Mike Ko Personal Portfolio


Home-School Education
Hong Kong

University of Durham
Bachelor of Science
United Kingdom

2017 - 2018
United Kingdom

Personal Statement


                        For people aspiring to become research scientists, their main goal is to increase mankind’s scientific knowledge, and I am no exception. Biology is my main academic interest. It investigates life’s properties, which I think may be some of the most important and relevant insights we can get from nature.

                        With an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology concentration, I want to study ecosystems, animal behavior, how species evolve over time, how individuals interact with each other and the living environment. Scientific research is a demanding endeavor, often yielding results only after many failures. However, nature still has many unsolved mysteries, and I am committed to deciphering them. I will conduct research in areas like the natural selection of social behavior and on predicting how multi-species systems respond to environmental changes. Apart from research, I hope to promote a cooperative spirit among scientists around the world. Passing on our scientific knowledge to younger generations is also an important part of a scientist’s duty.

                        The first step towards achieving my dream starts with an advanced education at a university. My name is Mike Chun Ko, a home-schooled student from Hong Kong. I do not have the required standard academic or exam qualifications. Yet I believe my unique personal and academic development will allow me an equal opportunity to be admitted at your university.

                        Home schooling is very rare in Hong Kong. As of today, there are no private or official home-school institutions. My parents and I had to create our own comprehensive liberal education program and study curriculum from scratch. Being in charge of managing my study targets and daily schedule independently, I developed time management skills and turned time into my good friend. It also helped me develop my discipline and motivation while enhancing both the efficiency and effectiveness of my work.

                        My study approach did not involve any homework, tests, or exams, and I had great autonomy in selecting subjects that interest me. While my study focus is on science, I have consistently maintained a range of other subjects, including mathematics, economics, history, liberal studies, computer, Chinese, and foreign languages. Apart from textbook materials, I studied with online topical university lectures and attended public seminars. I prefer a broad yet in depth all-rounded education, focusing on obtaining, understanding, and communicating knowledge.


                        Communicating knowledge is a very important aspect of my education, and I developed my skills through writing essays and giving oral presentations. As part of my communication-based assessment, I began giving oral presentations about the concepts and theories I learned in my science textbooks. My presentations tools only consisted of a whiteboard and a few markers. Through consistent practice, I have now accumulated 384 hours of oral presentations from 176 textbook chapters.

                        During my advanced studies, I incorporated biochemistry and biophysics into my curriculum to obtain interdisciplinary perspectives on science. Additionally, I read ten books on specific science-related topics like quantum physics, conservation, evolution and behavior. These often stimulated my thoughts and helped me develop my own views. Soon I began writing Commentary and Original essays. By now, I have written 20 essays in total. Each ranges from approximately 700 to 4800 words and are followed by a video presentation.

                        With these cohesive practices in communicating knowledge, I am progressing well in expressing myself accurately, confidently and effectively. Such skills are certainly useful - indeed crucial - for both education and career.

                        For my application to universities, I need a suitable and effective way to show my unique education and prove that my academic abilities do meet universities' admission requirements. Thus I decided to design and create a personal portfolio website by myself. During the summer of 2011, I attended a workshop on basic website and motion media design. I then read several web design books to improve my grasp of forming layouts and simple coding. With this knowledge, I bought a web design software - Dreamweaver by Adobe - and began to build my website.

                        Now I sincerely invite you to browse through this website, www.mikekopersonalportfolio.com, through which you can discover more about my education and personal life.

                        I am ready to take full advantage of an education at your university. Should I be admitted, you can expect me to be one of your very best students.

                                                                                                                                                                Mike C. Ko
                                                                                                                                                                August 28, 2012

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