Computer Science MEng (with Artificial Intelligence) Personal Statement
Submitted by Alex
Computer science is a vast subject, covering many topics that I am interested in, and of all fields it has the greatest implications for the future of society. It is also a very practical discipline, offering near limitless potential with what can be achieved using increasingly powerful technology. My interest in computer science began from me being curious about the components of video game consoles, leading to me building my own PC. I also took part in a computing club in school in years nine and ten where I developed game making skills in Scratch using pragmatic and creative thinking. Artificial intelligence is without a doubt the area of computer science that I am the most fascinated by, because it will allow us to achieve feats immensely more impressive that were ever possible before, but also has the potential to be the most disruptive force to the global economy in human history. I have learnt more about this aspect of AI from reading The Economic Singularity by Calum Chace, which has made me appreciate the importance of computer science in the world even more. Within the broad topic of artificial intelligence, I am particularly interested in Google Deepmind and self-driving cars because these are continuously resulting in exciting developments that can change people's lives. Rather fittingly I get most of my information about technology from the internet instead of books, using sites such as Reddit and Ars Technica to stay on top of news about advancements to do with computing.
Mathematics is fundamental to everything about computer science, from simple sums to complex algorithms such as Bayesian optimization. I am very confident that I will be able to work well with advanced mathematics because I have a high attainment in maths and I enjoy solving complicated problems. I am able to pick up new concepts in maths quickly and gain an intuition for how they work and how to apply them to different situations. This skill would be very useful to learning about computer science, because mathematical concepts, like being able to prove that algorithms give the correct outputs for a range of inputs and programming a machine to be able to quantify and analyse massive amounts of data, apply to many interwoven areas of computing and require a high level understanding of the mathematical foundations of these procedures.
During my time in sixth form, I have completed AS Level Computer Science, meaning I already have experience studying this subject which would be useful going on to university studies. I currently take A Level Physics because it involves learning more about how the Universe works on a macro and micro level which I am always curious about, and it involves using a lot of maths. Additionally, I am studying Cambridge Pre-U Economics. Economics is similar to computing because it is based on applying maths to real world situations in order to model issues and find solutions, such as calculating price elasticities to suggest the optimal actions for a business to take.
Overall, I believe that I would be an excellent computer science student because I am great at problem solving, which is integral to being able to perform well in computing. For example, I achieved two silver certificates and one gold certificate in the UKMT senior maths challenge, showing I can solve abstract problems effectively I have had to solve real world problems in my Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition, which also shows I have useful teamwork and organisation skills. Due to computer science being the subject I have the most expansive long-term interest in, I would like to be able to study it at a top-level university so that I can learn much more about the field and work towards a career in computing with a revolutionary company such as Google, so that I can be a part of the largest economic era of innovation humanity is currently and has yet to experience.