Name: George Thomas
Subject: Computer Science
A-Level subjects/equivalent: IB: Maths HL, Physics HL, Comp Sci HL, Economics SL, English SL, German SL
I’m from a comprehensive sixth form in London. Neither of my parents went to university and my sixth form was very new and hadn’t sent anyone to Cambridge before.
The first Computer Science course in the world started here, and it built on a fantastic mathematical background. It seemed like the best place to go.
I entered the Kelvin Science Prize essay competition and was surprised to do as well as I did. I got to visit the college and it seemed very nice.
Arduous! Personal statement writing was a long process.
I got asked a lot of maths questions which I wasn’t really expecting. It was pretty tough! I had three interviews, the first at about 10am and the last at about 4pm, so a pretty long day.
Really weird at first. One of the first evenings we were here we had to have a big fancy dinner with cutlery I didn’t know existed. I muddled through and I knew that quite a few others were doing the same, which was pretty comforting.
I have lectures 10am - 1pm every day in the Computer Lab. Supervisions take up most of my afternoons. I go rock climbing twice a week, and have a whole heap of other stuff to do for our college’s Student Council also.
The department enjoys mathematically formalising pretty much everything that we have to learn. It’s sometimes difficult to see the value in that, which makes learning tedious. The practicals have been okay.
I get a student loan which covers my termly college bill. I get a Newton Trust bursary from the university and I also tutor.
Rock climbing, tutoring, talking with people.
Specifically for Computer Scientists, Physicists or Maths applicants: do lots of maths. Get used to talking about it with someone. Preferably someone who is a lot smarter than you and who you don’t know very well. Do things that show you are interested in your subject. Do those things way before Autumn Term Year 13 – that’s leaving things a bit late.