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Self-taught geek aces Brain Academy

Wins place at Uni and £15k bursary

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The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

A 17-year-old self-taught programmer has won Microsoft's Brain Academy competition. Adam Kramer beat 200 other entrants to a £15,000 bursary to study Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London.

The competition was held online in three stages. There were maths questions, a written element and a programming assignment. Only six students made it to the final round.

The idea was to open computer science to students with the neccessary mathematical and problem-solving skills, regardless of their A-Level subjects.

Kramer said his Computer Science knowledge is mostly self-taught. He told the organisers that he wasn't expecting to win, and that he's really pleased to be able to study at Queen Mary.

Dr Peter McOwan, from the Department of Computer Science, said the competition gave students a good taste of what university life would be like: "The competition really caught the entrants' imagination, and gave their brains a good workout."

The competition will run again this year, with students once more competing for a place at Queen Mary, the fourth largest college within the University of London. Details should be on the university website soon. ®

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