17-year-old Alexandru Palcuie has many role models in the field of computer science. In just few weeks, he will meet one of them, Linus Torvalds, who is a Laureate for 2012 Millennium Technology Prize.
Alexandru Palcuie from Romania.
“Nothing compares to an algorithm contest, were you have three hours to code two problems that firstly you think are impossible, and then you have that AHA moment and get the correct solution,” says 17-year-old Alexandru “Alex” Palcuie, who is from a town of Ramnicu-Valcea in Romania and studies in Mircea cel Batran high school with one more year of studies ahead of him.
Alex is in MY Camp’s ICT theme group. “The camp interested me because I haven’t seen any other camps that include Computer Science in Europe and the admission system was fairly straightforward,” he says, and adds: “’Geeks’ like to get together. I am looking forward to coding and building a useful project for ICT in education.”
Alex looks up to many of the contemporary developers of the Web and ICT, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. “I could talk all day about my role models in computers,” he says.
Also Linus Torvalds, a Finnish Laureate for 2012 Millennium Technology Prize is one of his role models.
“Even though the Linux kernel is a huge success and he could have tried to get money from it, he is modest and continues to work on the project as a developer,” Alex says. “I am very excited that we have the chance to meet Linus Torvalds, one of my favorite programmers in the world!”
In his project plan for the second phase of MY Camp application process, Alex contemplated the idea of an online university.
“Last autumn, I participated in an online experiment: almost 100.000 students were enrolled in the first three online courses: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Introduction to Databases backed by Stanford University, and taught by top professors like Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun,” Alex explains.
During the courses, the participants watched videos, did assignments and exams and above all communicated with one another. “The most interesting thing about this experience weren’t the new things I learned, it was that the courses built a great community. This experience made me understand that this experiment could change education forever.”
After high school Alex is planning on applying to colleges in the US. “My dream is to build my own project that could help the world move forward,” he says.
But for now, school including the approaching final exams is the first priority but Alex also finds time for his hobbies. “I have been playing basketball in my local team for about five years and we participate in the junior national championship. In addition, I am a boy scout and I love hiking and playing the guitar.”
Have a look at Alex’s project plan: Online University – ICT for Education.
Like during the previous years, MyScience will introduce each MY Camper and offer news, videos and photos during the Camp. Stay tuned, but in the meantime watch videos and photos from MY Camp 2010 and MY Camp 2011.
Read more about Millennium Youth Camp from Finland’s Science Education Centre LUMA’s website.