to create a text-based, decision survival game and a website to promote it. My role in the team is to create all the graphical components for the game and program it in Python using the Tkinter module. Being part of this project has allowed me to hone my skills of writing efficient code by utilising mathematical functions, equations and algebra. Also, it has taught me how to work better in a team and adapt to new situations. Recently, I have ventured into the world of Linux and the programming language C, which I picked up from a book I am currently reading called "Hacking: The Art of Exploitation", by J. Erickson. The book teaches a lot in pseudo code, describing and explaining program and network exploitation techniques which I find enjoyable yet still challenging to execute.
During my free time, I enjoy exploring Japan's culture and language through the mediums of the internet, books and television. Teaching myself Japanese has helped me understand and develop efficient learning techniques which I can implement in my studies. A hobby which I am passionate about is competitive gaming, not only has it has provided me with endless hours of fun, but it has also taught me to be a leader; an example of this is when I make strategic decisions for my team in high pressure situations.
Studying Computer Science at University will allow me to gain a deeper understanding of the discipline and areas which I have had no formal teaching of, such as: Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and the mathematical foundations of computer science. I am interested in applying this knowledge to further study and using my skills to help those all around the world.
Universities Applied to University College London - Offer Received A*AA or AAB + RO University of Durham - Offer Received AAA University of Warwick- Offer Received AAA or AAB + RO University of Birmingham- Offer Received AAA or ABB + RO King's College London - Offer Received AAB or ABC/BBB/AAD + RO I won't be going to any of these Universities this year as I now wish to do a degree in Physics/Theoretical Physics, so I'll be taking a gap year and re-applying for entry in 2018. If I were to go I'd probably firm UCL and Birmingham would be my insurance. A Levels A2 Mathematics (AQA) - Predicted A A2 Physics (AQA) - Predicted A A2 Biology (AQA) - Predicted A AS Further Mathematics (AQA) - Predicted A, will be finishing off the full a level in my gap year as it was only offered to me at the start of year 13, and is self taught.