My passion for computer science stems not from life changing experiences, but instead it originates from a childlike fascination with how things work in the world around me. This character trait has resulted in me spending much of my free time: reading books, watching documentaries, on Wikipedia or YouTube learning various pieces of information. Computer Science has complemented this trait, because it is an area in which so much progress and change is occurring; that I have always been finding out about new and interesting technologies or theories to think about every week.
A great instance of this method of discovery, was when I found the YouTube channel CGP Grey and others like him, who make various videos on emerging technologies. ‘Humans Need Not Apply’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU) is a video by CGP Grey, which I watched on January of 2015. This introduced me to the concept of automation; how computer science is advancing it, the enormous economic impact that it is having on the world and how it might shape the future. However, as I have been taught by my parents, learning for learning’s sake is not a clever way to live and thus I am always thinking of how apply the new things I learn to improve myself and/or my situation. Thus, when reflecting on ‘Humans Need Not Apply’, I realised that regardless of whether automation will make humans labour obsolete, the best thing I can do is to plan to be working in a field that I enjoy and then strive to be the best in that field. For this reason, computer science is my passion, as it offers me a huge wealth of interesting knowledge to discover and integrate into my life.
For example, due to my love of reading, I asked my computer science teacher to recommend me books on the subject, my favourite of which being: ‘Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions’ by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. As stated before, I really enjoy thinking of clever implementations of knowledge that I already have; which occurs many times in this book. For instance, although I knew about earliest-deadline-first and shortest-processing-time scheduling formulas, I had not realised that I had already been using them in my daily life when deciding on how to best do my homework or chores. Moreover, I am grateful to have been introduced to Hodgson’s Algorithm by the book, because in the past I tended to dogmatically complete work based on the earliest-due-date, even when I already knew that I would be unable to complete it by the set deadline. By adopting Hodgson’s Algorithm in my daily life, I have been able to come to terms with sometimes missing certain deadlines to complete more work overall.
In my spare time, I enjoy playing basketball because of the adrenaline rush it provides me; as well as the opportunity to socialise with my friends and the proven cognitive advantages of exercise. Furthermore, I also volunteer my time weekly at a local British heart foundation shop, because I am grateful for the good health that I am endowed with and want to be able to help those less able-bodied than me.
It is my desire to pursue a career in machine learning and devise complex algorithms that can derive useful information from a sea of data, which can then be used to improve people’s quality of life. I also wish to one day work for huge firms/companies such as IBM, where I will be able to take part in major research and development projects. I believe that completing a computer science degree at university will be the first step to accomplishing these goals, and I eagerly look forward to the opportunity.