Hi! I am a second year CompSci from Romania. As I focused on studying Maths and Computer Science in high-school, I think I have known for a while what I want to study during university. However, I could not imagine actually going to Cambridge until a few months before the term started and now I am glad to say that it turned out to be amazing!
Areas of your subject you have enjoyed studying
In my first year I studied Computer Science, Maths and Psychology, while now I am doing only Computer Science. I think some of my favourite subjects were the courses that taught programming languages (Foundations of Computer Science and Object-Oriented Programming) because I enjoyed how they were explained and the fact that the lectures were complemented by interesting ticks (which are small practical exercises). For example, we worked on a Game of Life implementation last year and now we are building a chat server. Also, I cannot keep myself from mentioning how excited I am for the Artificial Intelligence and Security courses taught in the last part of this year!
Life at Murray Edwards
I have come to love a lot of things about the college: the relaxed atmosphere, how helpful everybody is, our lovely library and the fact that Murray Edwards is so close to the Computer Laboratory - this is quite important for me considering that I am one of the very few people without a bike. Moreover, the best part is the college's dedication to helping us succeed not only academically, but also in the other aspects of our lives. From having great Directors of Studies and Tutors who support us, to Gateway sessions and even bursaries for travel during the summer holiday. All these are improving not only the time of our studies, but also how our life will be after we graduate.
Supervisions are for me a big attraction of the academic life. Being able to discuss what was taught and ask questions related to the work assigned in small groups (usually 2 or 3 students and a supervisor) adds a lot to my understanding of the courses. Usually, there are about four supervisions per week in the first year and 2-3 in the second year, thus also allowing time for personal interests.
The Gateway Programme
The programme is something unique to our college and it helps us make the most of our student life. I have attended many sessions last year and they ranged from giving us subject-specific advice to helping us explore skills that are valuable to the student life and also to the careers that we will follow. This year I am helping as an adviser and, although it is a different perspective of the programme from the one I got last year, I think this is another great opportunity offered by the college.
Thinking of Computer Science?
Computer Science is present everywhere in the real world nowadays and it is a field that promises a challenging, but fun career that can always offer an interesting problem to be solved. Also, it is a great course to be studied at Cambridge and at Murray Edwards College, considering the resources and the possibilities that are offered, including the high-quality of teaching and the career opportunities.
Regarding the interviews, I think that they seem more intimidating than they actually are. No programming experience is required in order to succeed, only an eager mind willing to solve problems.