At its heart, computer science is about problem solving, and for me there is little that is more satisfying. It was when I first entered the British Informatics Olympiad in 2015 that it really clicked with me - one of the questions was on promenades, a way of representing fractions as a series of left and right turns. It took me most of the time allotted to work out just that one question, but once I managed to get my script working it gave me an unrivalled feeling of satisfaction to solve what had previously felt like an insurmountable task.
Since that point, I have held a very strong interest in programming. I started learning web development skills, which led me to create a fairly complex website for my parents' business, that recently reached 2,500 unique visitors over the course of a month (http://butleyoyster.com). This in turn led me to do work experience with Integrated Ideas, a local web development business, where I created a database-driven events booking system for a nearby village hall (http://butleyvillagehall.co.uk). When I was there, I got to experience a real workplace and the people helped enormously in developing my skills, especially regarding database design.
I am also very interested in the field of computer vision. I find it fascinating how computers can gather meaningful information from what it sees as a matrix of numbers. On a recent University visit, a demonstration of computer vision technology inspired me to start a MOOC from Georgia Tech to gain an understanding of the mathematical techniques behind computer vision. So far, it is very interesting and has changed the way I think about how computers interact with images. It is something that I hope to explore further at University.
Out of the classroom, my interests include debating as a part of my school's Model United Nations team, sailing, and skiing. With MUN I have participated in two conferences, and I have won both Commended Delegate in my committee and Best Delegation. I am also integral in the planning of the conference we plan to hold for the first time. I have competed in several regional sailing regattas as a part of the school team over my school career, and I ski weekly with my school team, and compete - last year, my team and I reached the ESSKIA National Finals. I think some of what attracts me to skiing is part of what attracts me to computer science - the feeling of control that I get from both activities is very appealing to me.