Aditya’s first taste of Oxford University aged 11

– News

When Mr Kenny informed me that I had been selected for the final stage of the BEBRAS Challenge, I was thrilled. Over 14,000 competitors had taken part in the Junior section and I was one of 32 candidates who had scored full marks.

I was invited to Oxford University to visit their department of computer science on Sunday 17 January. It was a whole day event starting at 9:30am with an introduction to the UK BEBRAS challenge from Professor Peter Millican of Oxford University’s Computer Science department. I learnt that the purpose of the challenge was to motivate young children into the field of computer science and I was told that I was one of 32 candidates nationwide to have been invited to the event. He also spoke briefly about historical developments in computer science. All the competitors were then ushered into a computer lab to take part in the competition with questions involving computational thinking.
The environment was tense as there were 25 puzzles to complete in 45 minutes and there was negative marking. A timer chimed soon after to indicate the end of the competition.

We were then given a sample lecture on ‘Computer Science and why it matters’ by the Professor. We were also shown around Central Oxford and given a peek of the server room, before having lunch and being given a tour of Hertford College, which is one of many colleges of Oxford University. Soon after, we were led to the chapel for prize giving. I came seventh. The day ended with another lecture about ‘The fun of programming and Computer Science’. I finished the day with great satisfaction having spent time at one of the most prestigious and oldest universities in the world.

Aditya S

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