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Department of Computer Science and Technology

We're very pleased to welcome students into the Department this week for the Sutton Trust / University of Cambridge Computer Science Summer School.

This annual Summer School aims to give high-achieving Year 12 students from disadvantaged backgrounds an overview of Computer Science and insights into university life. 

There are 38 students here taking practical classes in programming, algorithms, image processing and computer architecture. They are also attending taster lectures in other areas such as bioinformatics and graphics. 

"I wanted to know what the teaching was like here so it was interesting to experience a supervision this morning," says Kevin, one participant. "It was a group of just three of us and we got to talk to a PhD student about a topic we'd had a lecture on and he gave us some really good hints and ideas." 

Students started on Tuesday with a programming practical class before hearing Dr Neel Krishnaswami lecture on 'Programming Languages, Logic and Society'. 

I came to see what it would be like living here as a student and how the course is structured. It’s been great, I’ve loved it and I’m now going to try really hard to apply here.

And throughout the week, they are taking part in further practicals and workshops - like the hands-on workshop on Wednesday where Dr Jamie Vicary gave them devices called Qbits and led them through some exercises to introduce them to the principles of Quantum Computing.

"I didn't know about Quantum Computing before but I found it really interesting," says Douaa, another student attending the summer school.

The students will also attend admissions lectures and activities. The aim of the week is to give the students a taster of what it's like to be a student here and offer support for university applications.

"I'd been considering applying to Cambridge for a while now," says Douaa, "so I've come to this Summer School to see what it would be like living here as a student, and how the course is structured. It’s been great, I’ve really loved it and I’m now going to try really hard to apply here."

Faith, another student, adds: "I wasn’t really considering applying to Cambridge before because I know how high the Oxbridge entry requirements are. But all the people we’ve worked with this week have been really nice and interesting, and I think it’s a good environment to learn in. So with that experience, I now think that applying would be worth it."  

To be eligible to apply for the Summer Schools, students should have attended only state-funded schools and colleges, and must be the first generation in their family to go to university.

I know the entry requirements are high, but after this experience, I think applying here would be worth it.

The Computer Science Summer School is just one of many taking place across the University of Cambridge. The University of Cambridge hosts two weeks of Sutton Trust Summer Schools with subjects ranging from Anglo-Saxon and Archaeology to Theology and Veterinary Medicine.


Published by Rachel Gardner on Tuesday 23rd August 2022