Electrical Engineering Personal Statement Example 4
Samsung S10e or iPhone XR? Last year I had such a difficult choice to make; I would spend countless hours watching comparison videos on YouTube to help me decide which should be my next purchase. Despite me purchasing neither of them, this enquiry started my interest in chip architectures in consumer products.
I was interested in the benchmarks they use to categorise the performance of the chipsets in these devices; this led me to research about transistors and how their size affects the performance of a computer, where I learnt about semiconducting materials and how their properties make them suitable in making transistors. I am excited to study Electrical Engineering to learn about instruction set architectures and increase my understanding of circuit design as I'd like to contribute to the research and the development of chipsets.
During my physics lessons, I discovered the concept of semiconductors and their uses in the industry. I was interested in the fact that chip manufacturers continually strive to reduce the size of the transistors, as this would lead to substantial performance and efficiency gains, that would make the previous chip's performance obsolete.
I enrolled in the "Principle of Semiconductor Devices" course, provided by Hong Kong University, to further my understanding of the properties of semiconducting materials and why they are used in making transistors. I learnt that semiconducting materials have a bandgap, the gap between the valence and the conductive bands of a material; the wider this is, the more efficient the power conversion.
A greater bandgap could make a semiconductor block of the same voltage while being thinner than one with the shorter bandgap, cutting resistance by reducing the distance the current must flow. This improvement translates in a performance boost or efficiency, depending on the use case: while in a smartphone the focus would be on efficiency and battery life, a desktop computer would prioritise performance.
While stuck in the YouTube rabbit hole, I watched many videos comparing the GPUs in phones. It motivated me to read articles about GPUs and get a better understanding on how they help improve the graphical performance of a system, such as "Rise and rise of GPUs" from Ingenia.org.uk, where I learnt about pipelines and bubbles.
To perform work, a CPU has to overlap the instructions it works on in "pipelines" and bubbles occur when operations from these have to stall, resulting in a delay as data must be fetched from memory to complete it. GPUs attempt to reduce bubbles by making data available earlier through faster local memory. Their design helps achieve their purpose: they are made from arrays of computational engines, each with a specified task, including fetching data from memory.
During my time on a computer science course provided by Harvard (the CS50), I learnt the coding language "Python" and how to use frameworks like Django and Flask to build websites, and simple applications such as Tic Tac Toe.
The programme helped me to acquire problem-solving skills as I would often troubleshoot my code and debug it. I enjoy pushing myself by taking part in academic competitions, over the years I participated in: the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge; the British Physics Olympiad; and the UKMT Junior Maths Challenge. In each, I achieved a copper certificate, Bronze 1 and a gold certificate respectively.
In my spare time, I do freelance photography and manage an Instagram page- where I share my work- and also commission art as well as cartoon animation videos. I expose some of my artwork in shows; recently, I entered an art competition organised by the Luxembourg Art Museum.
I take pleasure creating in my free time and believe that an engineer must have mathematical skills and be creative to tackle problems. I think that by taking courses in programming and participating in science competitions, I have a strong foundation that I hope to build upon during my time at university.
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I am applying to Oxford, Imperial, UCL, Leeds and Bath university. Wish me luck
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