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Posts by melkorthefoul
Joined: Aug 14, 2010
Last Post: Dec 30, 2010
Threads: 13
Posts: 31  

From: Singapore

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Dec 30, 2010
Undergraduate / Favorite Something (Bach) -- UChicago Optional [4]

I picked up 1421.

And this is... I mean, I found out through a quick google, but the admin officer may not have the patience to do so.

" The Chinese had circumnavigated

never paid much attention to Prelude in C Major by Bach.

Why not? Did you not know it existed? Did you find the melody boring? Just expand a bit.

really began to appreciate Bach, whose pieces are often described as 'precision in mathematics' .

Did you know that even after the periodic removal of 31/32 of its notes (leaving only 12 notes! out of? )

It works great otherwise. Good luck!
Dec 29, 2010
Undergraduate / "Indian Classical Music + Physics/EE" - USC Supplement (Short answers) [5]

Tell us about an activity that is important to you, and why. Please feel free to talk about an activity other than one you may have discussed in your essay.

I think the rest of the application adequately expresses my academic interests, so I'd like to talk about my love of music, specifically, Indian Classical music. I started playing an instrument called a 'veena' (Similar to its North Indian counterpart, the sitar) three years ago, because I wanted to connect with my Indian heritage, and felt that music was probably the best way to do so. Over the past three years, playing the veena has given me a greater insight into the way Indian music works, as well as the confidence to play in the multiple public performances I have been a part of ever since I began playing. Whenever I visit my grandparents, or any of my innumerable great aunts, uncles and other relatives I never knew existed, instead of spending much of the time twiddling my thumbs or burying my nose into a novel, I am instead able to talk with them about music and, if they have a veena, play for them and discuss the various interpretations of the piece.

Describe your academic interests and how you plan to pursue them at USC. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections.

Though I am a naturally inquisitive person who finds nearly anything interesting, my main passion is physics, both theoretical and practical. At USC, I plan to pursue this passion by majoring in both physics and computer engineering. To this end, I feel that USC is the ideal place to study both subjects. My interest in physics is very general; I would study fluid mechanics just as quickly as I would quantum mechanics. However, I have always been interested in unusual projects such as the Combustion Physics Lab, and studying at USC would give me the opportunity to be a part of similar initiatives. As for computer engineering, there are numerous exciting projects that are being conducted at USC, such as quantum information processing or optical computing, which I would very much like to be involved in.
Dec 28, 2010
Undergraduate / My Failures; I like to lead a peaceful life - A bucket of perspiration for this! [3]

Thomas Edison failed many times before successfully inventing the modern electric light bulb. He said, "If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." Reflect on a challenge you overcame through persistence.

As a rule, I like to lead a peaceful life. I avoid piling up homework, finish my chores early and enjoy 9 hours of sleep a day. So you can imagine my shock when I found myself muttering unintelligible curses at the computer screen at 4 AM.

Perhaps I should start from the beginning. As part of the IB Diploma program, every candidate must submit an Extended Essay on any subject, which, for me, meant physics. Being the adventurous type, I refused to settle for any of the typical topics available, and chose to investigate 'antibubbles', mostly on the basis that they sounded very, very interesting. Almost immediately, I ran into trouble. Unlike normal soap bubbles, which are slow moving and last for quite a while, antibubbles move quickly and last for no more than a few seconds. Further adding to my problems was the fact that antibubbles are very small, no more than a centimeter in diameter! But I figured that a normal video camera should have the necessary resolution to analyze the antibubble radius on a computer, and so I moved on to the experimentation stage. It was here that my troubles really began.

As I might have implied earlier, antibubbles aren't the most stable entities. The slightest vibration, potential difference or contamination stops them from forming, or, at best, slow the rate of formation. Add to this the fact that the room was shared between over 30 students, each conducting various experiments, and you might get a feel for how difficult it was for me to create a controlled test environment. In order to prevent other experiments from interfering with my own, I often had to conduct them at odd hours when nobody else was present, often resulting in late nights and overdue homework. But I kept going, and eventually collecting all my data. Midway through my hours of analysis, however, instead of finding a pattern I found -

Failure No. 1

I had not taken into account that fact that, as I increased the concentration of the surfactant, the solution got more and more opaque. This meant that, by the time I reached the maximum concentration, all I could see was a murky green liquid; not very conductive to analysis. The obvious solution would be to use artificial lighting - but there was one big drawback. With the amount of lighting I would need, the temperature of the solution would easily go up by 4-5 degrees, which could have an effect on the results... so it was back to square one for me. With a sigh, I once again began my experimentation, pausing every now and then to glare at the setup, the room or any unfortunate passerby. Eventually, I found myself at the same point as before, only to be once again confronted by -

Failure No. 2

To my abject horror, I realized, too late, that part of my method was absolute rot. The force with which the antibubbles were created, an integral part of the experiment and something that should have been carefully controlled, had not been. I had been dripping some of the solution down into the main tank using a burette, but had not maintained the fluid level in the burette itself. This meant that the force with which the stream hit the main body changed with time, and therefore rendered all my results invalid. It was while I was recovering from the shock of this discovery that I realized that it was 4 AM.

I was tired. Tired, sleepy, frustrated and angry. I had lost a great deal of sleep, and spent far more time on the Extended Essay than was necessary. Every fiber of my sleep-deprived body urged me to quit, to choose an easier topic, to give up. For a fraction of a second, I considered it. But I'm not the giving up type, and so after admonishing myself for even thinking of giving up, I got right back to work.

It didn't end there, though (This is hardly a fairy tale, after all). I faced several more obstacles, including having chosen an inappropriate spread of independent variable, broken equipment and a lost video camera. But eventually, I completed my analysis to my satisfaction, wrote up the paper (Which paled in comparison), and submitted the essay. The process was long and hard, but I realized that most scientific and technological discoveries aren't made by people spending time aimlessly, but through hard work and perseverance. As Edison also said, "Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration".

So... what do you guys think?
Dec 28, 2010
Undergraduate / "why engineering? pride for myself" questions for Brown [3]

To engineer something requires an understanding of the underlying conceptsblakejj
[quote=blakejj]An engineer understood whatshapes and materials were


Apart from the odd grammar mistake, its great! Good luck with the Brown application, I might see you there :D

Mind having a look at my essays?
Dec 26, 2010
Undergraduate / "Satellite Swarm" Cornell Engineering Essay [3]

Engineers turn ideas (technical, scientific, mathematical) into reality. Tell us about an engineering idea you have or your interest in engineering. Explain how Cornell Engineering can help you further explore this idea or interest.

Energy is everything. The one thing holding civilization back is the lack of energy - with sufficient energy, we could colonize Antarctica, the bottom of the ocean, and even the solar system. Closer to the present, the lack of a stable energy source is proving to be detrimental to human progress, as we are threatened by global warming and decreased output of oil. One of my ideas, therefore, is to harness the largest source of energy available to us: the Sun. Now, you might be wondering where I am going with this, as solar cell technology has been around for some time. Indeed, solar cells have been deployed on the planet's surface previously, but this form of deployment suffers from several flaws, most notably the limited space available and the fact that the Sun remains obscured either by cloud cover, or the planet itself for well over 50% of the time. Therefore, I propose to create a sphere of solar cell-bearing satellites with the Sun at its centre, which will effectively harness much of the Sun's total energy output. The total energy collected by this network will be several orders of magnitude greater than the energy requirements of the entire planet, which will provide for humanity's energy needs for the foreseeable future.

If this idea can ever be implemented, it will require all forms of engineering - materials engineering to improve the design of solar cells, aerospace engineering to design guidance systems for the satellites, nano-engineering to construct the various components, and possibly even to nano-assembly plants on asteroids, computer engineering to design the control systems for the satellite swarm... and Cornell is the ideal place for me to gain the necessary training in at least one of these fields. The opportunity to gain experience working on research projects such as CUSat will be invaluable in not only giving me experience in the real world, but will also allow me to design technologies which could have potential applications in making my idea a reality.

I'm a bit unsure about the second paragraph... does it really put my point forward?

Thanks :D
Dec 22, 2010
Undergraduate / "Cerebral high school science" - Stanford Essay Intellectual vitality [5]

What can be assembled from a broken-down bicycle, a decaying 90's CPU, and a rusted circuit board

I dont know... why don't you tell me?

tediously memorized, obtaining a fixed solution.

Looks like you missed a word there

So when I first heard about an engineering program

Not bad, otherwise... you might even reach my level of excellence in a while :P
Dec 22, 2010
Undergraduate / "How to survive a Zombie Apocalypse" HMC Supplement [9]

Well, this is quite a gamble.

They did say "be as creative as you like".

It seems like it could easily be pages long.

Actually, I only have one more body paragraph, which focuses on maintaining socioeconomic, cultural and scientific knowledge in the population.

Basically merge paragraphs 2+3,

You think so? I'm not exactly in the mood to drown the poor guy in a wall of text...
Dec 22, 2010
Undergraduate / "This freedom to choose whatever I want" Why Brown Supplement [4]

I think I'll keep the spirit of the introduction, but maybe "everything" isnt the right word. I certainly agree that you have a point about looking like I have no aim, although I think that my Common App essay and other essays should make sure the admin guys don't get that sort of an impression. Maybe I'll add a sentence or two to fix that problem. Thanks for the help :D
Dec 22, 2010
Undergraduate / "How to survive a Zombie Apocalypse" HMC Supplement [9]

In a world where technology continually adapts and progresses, Harvey Mudd College expects that our students will be aware of the impact of their work on society. How would you use new advances to improve your life and/or the lives of those around you? Describe your idea and its potential impact. Feel free to be as creative or as practical as you like.

I'm really abusing the "feel free to be as creative as you like" bit of the prompt... what do you guys think? Its not completed yet, but the rest of the essay will be in a similar style to what is here. I just figured I should post this to see if I should continue this!

As a die-hard science fiction buff, the word 'practical' doesn't exist in my vocabulary. True, it does get me strange looks on occasion, but there is no denying that an orbital space laser would be very, very cool. However, I can't think up of too many peaceful and world-improving applications of a space laser, so instead I present my Zombie Apocalypse Survival Plan. The focus of my idea is not to maximise the number of zombies killed (After all, nobody is keeping count), but instead to help the survivors rebuild civilization. The impact of this solution is obvious - the survival of mankind in the (admittedly unlikely) event of a zombie apocalypse, which in this case is assumed to have been caused by an unknown pathogen.

The first concern is, obviously, security. Zombies have the annoying habit of sneaking through air conditioning vents and chimneys, and then hiding in dark corners until their unsuspecting prey walks too close by. Therefore, the first step in the Survival Guide is to construct a floating city. There are obvious pitfalls, but first, the advantages. The most notable advantage is that zombies cannot swim. As they are constructed of decaying flesh, a swarm of zombies swimming out to sea would quickly be decomposed by the various aqueous bacteria, assuming that the sharks didn't get them first. Since zombies cannot reproduce, except by infecting humans, a two month period during which every individual on the city is accounted for will be sufficient to ensure that any zombies who may have sneaked on board die of natural causes, thus creating a zombie-free zone. After such a free zone is created, all that is needed for civilization to be reinstated is a twenty year period in which all terrestrial zombies die off, at which point the floating city can be grounded on a river delta, and the last vestiges of humanity can begin repopulating the planet.

However, there are still several obstacles to implementing this plan, the most glaring of which are the availability of food, energy, fresh water and other miscellaneous resources. Energy needs can be met simply, through the use of atomic and solar energy, with a minimal use of fossil fuels, which would remain reserved for the manufacture of plastics. Food can be harvested from the sea or grown in hydroponic gardens which would not take up as much space as traditional farming methods. Easily grown food sources, such as algae, can also be used to provide much of the nutrition needed for the city's population. Fresh water would be perhaps the most difficult resource to obtain, since distillation or reverse osmosis of sea water will consume a great deal of energy. One potential method of collecting fresh water would be to have catchment basins in the city, which would collect rainwater. Other resources, such as metals, can simply be recycled or rationed, as the city only needs to remain floating for two decades. Should any additional resources be required, the city can manoeuvre itself near to a supply of the required resources, at which point the resource may be harvested.

The final concern would be maintaining the cultural and intellectual aspects of civilization. This is perhaps the most important aspect of the Plan, as these three aspects differentiate mere survival from a preservation of the current level of progress. The first logical step would be to download the entirety of the Internet, which contains close to the sum total of all the assimilated human knowledge. In order to preserve the relative diversity of the human population as it exists now, an effort should be made to have the population of the city reflect the world's population, although realistically the city's population would simply be made up of whoever made it to the loading bay. The population of the city will need to number in the tens of millions, so that there is no major loss of knowledge, as occurs in isolated communities with small populations such as on Easter Island. Most importantly, highly technical professions, such as specialist manufacturing, will have to be represented in force, as these professions are the basis of modern society. An increase in automation, in order to reduce the amount of non-technical jobs, such as waste disposal or sanitary workers, will also reduce the population needed to maintain the level of human progress.

When the two decade period is over, the city can be grounded permanently onto a beach or river delta. Care should be taken in landing the city, as the location should be easily defended (in the event that not all the zombies have died), and should be located in proximity to plentiful supplies of natural resources. The surviving human population can then start to slowly expand outwards, but should stay within a 200 mile radius of the landing site in the event of a resurgence of the zombie plague for the next century. If no further events occur, then human civilization can be allowed to expand freely, eventually reaching pre-plague levels of population and progress.

One final eventuality, though. In the unlikely event that the zombies do not die naturally, tactical nuclear warheads may have to be deployed. In order to prevent long-term environmental damage, enhanced radiation warheads, which cause severe short-term damage to organic matter, but have little to no fallout, can be used to euthanize an area surrounding the landing zone. Expansion of human society will then proceed in a similar manner as above, except that a significant portion of the population will need to remain devoted to eradicating any remaining zombies. Eventually, however, human society will reach pre-plague levels, and can continue to grow, explore and, most importantly, survive, thanks to the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Plan.
Dec 22, 2010
Undergraduate / "The wind of Freedom blows" - Why Stanford? [6]

This is not to say that we do not love these things, but rather that they keep us constrained, limiting our perspective of the world.

Professor Susskind's YouTube videos gave me an insight into topics I could have hardly comprehended otherwise

using unremarkablesimple examples to describe remarkablecomplex phenomena

I didnt like unremarkable, it doesnt have the right connotations as far as I'm concerned

Using salvaged wood combined with PVC to create green building materials and radiant floor systems to provide heating epitomizes

and transforming them through unique strategies into practical designs.

Either scrap that bit, or move it, because right now that phrase really mangles the sentence

So as I gaze out from my high school, I look towards Stanford, a place where I hope my fantasies will become reality.

Thats it? Your conclusion is quite weak. This is one of those 'stock' conclusions that get you no points, and really weaken your essay (Which would be a pity, since the rest of it is quite nice). At the very least, you need to link it back to the quote about the winds of freedom blowing.
Dec 22, 2010
Undergraduate / coffee -- Note to your Roommate -- Stanford essay question [7]

from a simple Americano to the more complicated Café Breva

Complicated isn't the right word there. I'd go for something like complex or rich

I don't follow normal convention of what coffee is supposed to be about.

This sentence could be better, more on the lines of "But I'm not your typical caffeine junkie"

Merge paragraphs 2 and 3, as well as 4 and 5

I love coffee. I love it any form

I simply abhor Frappes!

...and then you contradict yourself marvelously.

Well, its certainly you... lets see how the admin guys like it, eh?
Dec 22, 2010
Undergraduate / Barack O'bama is doing nothing for the Americans- Influential Intellectual Experience [6]

or how they don't like taxes on candies and water bottles.

There are taxes on candies and water bottles? And I think that gadgets such as iPods, laptops etc would be more relevant, no?

You also need to firmly establish that you were involved in founding the AYP, because I had to do some work to figure it out. First rule of essay writing: Never make the guy reading it do any work to understand what you are trying to get across.

Case in point:

when I first thought of the American Youth Parliament.

I thought that you meant that you first thought about being involved in an already established program. I would change it to "thought up of", to make it more clear that you actually got the idea of founding the program.

they leave the classroom locking and forgetting those thoughts away

Doesnt read well

This non-partisan and independent educational project enables the transmissionfree flow of ideas, innovative learning, and independent thinking.

Looks real good otherwise... and damn, thats something pretty awesome to be involved in!
Dec 21, 2010
Undergraduate / "Even the most resolute physicist; What don't you know" Brown Main Supplement [5]

although I encourage you not to use parenthases too much.

Ahahaha when I wrote this essay, I literally spewed what was going through my head when I saw the prompt... and I think in parentheses all the time xD

I'll see about that... but I don't think that I can remove any of them.
Thanks for all the positive feedback!
Dec 21, 2010
Undergraduate / "Even the most resolute physicist; What don't you know" Brown Main Supplement [5]

French novelist Anatole France wrote: "An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't." What don't you know?

Well, for a start, I don't know where I am or how fast I'm going (But then again, who does?). I don't know whether the statement 'this statement is false' is true or not. I don't know whether the cake is a lie. I don't know how to integrate e to the x squared (An annoying problem if there was ever one). I don't know what my brain looks like, or why I need Vitamin D to survive. I don't know whether this is the Matrix. I don't know what existed before the Big Bang, or what is outside the Universe. I don't know how a microprocessor is designed, or how it is made. I don't know how trains can turn on their tracks, given that they don't have a flexible axle...

In short, I don't know a lot of stuff, and knowing that I barely know anything often makes my day. Because knowing very little means that every single thing that happens to me teaches me something, whether it is as mundane as finding out how Google ranks its search results, or as important as finding out why you don't fall off the South Pole (This was something that always bugged me when I was a kid - if the Earth was round, why didn't people fall off the bottom?). Barely knowing anything also means that I can satisfy my raging curiosity, usually by 'link-surfing' on Wikipedia for hours on end, jumping from one topic to another with no purpose but to learn all sort of interesting facts that I would never learn in the classroom. I don't know why any objects with mass attract each other, and nor does anyone else (A physicist may angrily rebut this statement saying, "Of course I know why! It's because the mass of the object curves space-time, and any other objects would follow the geodesic and hence shift towards each other!" and he would be right. But if I were to ask the 'why?' question too many times, even the most resolute physicist would have to finally reply that he has no clue as to why masses attract)

I don't even know whether I'm going to use this essay. But what I do know, or at least I think I know, is that there is a universe full of things which I don't know about out there waiting to be explored.

Your thoughts?
Dec 11, 2010
Undergraduate / "Quantum Physics and Relativity" Brown Science Supplement [6]

The antibubbles were a real, real bitch. Certainly not third grade stuff xD I must have spent 80++ hours on that extended essay >_>... gives one a much better appreciation for how real science works. (Would that detail be worth including?)

Thanks for the help!
Dec 11, 2010
Undergraduate / "I'll never know everything there is to know" - Brown: What don't you know? [9]

I know a lot. I know how to ride a bull standing up....

This is gold. Pure gold. I really like this... I wish I'd written it first xD

I think it might go on a bit too long, though. I'd suggest removing the bit about the bull, the palindromic essays (really? Going overboard :D) and the dogs.

But otherwise, it looks good. Really good.
Dec 10, 2010
Undergraduate / "This freedom to choose whatever I want" Why Brown Supplement [4]

Please tell us more about your interest in Brown: Why does Brown appeal to you as a college option? Who or what has influenced your decision to apply?

One question I have always found hard to answer is "What subjects do you find interesting?", because it seems that "everything" is apparently not an acceptable response. This lead to one of my main concerns about my degree choices, since taking a double major typically does not leave much room for exploration, due to distribution requirements. However, thanks to the New Curriculum, I can double major in physics and engineering, and still have time to explore subjects which I have never had a chance to study before, like Sanskrit or neuroscience, with a choice of S/NC, so that I don't need to worry about the courses I take for fun affecting my final grades. This freedom to choose whatever I want is one of the largest factors in my applying to Brown.

I get this feeling that the first line doesn't match up properly with the rest of the mini-essay, any suggestions?
Dec 5, 2010
Undergraduate / "Mountain Vista Governor's School" significant experience and its impact on you: MVGS [5]

ad chosen to change the distance we pulled the elastics back, which was trickier than it sounded

There isnt any risk in the fact that the rubber band might not stretch the same :D

We have a far more pressing problem than the elastics standing in our way of success: Not one of us knows how to tie a water balloon. We end up going to our physics teacher, who is (understandably) surprised and upset.

This sentence feels unnecessary.. it doesnt really add to the essay in my opinion.

That comes out to 1,260 hours per year not spent sitting in a seat and staring at a teacher try to teach that an adverb is not the same thing as an adjective.

write wedding vows according to Hobbesian philosophy,, and break codes through clues in buildings of Washington, DC

Dec 4, 2010
Undergraduate / "Quantum Physics and Relativity" Brown Science Supplement [6]

Thanks for all the great help!

Just one clarification: For question 3, how exactly would I "prove" that I have worked hard to understand it? I mean, I could try to explain QM, but that takes waaay more than 500 words...

Thanks :D
Dec 4, 2010
Undergraduate / "Quantum Physics and Relativity" Brown Science Supplement [6]

1. Many applicants to college are unsure about eventual majors. What factors led you to an interest in the field of science you have selected?

My interest in science came from my exposure to it from a very young age, as I would often read children's science books such as "Young Scientist", and was a great fan of the Discovery Channel. Even into my freshman year, I still had (and still have) and very general interest in "science", whether it be biology, chemistry or physics. However, at the end of my freshman year, I picked up a popular science book on quantum physics at a second hand book sale, and found that, for the first time in my life, I had come across a topic that I was really, really, interested in. This sparked my interest in physics, and has led to my choosing physics as my intended major

2. What experiences beyond school work have broadened your interest in this field?

As the editor and co-founder of the school's science magazine, I have had to do research into areas of physics that I knew very little about at that time, such as exotic astronomical events or the application of Fourier series in physics. As a result of my duties, I was able to teach myself a lot of new topic in physics, which I would otherwise have never been aware of.

In addition, during my summer vacation, I studied Special Relativity with Professor Sreerup Rayachaudri at the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research in Mumbai. The aim of the [insert word here... summer school? Internship?] was to firstly get an excellent opportunity to study yet another advanced topic in physics, but also to get a feel for how studying physics at the university level would be like. My experience at TIFR was eye-opening, as I really enjoyed studying relativity (and as a result am trying to understand the basics of General Relativity), but I also enjoyed the university style of education.

3. What concept in your anticipated major were you most proud of mastering?

Without a doubt, I would say quantum mechanics. Of course, when I say "mastered", I mean that I now understand the basic theory of quantum mechanics, though not all the intricacies and certainly not all of the mathematics! I would say this, because unlike any of the other concepts that I have previously studied, such as relativity, atomic physics or particle physics, I studied quantum theory purely by myself, with no outside help (unless you count watching Feynman's lectures as outside help). The fact that I have been able to grasp a subject such as quantum physics, which is purported to be insanely hard, by myself is a source of great pride to me, since it showed me that I can teach myself anything, no matter how hard, and that I can cope with the increasingly difficult concepts that will be introduced to me at the college level.

4. Briefly describe the course(s) you have taken relating to your chosen field of science.

I took CIM Mathematics and Coordinated Science for the IGCSE board exams, and am taking HL Mathematics and HL Physics for the IB exams. I also chose physics as the topic for my Extended Essay, with the topic of 'antibubbles'.
Dec 4, 2010
Undergraduate / The culture diversification topic of University of Washington short answer essay. [3]

Culture' is quite a word in my mind

Itencompasses many aspects of life, including habits, experience, way of dealing with problems,and so on

In terms of the cultural diversity at the University of Washington, I believe that what the University wants is just the thing that I have.

I was not born in a rich family with a lot of toys to play with as a child.


I believe that is the principle situation of many children who have the same age as me.

, you want to seem unique.

Overall, the essay has a good theme. You just need to really look over that grammar very carefully, because there are a lot of mistakes, a few of which I corrected for you
Dec 3, 2010
Scholarship / Commitment of celebrating diverse cultures-Annika Rodriguez Program [10]

I made that vision come true by becoming an exchange student

Just say where... it helps give the statement authenticity

I am visionary.

I am A visionary :D

Its pretty good otherwise.. my only concern is that the three adjectives are what would be used in "buzzword bingo" for this type of answer
Dec 3, 2010
Undergraduate / "Nanobots and Mobile Supercomputers" Brown Engineering Supplement [3]

1. Many applicants to college are unsure about eventual majors. What factors led you to an interest in the field of Engineering?

My interest in engineering stems mostly from my interest in physics. Whenever I would explain concepts such as quantum theory to my friends, the most common response I would get was "Well, that all sounds great, but what does it do?" It was these comments that made me realise that, while the theory is still very important, and can exist merely to satisfy our curiosity, there should also be people who look at the theory, and find novel ways to use it to solve problems. Not to mention that a giant orbital space laser would be the most awesome thing in existence.

2. What experiences beyond school work have broadened your interest in Engineering?

For starters, I haven't had any official school work relevant to engineering, since the physics syllabus is very much theory based. However, I have always had a fascination for the way things worked. When I first boarded an airplane, I did not worry about it crashing; rather, I wondered how it was able to get up and stay up, given its weight. Computers are especially fascinating, since everything I have learnt about them has been self-taught; I did not have the opportunity to take any courses in computing. Thus, when I built my first computer by myself, I had to teach myself a great deal about computer hardware, and found that I quite enjoyed the technical aspect of computer hardware. Finally, my only real hands-on experience with engineering has been in the new activity launched in our school known as the Renewable Energy Club, in which participants build, test, and write reports on various forms of renewable energy. I was in charge of hydrogen fuel cells, and had to build them up from components, as well as building voltmeters and motors to show that power could be generated and used.

3. Brown offers programs in Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Materials, and Mechanical Engineering. Because there is a common core curriculum within Engineering, students need not select a specific area until their junior year. We are curious to know, however, if any particular program within Engineering presently appeals to you. If so, please discuss that choice.

As I mentioned earlier, computer engineering is what appeals to me the most. I think that computer engineering has great potential to change the future of human society. Indeed, many of today's advancements in countless fields would not have been possible without the computer revolution - How long would it have taken to sequence the human genome by hand? Even the most mundane activities have been changed by advances in computing technology - where once it would have taken weeks to get a message to your friend in Kazakhstan, now you can talk to him face to face, from the comfort of your living room. And this barely scrapes the surface of the full potential of computers. Imagine a world where disease was non-existent, because nanorobots with atom-sized processors are able to eliminate any foreign agents. Or a world where a microchip the size of your fingernail can work faster than today's fastest super-computer, yet be placed inside a phone. This is the potential of computer engineering, and is the reason why it appeals to me.
Dec 3, 2010
Undergraduate / "To become the best nurse" -the C.A.R.E program at Florida State University [2]

Since I was a little girl I've always wanted to grow up and become the best nurse I could be. The only way I can reach this goal is if I go to college.

Since I was a little girl I've always wanted to become the best nurse I could be, and the only way I can achieve this goal is if I go to college.

Being the first child I am always looked up to by my brother and sister.

I think this is unecessary detail, but then again, I need the prompt to know what you should be writing about...

Why dont you provide the prompt, then I'll be able to help more :D
Nov 14, 2010
Undergraduate / "Natural Disasters 101" Colorado College Supplement [3]

The Block Plan at Colorado College has a tradition of innovation and flexibility. Please design your own three-and-a-half week intellectual adventure and describe what you would do.

Natural disasters are one the major problems in today's society. They claim hundreds of thousands of lives, and billions of dollars annually and often hold back developing nations from advancing further, as in Haiti or Bangladesh. This block will be focused on brainstorming, building, and testing solutions to a certain natural disaster, in order to minimize the loss of life and damage to infrastructure, before and after the disaster. The disaster can change every time the block is offered, in order to give some variety. Potential disasters can include volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc. For my own block, I would choose a mudslide, and so the rest of this plan focuses on mudslides.

The first 2 days of the block will be spent listing the various causes and consequences of a mudslide, with each person tackling one aspect of the disaster. Since I am more of a physics person, I will focus on the problems which are physical in nature, such as the collapse of buildings under the force of the mudslide.

The next 2 days will be spent brainstorming possible solutions to the various problems. In my case, I would try to redesign the shape of a building to allow the mudslide to flow around it with little or no resistance. I will also have to determine if there are already any feasible solutions to any of the problems, perhaps in other fields. For example, submarine is designed to pass through water with little resistance, and so the shape of a submarine can be adapted to fit my design. However, I also have to take into account the fact that a mudslide can come from various directions, and my design will have to be adapted for that.

There will be two weeks allocated to build and test my design. Obviously, building an entire house will be quite difficult, so a scale model should be built. In order to test the structural integrity of the building, a simulated mudslide will be shot at the model from every direction. If the model survives the first round, a second round will be held, with a faster or heavier mudslide, until the structure fails. The failure point can be compared to mudslides in the past, and if it is higher than most mudslides, than the design can be judged a success. If not, then depending on how much time is left a second design can be tested.

The remainder of the block will be spent evaluating the design, and how successful it was. Even if my design is successful, I would use the remainder of the time to suggest potential improvements, or extensions of the design to be used in other disasters, such as floods or tsunamis.
Nov 14, 2010
Research Papers / Athletes and drug abuse - thesis statement needed [3]

What are you investigating about the topic? Wether it happens, or whether it is prevalent, or the steps taken to prevent it....

Need more information before anyone can help you write the thesis!
Nov 12, 2010
Undergraduate / taking one course at a time - "Why I want to apply to Colorado College" [3]

REQUIRED: How did you learn about Colorado College and why do you wish to attend?

(Early candidates: Please include a statement indicating why you are applying early.)

A few months ago, when I was starting to research potential universities, I came across Colorado College. A number of the other colleges faded away from my mind, but Colorado College remained, mostly because of its unique academic policies. I am, of course, referring to the Block Plan. To someone like me, who has had to juggle over ten courses in high school, along with various extra-curricular activities, the Block Plan was simply amazing. The concept of taking one course at a time with no other distractions, and not having to study for ten exams in one go was fresh, new concept that I really liked, and identified with, which is one of the reasons I am applying early to Colorado College.

The liberal arts education offered at Colorado College is another aspect of the College that really appealed to me. I especially value the attention and personal interactions between me and my professors, since this will help me grow as a student, and also opens many research possibilities. In addition, the 3-2 engineering program will allow me to have the liberal arts experience at Colorado College, without compromising my career aspirations.
Oct 31, 2010
Undergraduate / "Snowflake" - Common App essay-describe the influence of a person [6]

"She sits peacefully in a red arm chair as I run my hand through her hair searching for mutants."
Mutants? I assume you mean lice?

"Everything in my mother's life used to be just right.Suddenly, misfortune struck and my father died leaving her to fend for herself."

You seem to be missing all the "my" in front of mother, father, etc. I suggest you go over the essay and look closely for grammatical mistakes
Oct 31, 2010
Undergraduate / "theoretical and practical aspects of science" - Michigan: "Why I want to attend" [2]

Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests? (500 words maximum)

For quite some time, I have been very interested in research. Passive learning has never really appealed to me, and I constantly try to do some extra work outside the class. That is why I will that the University of Michigan is the perfect place for me - the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program really allows me to pursue my passion for scientific research, especially in fields such as nanotechnology or cosmology. In addition to the UROP, the EECS department has other qualities which attract me to the Computer Engineering/Science program at the University of Michigan. EECS 449, which gives me the opportunity to conduct independent research, and therefore will give me the skills I will need to conduct such research in the future.

One course in particular that really interests me is EECS 470. This course, as far as I can determine, has no equivalent anywhere else, and just so happens to be one of main interests in Computer Engineering: Computer Architecture. The availability of this course at the University of Michigan is yet another reason for my applying to the University, since most other universities only offer this course at the graduate level.

There is one more thing that the University of Michigan offers that I have not found to be abundant in the United States - An opportunity to obtain a B.A. as well as a B.S.E. This is especially important to me since I value both the theoretical and practical aspects of science, and studying at the University of Michigan will allow me to pursue both degrees simultaneously.

Thats it so far... my concern is that it feels really short D:
I've been working on it for a while, and this type of essay really gets me... I find it quite hard to write a "Why this college" essay, even if I have good reasons for wanting to attend

Oct 23, 2010
Undergraduate / Am I really an Indian? - different communities and/or groups [4]

Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (Approximately 250 words)

To the casual eye, there is very little doubt that I am an Indian. For one thing, I certainly look the part. Breakfast in my house is usually composed of "dosias", a South Indian dish similar to crepes. Most lunches or dinner are made up primarily of rice, along with vegetable curry and "rasam", a soup-like substance that is mixed in with the rice to give it flavor and substance. I try to celebrate as many Indian festivals as I can, with all the associated ceremonies and rituals. Every now and then, the sounds of the latest Tamil soap (usually wailing or dire pronouncements of revenge) can be heard blasting forth from the TV.

However, if one were to look closer, one would find evidence of outside influences. For one thing, over 90% of the dosais that I now eat are "cheese dosais", which are folded dosais with a load of cheddar stuffed in between. Lunches are accompanied by Coke, potato chips and the TV, where we watch the latest episode of Stargate, or reruns of Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica. Every festival ritual is now carried out with a laptop, on which the Sanskrit is transliterated into English, so that I can read it. Due to the fact that I am in an international school, I am bombarded by even more foreign influences, resulting in my family celebrating Christmas and the Mid-Autumn Festival, among others.

So in fact, although I would still say that I am an Indian, the fact of the matter is that through my experiences, I have acquired a mix of experiences that have placed my partway between Indian and foreign cultures.

Just slightly unsure about the ending... any help will be appreciated.

Aug 21, 2010
Undergraduate / Challenge or experience that helped you learn what is important to you [12]

Then write about how you made your first movie, or your first piano performance, or maybe the first time you saw a movie and how it inspired you...

You literally have no end to the topics you can write about. Oh, and if you find that the first draft isnt working out, dont feel bad. I went through like 15 drafts before I got a really good essay :D
Aug 16, 2010
Letters / College Resume...I am having difficulty understanding the exact formulation [7]

Well, the competencies section IS kinda generic... You read Dilbert? No offense, but its the sort of words that would turn up on Buzzword Bingo :P

If I were an admission's officer, these competencies would be something I'd have seen a bajillion times already.

IMO, I think these sort of qualities are expected for any college applicant... you may want to add more unique qualities... are you a Quirky Intellectual? Or maybe a Effusive Egghead!

...So maybe I'm not the best at making this sort of stuff up on the spot, and it might be a bit too informal. But you get what I mean, yeah? Try to write something that stands out, which the admission's officer can remember you by ("You remember the quirky intellectual?" sounds more likely than "you remember the goal oriented guy?")
Aug 16, 2010
Undergraduate / Challenge or experience that helped you learn what is important to you [12]

Lets see

Do you play any instruments? Any sports? Whats your fav. subject at school? What do you want to do for a job? What are your hobbies?

Answer these questions, and build on them... for example, my essay was about how I started having a passion for physics because of a book I read... nothing epic, but it doesnt have to be

You might not think you have done everything worthwhile, but think about it. Your topic could just be a conversation you had with your dad, and how it changed you viewpoint, or maybe you took a walk around town, saw the sunset, wondered why it was all red, investigated it and got interested in physics... just by living, I'm usre you have done SOMETHING you can talk about. It doesnt have to be epic... you dont need to have saved five kittens, an elderly woman and defended the nation against alien invaders to have it qualify as an experience you can write about :D