Aaron Stockdill

'There is so much left to create and discover...'

  • Aaron Stockdill

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science

Bachelor of Science with Honours in Computer Science

Co-Founder, Web Designer and Programmer, Potato Softworks

It is safe to say that Computer Science and Mathematics are Aaron’s biggest passions. With a self-proclaimed love for learning, Aaron knew that he would go on to university study and that ‘it had to involve computers’.

‘I chose Computer Science initially because it was just plain fun, but I realised I had another motive: it enables me to make people's lives better. In my first year, I took a range of subjects, and quickly found that I just didn't want to give up Maths, either!’

Aaron started his own company building websites and web applications.

‘I founded Potato Softworks with Kaleb McCall, a fellow Computer Science student. Already we have clients from multiple cities in the South Island, and we hope to continue helping other small businesses get an online presence: we want to make technology accessible to everyone.’

Adding more to his skills through UC, then, has been a valuable experience.

‘Everything is new and exciting! Computer Science is so young, there is so much left to create and discover. We haven't even begun to dream of what is possible - look how far we've come in 50 years, think what another 50 will reveal.

‘Combine this with maths, a subject that, at first glance, looks unchanging, and you discover a beautiful harmony between the two subjects. Where once physics was the partner to maths, computer science now stands, pushing forward what we can discover in maths, particularly in the young fields like Linear Algebra and Graph Theory.’

Aaron decided early on that UC was the best option for his learning.

‘Canterbury was the logical choice as, not only was it close to home, it has some of the best Computer Science and Mathematics departments in the country! I love the environment that Canterbury can provide. Everyone is so passionate about what they do, and everyone wants to be here. It’s fantastic! The lecturers clearly love what they do, and that excitement is apparent in the lessons. It is so much better to learn from someone who loves what they do, and it becomes hard to not love it as much as them.’

His passion has reflected well on his grades with a number of well-earned scholarship awards. After enrolling with a UC Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship for good NCEA results, Aaron has since received a UC Computer Science High Achievers Award, the Graduating BSc Computer Science Student of the Year Award, the Allied Telesis Labs Scholarship in Computer Science, UC Mathematics and Statistics Scholarships for 200 and 300-level results, the Peter Byrant and Page Memorial Prizes in Mathematics, and was also awarded a University of Canterbury Senior Scholarship.

With such a good start to his academic career, Aaron has no plans to slow down.

‘Research in Computer Science is the big dream, either at a University, or at a dedicated research lab specifically in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. This is, obviously, going to require a lot of work, but the chance to push the world forward and make something truly new is just too exciting to pass up!’

Aaron urges anyone to consider his field of study, including those with no experience but a keen interest.

‘Technology and Maths have no limits on who can do them, and where they can go. Never programmed before? Give it a go! This is a growing industry, and any mathematically inclined programmers really are in huge demand. You can’t go wrong with computer science!’

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