Aidan Cheung

Personal Statement

Computer Science is embedded in societies development. In S3, my computing teachers noticed my keenness in learning about code. In S4, they asked me if I would like to share that experience with others, through our school’s Coding Club. At first, I taught what was already taught to me by my teachers, I then decided to teach something different. In my free time, I taught myself new languages, then passed on the knowledge to the juniors. So far I’ve done this for C# and JS and at one point I managed to attract a group of thirty-eight pupils, the most the club had ever seen, teaching them using my own material. With this amount of people, I established a group of seniors who would assist me in teaching. My organisation skills and resilience allowed me to do this on a weekly basis.

Another one of my favourite subjects is Maths. While in my younger years, I had always disregarded the subject, thinking it was boring and unnecessary, after taking Higher Maths, I started to take up an interest for it as we started to learn about calculus. This new interest also led me to learning about Neural Networks. At the beginning, I learned the basics of how they work, then during S6 I learned more about how they’re implemented. I then decided to include it in the backend of my Advanced Higher Computer Science project: a native Windows application, which allows people to handwrite and this is converted to computer readable text. This type of software is necessary in our society as technology should be accessible to everyone.

I also have a love for Physics, as it allows us to try and understand the universe. I became interested in Quantum Computing, as it links both Computing Science and Physics. As a result I developed my interest in Neural Networks, I started learning the fundamentals of how they work, then started to make some basic quantum programs using IBM’s Cloud Quantum Computers. One of my biggest dreams, while near impossible, is to create a virtual universe on a Quantum Computer, simulated down to the quantum level, as it would allow us to understand the universe in a way never done before. By allowing an Artificial Superintelligence to explore the world, the possibilities would be endless. It would also be an amazing learning tool for the next generation.

One of my main out of school interests is Linux. It was around S4, that I learned about Linux via the internet and immediately fell in love. It did not take long until I began “distro-hopping,” discovering the many flavours of Linux. I built my own server from a Raspberry Pi, which I later upgraded to a full i3 system running Debian, acting as a NAS and Web Server. I then also installed Arch Linux to be my main operating system on my laptop. During this stage I also created my own Home Network complete with different VLANs.

While I spend most of my free time coding and tinkering with computers, I have also inherited a love for the Piano from my great-grandmother, who was a well-known Piano teacher in her area. I’m currently on track to completing Grade 8 Piano by the end of S6.

I have recently developed my own tech support business, mostly focused on helping my friends and family, but also those in the community. I am lucky to have my parents, who have experience of being self-employed themselves, help me set up the business and advertise it locally.

In the future, I hope to continue learning about machine learning, how operating systems work and more efficient computational constructs. I aspire to work for companies such as OpenAI, Nvidia and Google, who are constantly pushing the boundaries on how AI can work. I look forward to seeing these companies innovate and hope one day I can join them in their efforts to improve society. While I do love the idea of an Artificial Superintelligence, there is a large moral question in the way. And whilst I haven’t developed my own opinion on this yet, I look forward to answering this question in the future, as I explore the exciting world of computer science.