Computer Science Personal Statement
Submitted by Anonymous
It was my father who played a key role in igniting my interest in computing when he showed me MSWLogo and Basic early on. It is now programming that sparks my interest; it is the way my mind works and I am invariably thinking about how real-life situations can be turned into a program. Studying Computer Science as an A-Level has provided me with a structured learning environment that augments my self-learning and I am excited about developing this further at university.
Ethem Alpaydin's 'Machine Learning: The New AI', has opened my eyes to the idea of using data to construct programs without explicitly doing any programming, by utilising the patterns in such data so that an analyst doesn't have to. However, according to Gartner's 'Hype Cycle', it is also believed that we have reached a "peak of inflated expectations" and that it is no longer possible to develop much further. A reason for this could be the narrow nature of specially trained algorithms, however, this pessimistic viewpoint represents to me that computing is constantly evolving and there will always be innovation for me to be interested and involved in. Through Alpaydin's work, I have also discovered the world of neural nets, inspired by the neurons and synapses in our own brains, which has pushed me to attempt to use a neural net in my A-Level Computing coursework as a form of AI, and I have been amazed by its ability to overcome the issues found in traditional rule-based programming. I have also taken to reading Google's developer blog, in order to perceive the practical applications of machine learning, while also keeping up to date with the current advancements. Currently, I am doing research on Kotlin and various other JVM languages to better understand the underlying layers a programming language can have, such as the Java Virtual Machine and how sophisticated the building of a language can be.
My dad brought me into his work in the summer of 2015 so that I could experience the career I so badly want to pursue. I was asked to design the UX of a dummy app, despite not knowing how to how to write Android apps. This is the type of challenge I yearn for and having to learn something completely new in order to deliver a quality product was especially rewarding. In my ardour, I delivered a functioning product for the company and not just a design. I'm still working for the company on a part-time basis and we are currently developing a new app, which is being tested and demonstrated to clients for use in production. Through this experience, I had the chance to work with a team and learn how an office environment functions in terms of a software engineering setting. Deadlines are now a force of habit.
I've entered UKMT Maths Challenges over my years at my secondary school, receiving a range of certificates from bronze to gold. I believe this exhibits my love for maths as subject and as a passion. The computational thinking that you learn from maths is invaluable. In order to test myself, I have entered the UK Bebras 'Computational thinking Challenge' and I thoroughly enjoyed the art of problem-solving that it presents you.I am also a School Prefect, which gives me opportunities to help the school by doing certain duties. This has developed my leadership skills considerably, as I've needed to intervene when certain situations have arisen. As part of an outreach programme, I've taken maths clubs for primary school children, which has definitely helped improve the effectiveness of my communication. I also enjoy playing video games, particularly when viewed from the perspective of how they are created and designed.
I believe that further education in the world of computing can allow me to innovate and create while being at the heart of what I think our future will be like. I particularly look forward to learning about AI and how we plan to tackle the challenge of improving its practical application.