Personal Statement

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.

For a time, I was very interested in game development, which led me to attend several courses; this culminated in a summer camp at Stanford University where I learned C++ and Unreal Engine 4. My group managed to create a working 3-D spaceship game in under two weeks. This experience highlighted the importance of teamwork and team cohesion, and I had to step up into a leadership role in order to ensure that the project was completed on time. My focus has since shifted towards the more technical aspects of the subject, perhaps because of how much I am enjoying my Maths A-level. My interest in cryptography led me to create a fully-functional cryptocurrency for my Computer Science A Level's Non Examined Assessment. Called Arbitra (named that because it means that a unit of currency is an arbitrary unit), it takes inspiration from others like Bitcoin, but I have written it from the ground up in Javascript.

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.

GitHub: https://github.com/Mozzius