Computer Science Personal Statement

Divya Rupini is currently a first year undergraduate reading MEng Computing (Artificial Intelligence) at Imperial College London. This personal statement was part of her successful application to Imperial College London and University of Southampton for Computing (Artificial Intelligence) and UCL, Durham University and University of St Andrews for Computer Science.

As a daughter of doctors, I have first-hand knowledge of the limitations of modern medicine. The role artificial intelligence plays in helping the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions is a driving factor in my aim to pursue computer science. In the fight against cancer, conventional treatment requires pathologists to search a multitude of photographs to find a single anomaly. Artificial intelligence could not only carry this out in seconds, it could also formulate combinations of medication tailored to the patient’s circumstance. 

In high school, a peer’s initiative to start the Hour of Code Project kickstarted my interest in this field. Under his tutelage, I learnt the basics of  Python and within a few meetings, I could code simple games using loops and variables. For me, the appeal of computer science lies within the fact that everything made to this day started out as an idea. I remember working for hours on end during my high school Robotics Club sessions, changing the programme bit by bit to achieve the exact outcome that I pictured in my mind, a process I found infinitely rewarding. 

Further reading led me to a university study that modelled the mobility of cockroaches to build a robotic arm. The arm built was a simplified version of the more common and complex designs that allowed for more compliance and could passively adapt to structures with ease. The problem faced by roboticists of computing the uncertainty in unstructured environments was overcome by applying Dr. Robert Full’s theory that the legs of cockroaches carry out computations on their own which produce a self-stabilising mechanism. This information combined with shape deposition manufacturing of robotic limbs and the movement of robots according to the gait of insects catered for robots that moved faster and smoother than ever. My appreciation for nature grew as I realised that countless solutions could be built by taking inspiration from what was already around us. Studying Computer Science, the brain of the robotics field, would allow me to further develop programs that would translate codes into physical manifestation, aiding and reaching more people. 

During an attachment at a local engineering and distribution firm, I had the opportunity to build a clock. Throughout this process, I developed an understanding for analogue to digital transmissions and the functions of logic gates in producing a circuit that transformed a 1 Hz frequency into a display on the 7-segment counter. Further reading taught me that implementing fixed logic circuits were the base of building a general-purpose CPU. It was interesting to watch a physical manifestation of input combinations provided by an integrated circuit. Observing my mentor build and test simple circuits using MatLab grew my interest for the role of computing as I realised the role computing plays in other fields.

To prepare for my course, I am self-studying C Language programming and Python using resources available on Coursera and CodeAcademy. Due to my love and affinity for maths, I directed a maths competition in college for my peers to showcase their mathematical skills and solve challenging problems. As a peer tutor, I help weaker students with their mathematical ability every week. As Event Manager of the college’s inaugural conference, I coordinated a team of 40 students to organise 4 councils and multiple keynote addresses to provide my peers with a platform to debate world issues. My position as President of the MUN Club instilled in me an appreciation for passionate discussion and speech to achieve viable solutions to global issues.

I hope to use my passion for analysis and making connections to eventually pursue a career in AI and robotics in the future. I believe that my pursuit of computing at a university level would provide me with a platform to help people live as best they can. Computing can shape a world of limitless potential -a world that I would not only want live in but help create.

DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.



Actuarial Science Personal Statement

Beh Le Hao is currently a first year undergraduate reading BSc Actuarial Science at London School of Economics and Political Science. This personal statement was part of his successful application to LSE and City University of London for Actuarial Science, UCL for Mathematics and Statistics and University of Warwick for MORSE.

How do professional sports gambling syndicates use multiple regression analyses to predict outcomes reliably to earn income? Why are they so confident that the risks taken will be rewarded? I am intrigued by these questions and my interest prompted me to do some independent research into statistics. I was fascinated by how Bayes’ Theorem applies conditional probability to sports betting in order to make predictions. I am curious about how models are used to combine qualitative and quantitative data with such precision, even with the large number of random variables that affects results. M. Lewis’ ‘The Moneyball’ illustrates how the Oakland Baseball team won by assembling a group of undervalued players that matched the skills needed to succeed. What really fascinates me was how they established a new method of statistical analysis using varied key performance data points to evaluate players. I am frequently amazed by the power of statistics and how it can completely change people’s perspectives and views of traditional games. It is clear to me that such modelling can have similar impacts on organisational change in business too.  My desire to broaden my knowledge is what drives me to apply for a course in Maths and Statistics.

Statistics is particularly useful when discussing the 2008 financial crisis. The housing bubble, created from the sheer volume of unrepayable loans, could have been avoided if banks had reacted to the increased rate of default and statistical uncertainty. I feel they did not recognise the importance of statistics: banks had the knowledge they needed about their loanees, and knew they were taking huge risks, but approved loans anyway in pursuit of profit. However, I am also aware that the exponential increases in the amount of data available can also develop overconfidence, leading to predictive inaccuracies. I am really interested in how actuaries apply their knowledge to risk minimisation, which is such an essential feature of today’s world.

Reading ‘The Great Mathematical Problems’ by I. Stewart, I encountered problems that have puzzled mathematicians for centuries, while also learning about the fundamental equations that shape our understanding of the world. My particular fascination with the randomness of prime numbers led me to explore more challenging and stimulating concepts, such as Goldbach’s Conjecture and Riemann Hypothesis. It is intriguing how the unproven Riemann zeta function, by proving all non-trivial zeros lie along the critical line, provides a way to encode the prime number theorem. In Statistics, I enjoy applying hypothesis testing to determine data’s reliability. In Decision Maths, I am drawn towards the intuitive nature of dynamic programming. I was left intrigued by how an algorithm can work backwards to reach an optimal solution; I had never thought in that way before.

My internship at a corporate finance company reinforced my interest in statistical analysis in the field of investment banking. I learned how analysing historical data helps evaluate the profitability of transactions. Their use of spreadsheets and presentations in order to value companies and track changing trends in a volatile industry was impressive. I had to independently conduct my own research, looking for patterns and links within data, which taught me a great deal.

I have learnt programming languages, such as C++, independently from a young age. I enjoy participating in Maths competitions including the Olympiad, ICAS and Kangaroo Maths. I play the piano to Grade 6; this requires focus and persistence, and has greatly improved my memorisation skills. As School Basketball Captain and a School Prefect, I have developed my leadership, communication and teamwork skills.

As a curious, open-minded and committed student, I am excited about furthering my passion for Maths and Statistics at a first class UK university, driven by the prospect of furthering my knowledge of the world around me as an undergraduate.

DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.

Law Personal Statement

Swaathi Balajawahar  is currently a first year undergraduate reading Law LLB at King’s College London. This personal statement was part of her successful application to King’s College London and University of Manchester for Law.

The law is not an entity that is meant to be ossified, but is rather the substratum of how a society functions, constantly evolving to meet humanity’s ever-changing demands. The fluidity of law fascinates me as I see lawyers as agents of change, often contributing to the emergence and growth of a civil society. In Malaysia, however, partisan laws have induced a climate of fear. The Sedition Act 1948, a colonial era law that restricts free speech acts as a dragnet for dissenters. The heavily criticised Internal Security Act 1960, although recently repealed and replaced by the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, continues to quell political dissidence. With the unjustified prosecution of activists and opposition in my country, I realise that lawyers as well as the people have been silenced by the active criminalisation of discourse.

Reflecting upon history helps me grasp the origins of such draconian laws. The sanguinary events of the May 1969 racial riots led to the government introducing the Constitution (Amendment) Act of 1971 that warrants the Parliament to pass legislation which would limit dissent, especially with regards to the Social Contract. As the people began to fear a recurrence of the past, they found solace in these unjust laws, sacrificing free speech for the idea of safety and an illusion of interracial unity.

Throughout school, I was warned against promoting dialogue. Now as a national scholar, I am contractually forbidden to partake in any political discussion; free speech was the price I paid for my education. Debating was my escape as it led me to question the dogma I had been inculcated with. I learnt to form my own opinions based on informed arguments, substantiated with reasoning and evidence. I embraced diverse perspectives, realising that discourse was not to be despised, but appreciated – an understanding crucial in the study of law.

My past experiences have equipped me with the vital skills required to pursue this field. Growing up in a conservative Indian family, I was forced to assume traditional gender roles. However, joining the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, I organised speeches and campaigns that empowered myself and others to seek gender equality. During my term as the President of the Interact Club, I realised the importance of rules in maintaining the integrity of an association. I obeyed strict protocols in carrying out community projects to preserve the reputation of the club, while portraying high levels of ethics. As a prefect, however, I challenged the need for superficial rules by promoting dialogue between the stakeholders of such regulation. The skills that I have learned shaped my conviction to not only advocate for change, but also question the efficacy of conventional rules, while complying to ethical principles. Eventually, my zeal for interpreting how the law operates drove me to initiate a Law Society in my college.

My curiosity to explore various legal avenues led me to a job attachment with CIMB Bank. Assigned under Group Compliance, I analysed irregularities in transaction patterns based on the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Funding laws. Here I understood the need for stringent rules to maintain integrity, even for major profit-seeking universal banks. However, ruminating on the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad scandal that tainted my country as a kleptocracy, I realised strict regulations alone cannot stop perpetrators if the regulators are silenced by the very constitution they are called to uphold.

Too often, the rule of law is constitutionally manipulated into being a tool for personal gain, restricting freedom of expression to retain political authority. As I recognise a sense of oppression in my country, I realise the anachronistic nature of our laws. At university, I aim to understand what makes or breaks the rule of law, acquiring necessary knowledge and intellectual dexterity to empower and reform Malaysia’s constitution.

DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.