- Reading time: 3 minutes
- Price: Free download
- Published: 3rd December 2021
- Price: Free download
- File format: Text
“Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.” – Alan Turing
This quote successfully encapsulates my interest in computer science, from the newest graphics cards to the world-changing innovations coming to light each year. Although most articles on ‘World Changing Technology!’ turn out to be over-hyped concepts of existing models, it still fuels my passion for what the future could hold for technology. The quote was taken from Alan Turing’s most famous paper which I read online, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”. All he accomplished has inspired me greatly to contribute what I can to the field of Computer Science.
I have always been drawn towards mathematical subjects and sciences. I have always pushed myself to be first in the class and this led to me searching for ways to be ahead of the course, so I could be prepared for what was coming up next. I like to stretch myself and reach beyond the demands of the specifications. I am a very strong problem solver which has been of great benefit to my endeavours in maths, and I have twice placed in the top 100 of the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad. The Olympiad consists of a series of tests focusing on the integral parts of languages and requiring one to see the smaller patterns in order to understand the text and answer the questions, in languages from Ethiopian to Icelandic. I have also obtained silver in the UK Senior Maths Challenge, but hope to improve on that with this year’s test.
Computer Science, both in school and out of school, is enthralling. When I assembled my own computer, I built upon the foundations of hardware I had learnt in school and then expanded on this by using online articles and tutorials to learn about which components would work together and provide the best value for money. I found this project to be profoundly stimulating and challenging. I try to further my knowledge about computer science whenever I can – I thoroughly enjoy reading books and articles on the subject, being subscribed to “Wired”, which keeps me up to date on recent and upcoming technology; I have begun reading “Introduction to Algorithms” and particularly enjoyed the [book] ‘Machines that think’ (NewScientist). I enjoyed this book so much because it introduced new moral questions to me around the topic of AI. It covers in part the evisceration of Lee Sedol, International Champion at GO, by Google’s AlphaGo. The fallout from the defeat was phenomenal in South Korea, where the game is studied by professionals and pulls in major sponsors.
Beyond the classroom, I have other interests including music and sports. I have played football for several years and often play 5-a-side as well. I enjoy playing guitar and have sung in numerous choirs. Guitar takes time for practise but is very rewarding. I spent the last year completing a Leadership and Initiative course totalling over 90 hours. Over the course of the year my confidence and teamwork skills developed. I try to take on leadership roles when I can, and I commit to them whole-heartedly. For example, I am a prefect in school, a role in which I have respect and responsibility, with an expectation to lead the younger years to fulfil their potential and to be good students.
I have also sought out further experience in Computer Science through training weeks and camps. I recently attended a training week with PwC focusing on Data Cleansing and analysis with huge datasets. The week taught me the basics of coding in R. I found the week gave me a good insight into how data is being mined and used by companies to train AI to do jobs exceptionally well. I applied and successfully got on to a 2 week coding course run by Kainos where I was able to learn how to work under pressure in competitions and in a team to create an app. The area of Artificial Intelligence is a sector I would love to work in as the possibilities for AI are endless, and I believe it will be an integral part of society in the coming years. These experiences have helped inform my decision to study computer science and consolidated my goal to pursue a career in this area.