Robotics Personal Statement

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Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Personal Statement

Over the past year; I've changed and developed as a person, becoming even more determined and self-motivated. I've overcome a multitude of challenges, adapted to a new environment and furthered myself both academically and personally. While I may have changed, my utter fascination with computers and technology hasn't. One of the reasons technology means so much to me is because I've experienced first-hand how it connects the world and the people within it together in profound, empowering and unexpected ways. To me, computers are the physical embodiment of human ingenuity; a ubiquitous force of limitless possibility. It inspires me that we live in an age where advances in computing have made, and continue to make; so much of what was once thought impossible - mundane. I've never been content being told a system works, "just because". Understanding how and why things work the way they do is what fulfils me; one of the reasons why I want to study Computer Science.

My diverse A-Levels have allowed me to develop valuable skills, both analytical and interpersonal. I've regularly participated in activities such as enterprise events; requiring leadership, teamwork and effective communication, fundamental qualities. Independent learning and time management were particularly important for my A2 ICT coursework in which I created a Java-based backup system for use by an organisation. This idea was inspired by software I originally wrote in BASH for personal use and my desire to learn Java as I know it's commonly taught at degree level. Not only has this experience given me an opportunity to improve my technical abilities, it's given me a better appreciation for meeting deadlines and of software engineering principles. As far as programming goes, I'm entirely self-taught and have been programming as a hobby for over five years. Besides Java, I've used AppleScript and the UNIX shell to automate tasks, modified simple open-source programs written in C or Python to fix bugs, add features and improve my knowledge; and more recently dabbled in mobile programming for HP WebOS. I aim to be familiar with as many platforms as possible, mainstream or otherwise. I view CS as an engineering discipline; with a versatile array of tools and a need to select the correct ones to solve the problem in an efficient and elegant way.

My main interests in the field relate to AI, Robotics and Embedded Systems; the synergy between them and the raw potential captivates me. My desire to study AI stems from my enduring interest in Cognitive science and the ethical aspects, as well as my belief that further innovations in intelligent, autonomous systems will change the world. I have some experience working with LEGO Mindstorms, which has taught me a lot about hardware programming and basic AI techniques. I'm interested in programming for embedded systems because they're everywhere; modern civilisation is made possible by countless unseen microprocessors. On that note; I recently obtained an Arduino, which I hope to do some interesting things with. I'm also interested in retrocomputing; last month I visited Bletchley Park, which provided an intriguing insight into computer history and how far we've come in so short a time. In my spare time; I enjoy creative writing (currently writing a screenplay), reading and have recently become interested in amateur Astronomy. Last year my brother and I ran a successful short-term computer repair business. My dream would be a career pushing technology beyond perceived limits, particularly in extreme environments such as outer space. This degree will help me achieve that. I believe I am a well-rounded, competent applicant with good knowledge of what the subject entails at degree level. I want to follow in the footsteps of the pioneers who; through their contributions to computing, transformed our lives. After all; "Nothing is impossible, not if you can imagine it. That's what being a scientist is all about".

Universities Applied to:

  • Aberystwyth University (BSc Artificial Intelligence and Robotics) - Offer (BBC) - Firm
  • University of Hertfordshire (BSc Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence) - Offer (CDD) - Insurance
  • Lancaster University (BSc Computer Science) - Offer (AAB) - Declined
  • University of Sussex (BSc Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence) - Rejection due to not having a B at GCSE Maths (I got a C)
  • University of Reading (BSc Artificial Intelligence) - Rejection for the same reason

Grades Achieved:

  • English Literature (A2) - A
  • ICT (A2) - A
  • Psychology (A2) - B
  • Economics (AS) - D


I'd urge anyone that wants to be treated fairly by CS admissions tutors to retake your Maths GCSE should you get below a B. It doesn't matter how much self-teaching or outside experience you have done, you need that Maths GCSE (and you definitely need it to A2 for the really demanding universities) or there's a glass ceiling regardless of how well you do in your A-Levels.

As a quite unconventional applicant I found the process to be fairly straightforward and am now on a course I'm sure I'll love at a university I adore. I do however wish that universities would be more categorical about things like GCSE requirements, in both cases Maths at a B grade was 'recommended' up until the year before I applied.

I know the argument that Maths is taught at all schools and Computing isn't so they can't ask for a grade in that, but I do think a bit of flexibility would be nice for those of us who didn't get all the support they could've and so made bad choices. This would help make sure perfectly competent CS applicants don't slip through the net.

This statement pushes right up against the word limit. It took me the best part of two months to get everything I wanted in, but I'm still quite pleased with it even now.

General Comments:

Comments on the statement:

Categories: Computer Science Personal Statements | Aberystwyth Personal Statements | Hertfordshire Personal Statements | Lancaster Personal Statements | Reading Personal Statements | Sussex Personal Statements | Mathematics and Physical Sciences Personal Statements

Hello everyone,

I'm a newbie at this forum and I am applying for a grad programme in robotics. I need an expert opinion and critique of my sop.

Here is the text:

If I had to sum up my reason to apply for postgraduate studies in one sentence, it would be "I need to know more". In today's fast paced world of technology, scientific breakthroughs are being made every day. Methods and equipment that were state-of-the-art no more than ten years ago are rapidly becoming obsolete. The result has been the transformation of conventional machines into more productively sophisticated machines, which are adaptable to distinctive and interdisciplinary approaches. Research in robotics and control systems has changed the way we interact with and perceive the world around us. This has been linked with the fundamental knowledge of mechatronics, robotics and intelligence, based on computer sciences.

Inspiration from my science teachers and works of science fiction by the likes of H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert and Jules Verne stimulated me to open my mind to the avenues of science at an early stage of my academic career. Eventually being enrolled into the Mechatronics and Control Engineering programme at UET Lahore, I realized my potential and the wonderful and exciting opportunities the field of robotics and intelligent control provided me with. Throughout the four years of my undergraduate studies, courses like Mechatronics System Design, Robotics, Machine Vision and Artificial Intelligence not only inspired and motivated me to work hard to develop a sound theoretical foundation, but also stimulated me to work on numerous projects to broaden my understanding of engineering principles.

Working as the team leader in the design of a robot for a national robotic competition strengthened my technical skills and turned out to be a converging point for my objectives. I acquired the ability to visualize a robotic system as a perfect harmony of electromechanical components and software with the desired characteristics and behavior. I delivered numerous presentations to the faculty and students, which resulted in the expansion of my work by students of following sessions as semester projects. In continuation of the gained enthusiasm, I took up the task of building a brain-computer interface as my final year project, which propelled my objectives to a higher degree of craving for this field. My thirst for knowledge and curiosity for exploring new horizons have been resonant enough to push me for carrying out research in this area.

Eventually a career in research and development was the perfect choice for me to develop an understanding of professional development techniques and broaden my technical expertise. My work as a design engineer for the past year has helped me develop a deep understanding of embedded systems and programming.

I possess sound skills in computer science, electronics and mechanical engineering, but I must build on these to achieve my goal of undertaking cutting-edge research in advanced robotics. Getting graduate level education through writing and research is definitely a must in today's challenging and highly competitive environment and is the next logical step for me to grow in this field. After the completion of my studies, I expect to acquire a deep insight and understanding of robotics, which will surely enable me to carry on further research work in this field. My decision to pursue higher studies is highlighted by my wish to be part of the excellent and well-rounded Robotics and Simulation program at KAIST. KAIST is among the top ranked universities of the world and has an excellent robotics programme. After my graduation, I intend to pursue a more research-oriented career and continue my education by going for a PhD. My research interests include robotics, reconfigurable embedded platforms, real-time systems for control and automation and refining programming paradigms for intelligent systems.

Being part of the academic culture at KAIST would be a wonderful opportunity for me and I hope you will accept my application and allow me the privilege to pursue graduate studies at your institution.

For a detailed list of all my projects, please take a look at my attached resume.

Please give me your comments and suggestions.

You are very smart. Your writing flows nicely, but I guess I have to say it feels like work to read it. You open with a general statement that seems like something right out of a text book. However, the essay really is great! I hope you will move this to the beginning and open with it:

If I had to sum up my reason to apply for postgraduate studies in one sentence, it would be "I need to know more". That is awesome. In fact, you could change that para slightly and move it to the beginning to make it your intro.

Alternatively, you could just use your current first sentence as the second sentence (after the sentence above) and keep the first paragraph mostly the way it already is.

The thing is, your current intro does not grab the reader's attention. Whatever you choose for your intro paragraph, give the reader a reason to care! That is the riddle you have to solve in persuasive writing. Technically, this is persuasive writing! So, capture and inspire the reader with a few powerful topic sentences.

Do at least one thing that is unexpected or unusual! How about removing two sentences that seem unnecessary (your choice) and replace them with sentences that capture the reader?

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