Computer Science with Mathematics
Applied in: Winter 2013
University Offers: Imperial College, UCL, Edinburgh, Bath, Glasgow
Mathematics is a subject I have always been extremely interested in. As a child, I remember myself fascinated when watching my older sister solve mathematical equations even if I didn't understand a word. When I grew up, this fascination didn't go away. I enjoyed the challenge of mathematics and solving a difficult problem could make my day. My interest in mathematics sparked my interest in computers. I was already a skilled computer user when I was 11. When my friends and I started playing video games, I seemed to be the only one curious about the way they worked. I learnt BASIC and designed my first primitive "web site" using pure HTML at the age of 13 and soon I was capable of re-installing the operating system of my computer from scratch in order to optimize its performance.
I was always a determined and ambitious student. In the final year of Primary School, I was chosen to participate in a small class consisting of the ten best students from the whole school, which aimed to inspire us and strengthen our skills in Mathematics, Physics and IT. In Secondary school, I kept developing my interest, performance and effectiveness in all those areas where I acquired excellent marks. Last year, I participated in the Belgian Mathematics Olympiad where I reached the quarter-finals, even though the language used was different to the one I had been taught in.
I have always been involved in extra-curricular life. I have been a member of my Class Committee for 6 consecutive years, which means I have to attend meetings as a representative of my class and try to solve problems that appear in every student's life. Last year I participated actively in creating with twelve other classmates our "LJE Mini Enterprise", where I had the major responsibility of the Technical Director and IT support positions. This project gave me the opportunity to get some real life lessons on teamwork, leadership and basic financial constraints, and ended-up as the most successful enterprise in my school, with impressive (more than fifty percent) profits for the share-holders. I have also participated as a crew member in "Springfest", the biggest charity work organized by the school.
During last summer, and under the umbrella of the European School work experience program, I worked for two weeks at Otesat-Maritel, a major European satellite and maritime telecommunications provider, where I was a member of the support team and had the opportunity to learn how IT professionals, using their knowledge in computers, managed to interact with end-users in order to solve the problems they faced. This experience helped me take my final decision to apply for an IT related course.
I enjoy sports, and I have been a member of the basketball team of my school since kindergarten. This has helped me obtain excellent skills when cooperating with others, also combined with the discipline to work extremely well on my own if required. Since I have more experience than many others in my team, I often take the role of the captain. This has improved my leadership skills and the ability to keep calm under pressure. Lastly, music is an important part of my life too, as I have been playing the guitar for more than five years, greatly increasing my creativity. These activities have made me a very well-rounded person, have helped me socialize and have given me a feeling of relaxation away from my studies.
For the reasons above, joining mathematics and computer science seems to be the best approach for me. It combines development of mathematical methods towards an optimized design of computational algorithms, implementation of better software tools based on mathematical reasoning, but can also be used as a basis for further studies towards artificial intelligence or robotics. I find the prospect of a career in these fields exciting and am extremely motivated to be a part of the generation of scientists that will bring these things closer to everyday life.