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"Why Caltech" - 3:1 student-to-faculty ratio - Supplement essay last question idea?


Anouar 12 / 35  
Sep 11, 2014   #1
So I've been working really hard lately on the supplemental essays for the Caltech application. But the last question is the "Why Caltech" one, and here is the exact wording:

"Scientific exploration clearly excites you. Beyond our 3:1 student-to-faculty ratio and our intense focus on research opportunities, how do you believe Caltech will best fuel your intellectual curiosity and help you meet your goals? (500 word max)"

Please any ideas to deal with the essay !!!

People wonder what life is really about. While most can assure you that it is not forty-two, few can provide a reasonable answer. Growing up, I have sometimes found myself debating the same question. No matter how hard I thought about it, I could never quite put my finger on what life truly meant. After a while, however, I took a step back and realized that perhaps I had been asking myself the wrong question. We only have one life to live, one shot to experience the world, so perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is not "What is the purpose of my life?" but rather "What can I do with my life?". Shortly after having this epiphany, I discovered the answer to my question. I want to leave behind something that will make this world a better place for future generations. Whether that means developing a cheap way to deal with ozone hole, finding a solution to Joule effect or discovering a new way to harness cleaner energy. That's why physics turns to a passion in my life .By getting into Caltech I will have the opportunity to leave behind a legacy by diving deeply in the world of Scientific Exploration.

Neither my mother nor my father was a physicist but they were always straight-forward and believe in themselves so I followed their footsteps and foster my sense of self-reliant and ambition. While other little kids were watching Cartoon, I was busy learning about the nuclear reactions and radioactivity. This early exposure to science makes me dream of a Lab with Cyclotrons, Spectrograph and huge Accelerators. My hunger to Physics and Nuclear physics especially, lead me to choose Caltech where dreams came true. As I see these devices only in books, I dare not only to dream but to make it to the top in order to achieve my goal. When I reached high school, I realized at once that science was going to be the most interesting subject I would take during my four years there. Now that I am a senior, I am ready to further develop my passion.

Just like body members who act strongly as group to ensure the sound anatomy and dynamic of the body, Caltech's integrated housing system would teach me cooperation and unity, whereby flourishing under an intensively fair and competitive atmosphere, I would strive to make friendships that would last a lifetime. Caltech's housing system would be a unique opportunity for me to expand my horizons and to learn not only the social customs of America but also worldwide cultures.

I believe that attending the California Institute of Technology is a crucial step toward achieving my goals. I know that Caltech has many incredible professors who will aid me on my journey because some them are recognized internationally as Nobel Prize Winners, as well as numerous other students just like me working together to to leave a fingerprint in the world .The awe-inspiring faculty members (I have watched Professor Sean Carroll's The Teaching Company lectures on 'Dark Matter, Dark Energy: The Dark Side of the universe'),composed with a successful merge of bright minds from students like 2005 Crafoord Prize Winner James E. Gunn to professors like 2004 Physics Nobel-Prize-Winner H. David Politzer succeed, the focus on hand-on research assignments, and the ease of access of research equipments would enable me to institute my position at the frontiers of Science and Technology.

xatutik 12 / 29 10  
Sep 11, 2014   #2
Maybe you can mention that their study program suits you. (if it does :D)
Another reason can be good teaching stuff.
OP Anouar 12 / 35  
Sep 11, 2014   #3
that's what I am searching for a brainstroming!!! thanks
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Sep 11, 2014   #4
Anouar, in order to properly answer that question, you need to do an internet based research on Caltech. Get to know the university that you are applying to. You need to set yourself apart from the other students based upon your reasons or desires for attending Caltech. You need to learn what the mission and objective of the university is and then relate that to your own goals. Then you should find out what the school is known for in terms of scientific research. Explain to them how you have a planned scientific study that you hope to undertake while at Caltech because you feel that their excellent facilities and mentors will help you achieve the objectives for the study / experiment. Research the names of the notable graduates of Caltech and their specialization. Then discuss how they inspired your love for science or whatever. Knowing that they went to Caltech gives you strong hopes that you too will be able to achieve such a status. Find out what the university is interesting in currently in the various scientific fields. Choose one that appeals to you and discuss it. Basically, everything you say must relate to the reasons why you feel Caltech will be the perfect school for you graduate from. I hope my ideas help you develop your supplementary essay :-) Good luck with your application.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Sep 12, 2014   #5
Neither my mother nor my father was a physicist but they were always straight-forward and believe in themselves so I followed their footsteps and foster my sense of self-reliant and ambition.

- ... were physicists but... and believed ... in themselves. So I followed... and fostered my sense of self-reliance.

While other little kids were watching Cartoon , I was busy learning about the nuclear reactions and radioactivity.

- ... cartoons ...

This early exposure to science makes me dream of a Lab with Cyclotrons, Spectrograph and huge Accelerators.

- ... made me dream of a lab ...

My hungerto Physics and Nuclear physics especially, lead me to choose Caltech where dreams came true

- hunger for. .. physics specially ,

composedwith a successful merge of bright minds

- composed of a ...

Anouar, you did your homework :-) Save for these few corrections, you successfully answered the prompt :-) Excellent work!
OP Anouar 12 / 35  
Sep 12, 2014   #6
Respect !! virtuel teacher !!

I think that this essay of UChicago is about the same topic

How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.

Do you think that that making some changes in Caltech Supplement will do the task?
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Sep 12, 2014   #7
Anouar, you can use the Caltech essay as a basis for the UChicago essay. You will still need to research UChicago in order to discover which points of your Caltech essay can be used or rephrased for the application essay though. Each university has specific requirements of their applicants and looks for certain unique things in their students. So you need to familiarize yourself with UChicago using my previously stated guide. Then revise your Caltech essay in a manner that will appeal to UChicago admission officers. I would suggest that you read some UChicago application essays that are freely available on the web. This will help you get a better feel and understanding of their requirements and thus, help you to tailor the new essay towards their specific demands. Remember, you need to at least paraphrase the essay so that there won't be a chance that the admissions officers may think that you are submitting a generalized essay. So adding some uniquely UChicago student characteristics on your part will definitely help alter and refine the essay for UChicago. I know this will require you to devote time and attention to the intricate details of the essay but I assure you that it will be worth it in the long run. After all, you may not have to write a totally new essay for the application :-)
texasbreed13 3 / 13 2  
Sep 30, 2014   #8
Hey I think your essay is well written and concise. However, I feel that the first couple sentences about what does life mean and all that are a little unnecessary. This is what someones else on here gave me to and I used to help me write my essay:

1)Background
2)Development of interest
3)Initial pursuit of interest(Research/Education)
4)Future goals
5) How will the specific program help you achieve your future goals
6) final summary.
It really helped me. Best of luck to you though!
Anouar_1 - / 2 1  
Sep 30, 2014   #9
Thanks I will take your points.
Vangiespen, what do you think?
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 1, 2014   #10
Hi Anouar, sorry about taking so long to get to you. I had a birthday and took time off :-) Here is my take on your essay.

- Somehow I envision the prompt as being better answered by a description of what your idea of a conducive learning atmosphere, community, and future might be. Your first paragraph could describe your ideal learning atmosphere and end with an explanation of how UChicago embodies the physical reality of your ideal learning environment. Then transition into the second paragraph and explain the reason you believe that UChicago offers you the perfect student community to thrive in academically and socially. Finally, delve into your goals for the future and relate it to the programs and internships that UChicago uniquely offers that you feel will help you achieve all of your academic goals and help to launch your professional career as well. By answering the three sections in the prompt, you will already have answered the questions with some answers to spare :-)

- This does not really fit into any of the prompt requirements so it may be best for you to delete this portion instead.

- This fits in perfectly with the kind of learning community that you expect from UChicago. Try to develop the portion bout the access to research equipment and how you hope to find a mentor within the community who will encourage you to develop your project ideas using the available UChicago resources.

- Milkan whose oil - drop experiment served as an inspiration to me during my early scientific years , continue to inspire a new generation of scientific successes.The focus on hands - on research ... would enable me to establish my position... will offer me access to the rare treasure of books...

- Let's work on merging these paragraphs in order to shorten the essay a bit :-) I don't think that we need all of the information you listed in order to answer this portion of the prompt.

- UChicago offers me the opportunity to learn from my peers within an integrated housing system based upon the unity and cooperation that are important aspects of the student housing community. UChicago offers activities such as the Festival of Arts and Summer Breeze that promote a sense of global culture by informing students about worldwide culture. These activities promote the diversity of the student campus and is sure to inspire not only tolerance, but a positive attitude coupled with an open mind among students coming from various races and ethnic backgrounds.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 3, 2014   #11
Anouar, I think we can clean up the grammar problems and tighten the content of your essay now. Everything you need to know, including any possible suggestions will be listed below :-)

- I deleted portions that seem to be slowing down the paper and not really helping you to answer the prompt. In papers like these, you need to be direct to the point. The admission officer does not have time to find the essence of your paper in a sea of words.

- I have reached a crossroad at my life. As I embark on my college career, I have found myself asking "What is the purpose of my life? What can I do with my life?" I am positive that my questions about my life are what led me to the path of science. I know that I want to leave my mark in the world by making it a better place. Science will help me do that. Maybe I will discover a way to plug the hole in the ozone layer, maybe I will solve the Joule Effect. Or maybe I will simply find a way to harness a new form of energy during a scientific exploration project. Whatever method I live my life in the future and what kind of life I will lead, I know that UChicago will be the beacon of guidance for me during the creation of the foundation of that life. Through the available mentor programs, alumni network, and project participations, UCISTEM is sure to offer me unparalleled guidance and support as a student.

I believe that attending the UChicago is a crucial step toward achieving my goals. I know that UChicago has many incredible professors who will aid me on my journey because some of them are recognized internationally as Nobel Prize Winners

- Note the deleted portions. Do not put those back. These are unnecessary portions.
- UChicago's notable professors will aid me...

UChicago offers me the opportunity to learn from my peers within an integrated housing system based upon the unity and cooperation that are important aspects of the student housing community.

- I look forward to participating in all of the activities UChicago has to offer in its promotion of the diversity of the campus which inspires the students to value tolerance, an open mind, and a vast outlook in life.

I hope these changes and suggestions will finally polish your paper :-)
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 3, 2014   #12
Among the academic cream of American universities - Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT- the University of Chicago - is most convincing to me as it satisfy my insatiable desire to science and research

- This is an unnecessary and irrelevant sentence. The mention of other universities is totally inappropriate.

The awe-inspiring faculty members composed of bright minds from students to professors like 2005 Chemistry Nobel-Prize Winner Irwin Rose and 1966

-Stop adding the bright minds of students, they are not notable at this point and will not help relate to the UChicago prompt. I deleted that portion again. Do not put it back.

After you apply these corrections, the paper will finally be ready for submission :-)
Anouar_1 - / 2 1  
Oct 3, 2014   #13
Thank you for help. I will submit the essay.


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