Jun Hong Liu is one of 34 former St Patrick's College students who ranked in the OP 1-5 category, He achieved the coveted OP1.
Jun Hong Liu is one of 34 former St Patrick's College students who ranked in the OP 1-5 category, He achieved the coveted OP1. ANGELA SENG

Ironman inspired a career in artificial intelligence

AFTER seeing Ironman for the first time in grade eight, Jun Hong Liu decided he wanted a career in artificial intelligence.

He is one of 34 former St Patrick's College students who achieved an OP1-5 in 2018.

That's almost one-fifth of their 186 OP-eligible students.

St Patrick's College came in second only to Whitsunday Anglican School, which had 25.5 per cent of its 55 OP-eligible students achieve an OP1-5.

Having received the coveted OP1, Jun is preparing to study a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne and hopes to major in Data Science. He then plans to study a postgraduate degree and find a a career in AI research and development.

"I discovered I was not so bad at maths and computer programming, which are two of the biggest components when it comes to AI. I figured, why not see where this takes me," he said.

Extensive preparation went into studying for his OP. There were a lot of QCS practice tests and sessions held at school and the teachers provided a great deal of advice and support.

In addition to his study at school for the QCS, Jun also independently studied for the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

The SAT is the chosen admission test required for applications to most American universities.

"The SAT format is very similar to the multiple choice questions on QCS, and coincidentally I scored very well on both," he said.

Jun has a goal to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it's his dream school and the impetus for taking the SAT.

Due to the differing commencements of school terms in the United States, he will attend University of Melbourne while he waits for the assessment of his application to MIT.

Jun has used his down time before university starts to practise his Japanese and teach himself Korean. He already is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and, of course, English.

When he isn't studying foreign language, he can be found in his parents' Chinese restaurant, Bob's Kitchen at the food court in Caneland Central.

He has worked there part-time and during school holidays for the past four years.

"I have tremendous support from my parents, who are sometimes more engaged in my goals than I am, " he laughed.

"I like to take breaks and they push me to keep studying."

St Patrick's College deputy principal Sean Geoghegan said dedicated and experienced teachers went above and beyond what was required. But he said students were also responsible for their own successful OP scores.

"While we have a variety of programs, we have found that no add-on program ever constitutes a magic bullet when it comes to OP scores."

"Our focus is on adding value to each and every student," Mr Geoghegan said.

*IN compiling the overview of the latest OP data from Queensland's public and private schools, published Monday, the Daily Mercury inadvertently omitted St Patrick's College from the results.