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Having thoroughly enjoyed the hardware aspect of computing at A level and GCSE, I have developed a deep enthusiasm and curiosity regarding computer hardware. My A level computing project choice, takes the form of a single board computer, coupled with tools and exploits allowing the testing of devices and networks for vulnerabilities. This is connected to a further passion in ethical hacking and programming, which are pursued as hobbies in my free time.
I have touched industry level programming through freelance projects and programming books such as Modern C++ Design by Andrei Alexandrescu, with my most proficient language being C++. An unintentional benefit to learning C++ which became apparent, was being able to use it for robotics. I explored my interest in Electronics early in Year 12, where I had the option to compete in VEX Robotics (In the zone) as an elective. As the lead engineer/programmer, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of building a robot and competing with a group. Initially, we built a barebones robot with a basic 4-bar lift and an arm to push mobile goals. As we competed more, we gained hands-on experience and feedback from experts such as judges. Consequently we iterated through versions until we had developed a roller intake for mobile goals and a reverse 4-bar lift. With our final iteration, I finished developing an autonomous function which allowed us to secure extra points. Our dedication as a team was made apparent after winning Regionals, allowing us to head to Nationals.
I received an accidental push towards electrical engineering through visiting a website called EEWeb, where the front page by chance had an article on Self-parking cars in 1933 – which led to me reading through the site. I eventually came across captivating articles on electromagnetism and electronics used to process information and transmit energy which resulted in me giving a talk within our school’s Physics and Engineering society on “Wireless Electricity”. My interest in computer hardware and its functionality was consolidated as a consequence of carrying out the research for constructing my PC, where I learnt about using logic gates to create an ALU; in addition to memory to store the inputs and results of operations through the internet.
Outside of school, I am a very keen participant in combat sports, commiting to Judo and Muay Thai as it gives a sense of freedom and achievement through competing. Through this, I have enhanced my self-discipline, grit and commitment to succeed. I regularly attend my local toastmasters to develop public speaking and social skills. These skills are essential in engineering due to the amount of group work which takes place, particularly in projects; in addition to presentations which will need to be given. I feel one of the most important ways I have developed my skills was through puzzle-based Video-Games (such as portal), where initially the problems are viewed as insurmountable; however, by breaking down the problem and logical thinking about the environment, you can usually establish what has to be done next. This has caused me to develop a great deal of patience, which is something I noticed was essential while attending a seminar which taught how to create a calculator out of logic gates.
Furthermore, I found patience very important when doing freelance work on a “Console Audio Player” where I had to communicate several times with the client. I have reflected logical thinking skills through partaking in Bebras computational thinking competitions – where I achieved Merits in years 11, 12 and 13. Moreover, I have built my teamwork, leadership, time management and organisation skills through completing Bronze and Silver DofE where teamwork and leadership skills are highly critical in order to succeed; to develop these skills further I will be doing Gold DofE in 2019.
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