Computer Science and Physics Personal Statement
The ways in which people have been able to progress in understanding the world around us by finding new ways to adapt and improve ideas and theories has always fascinated me, which is why I have always enjoyed studying physics at school. My interest in the progress of technology, and desire for understanding has greatly encouraged me to continue my studies in a similar area at degree level.
To broaden my understanding of physics I have attended several lectures outside school, a Villiers Park masterclass and undertaken a week's work experience in the physics department at the University of Birmingham. This has led me to develop a particular interest in the study of quantum physics and in the development of computers and their impact on the ways we are able to study physics.
I have a firm belief that the advancement of computing has strong links to the future development of both practical and theoretical physics. This July I attended a five day 'Headstart' course focusing on computer science which was a key factor in developing my interest in computing, whilst staying in university accommodation provided me with a valuable opportunity to experience university life.
Reading scientific journals and magazines such as 'New Scientist' and 'Physics World' has helped me to appreciate the value of applying theoretical physics to the real world. At Advanced Level in Physics, I have particularly enjoyed developing coursework investigations and using computers to produce mathematical models of certain situations.
Studying mathematics at A Level has aided me greatly, not only in better understanding aspects of physics, but also in developing my problem solving and logical skills.
Psychology has helped me to see the benefit of using computers to provide analogies to enable us to understand how the human mind functions, and how people are able to interact with technology even after suffering debilitating illnesses or accidents.
During my school life, I have enjoyed taking part in activities such as sporting events, and helping with open days as well as events at local primary schools.
Most recently, I have been involved in the running of a Young Enterprise company for which I designed logos and new products before being elected as the Managing Director. This involved taking on the responsibility of running weekly board meetings, ensuring the company's success and giving a presentation about the company after qualifying for the county competition. I found this experience extremely valuable in strengthening my leadership and team working abilities.
For the past year and a half I have had further opportunities to develop leadership qualities by volunteering as a Young Leader at a local Cub Scout pack. I have long enjoyed my involvment with the scouting movement and am currently enrolled in an Explorer Scout unit. This has given me many opportunities to undertake new challenges and I have frequently been responsible for organising activities and events.
I have also been introduced to a variety of outdoor pursuits, which I now enjoy doing in my own time, such as walking, climbing, caving and water sports. Being an Explorer Scout has also provided me with chances to help with local community events, such as fun runs and fund raising for charities.
Aside from scouting, I have also undertaken the Duke of Edinburgh award and am currently working towards attaining my gold award. As part of this, I took up fencing which has proved to be both challenging and rewarding.
For several years, I have enjoyed playing the flute and guitar and have recently taken part in several musical productions. At university I hope to gain further knowledge and understanding of a subject I am passionate about and look forward to the new challenges and opportunities it will provide.
This personal statement was written by Ludo for application in 2005.
Feeling a bit indecisive at the time of applying, I chose to apply for different courses at different universities. Two were Computer Science (York & Manchester), one was a joint degree in computer science and physics (Sheffield) and the other three were physics courses.
I did my best to write a little about each of them, but was a little worried about whether i'd get accepted for computer science degrees, as I thought I'd neglected it slightly.
I did get all 6 offers, was told by the lecturer interviewing me at manchester that he thought more physics students should do computer science.
Other advice I was given was from a computer science lecturer at York university, who told me not to begin a personal statement for computer science with either 'Computers are playing a bigger and bigger part in our lives, they are out future... etc' or 'I've been interested in computers since I was 5 years old when my dad brought a ___ home from work...'
I've probably included much more extra curricular stuff than most people, but I did cut it down a lot.
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