Postgraduate Computer Science Personal Statement
I want to study computer science because it pairs together two wonderful things; mathematics and technology.
Although I have enjoyed working with computers since a young age, it wasn’t until I began studying decision mathematics that I decided this is the field I want to study at university. I loved the simplicity of completing the algorithms but also the potential for complexity when presented with enormous networks.
Learning about the algorithms lead me to read ‘Algorithmics’. The algorithms I had been studying, such as bubble sort and dynamic programming, were shown implemented in code. This confirmed to me that the logical way of thinking I have developed in mathematics is exactly what is needed for coding in computer science; I believe this makes the degree perfect for me.
After reading ‘The New Turing Omnibus’ it was interesting to see how the simplex algorithm was shown with an example where the constraints formed a 3D shape and the optimal strategy was in the form of a plane rather than just a line. This was something that I hadn’t previously conceived about as during my studies all questions were presented in two-dimensions.
I also have an interest in the hardware side of computers. An invaluable experience I found was self-assembling a PC. It was an opportunity to see the inner workings of the computer and how everything connects together. From reading ‘Code’ by Charles Petzold, I have learned about how a computer is made from first principles. It really showed me how a computer is a complex construction of simple elements.
Maths has always been my strongest subject and this is down to my enjoyment of it. Whilst attending a Mathematics lecture during a Sutton Trust Summer School on Knot Theory, I was fascinated by how you could show that infinity and infinity plus one are equivalent by the use of tangle manipulation. This year I have been preparing for STEP papers, with the intention to sit all three this summer.
This preparation has benefited me by experiencing working through university style questions. I have learnt the importance of focusing on all aspects of the question and have improved my accuracy in answers.
EPQ has enhanced my report writing and research skills, along with my organisational skills; both critical for the completion of my project. The title was ‘Planetary Engineering: One Giant Leap Too Far?’ and focused on whether or not it is physically, financially and morally possible to terraform Mars.
I chose this as it involved different areas of science that I find interesting, especially astronomy. I would love to be able to incorporate this interest into my computer science degree when it comes to my individual project.
Participating in the Engineering Education Scheme (which earned me a Gold Crest Award) taught me valuable qualities including rigorous teamwork, organisational, and problem solving skills. Working as part of a team alongside the Royal Navy, we had to formulate a solution to a leaking mantlet bag, which protects a 4.5” Mod One gun.
After 6 months of weekly meetings and a residential visit at Plymouth University to test our designs, we were informed that our project had been forwarded to the Royal Navy’s lead contractor and has subsequently been forwarded for further study.
I have always enjoyed extra-curricular activities at my school. During my role as a Meal Time Assistant, I held a position of responsibility demonstrating maturity and trustworthiness.
Furthermore, I currently mentor KS3 students during Maths lessons and an after-school club; developing my self-confidence, communication and interpersonal skills and allowing me to share and pass on my passion for the subject.
Technology will never stop evolving, each advancement only fuelling the ingenuity and imagination of computer scientists and engineers. I too want to be part of these developments. I want to help create the technology of the future, not just use it.
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