Computer Science Personal Statement
Submitted by Joshua
Picking apart game files and understanding their composition was an enjoyable way to spend my time while growing up. It ended being something I spent an extensive amount of time on. This experience made me especially interested in how games were created and how the code that made up the backbone of every major game was written.
Taking Computer Science at AS level was an enjoyable experience that has improved my knowledge in programming. I learnt how to write efficient procedural programs during the course and that knowledge inspired me to try creating small programs for my own computer. In my own time I learnt how to write small shell scripts (.bat files) in Windows that allowed me to easily execute groups of programs at once rather than open each program individually. Subsequently, I added a time delay to these programs and end said programs when the console instance was closed. This boosted my productivity immensely: I no longer have to dig through my computer for obscure programs I rarely use.
Maths and Computer Science complement each other very well and knowing this fact drove me to begin learning some of decision maths since it is the one of the most relevant AS level Mathematics modules to Computer Science. I found algorithms, such as Dijkstra’s Algorithm, particularly interesting because they have useful real-world applications. I learnt that maps could be represented as weighted undirected graphs, with the weights representing distance, vertices representing locations and edges representing roads between them. This allows the algorithm to be used to find the shortest distance between two locations, likely the single most used feature of all current navigation software.
Outside of college, I have deepened my understanding of programming by partaking a Hackathon held in Google’s Soho Office UK. We pitched a completed concept for an application on the Play Store and the winners received the funding and guidance to actualise their concepts. I was tasked with creating the front-end which was done using HTML and it was an experience that not only informed my decision to pursue Computer Science at a higher level, but provided me with the drive and planning skills to do so. I will be refining the web-based development knowledge gained at that event as I complete computer science coursework, it will also involve the creation of an e-commerce website for my mother. Another hobby of mine is building computers for friends and myself. For me, putting the hardware together to make a fully functional computer is a rewarding experience and I look forward to learning about the software interactions involved.
Taking Computer Science at university will provide me with practical tools that will prove vital to a career in game development.