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Why CMU: My interest in Neurology


pprajoth 6 / 15  
Dec 25, 2009   #1
Please submit a one-page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen Carnegie Mellon and your particular major(s), department(s) or program(s). This essay should include the reasons why you've chosen the major(s), any goals or relevant work plans and any other information you would like us to know. If you are applying to more than one college or program, please mention each college or program you are applying to. Because our admission committees review applicants by college and programs, your essay can impact our final decision. Please do not exceed one page for this essay.

At Carnegie Mellon University, I would like to pursue a major in Biological Sciences with focus on neurosciences. The human brain is the most fascinating organ of the human body. As a child, I always wondered about the role of the brain in performing even mundane tasks like walking and breathing. As I grew older, my interest in learning the functioning of the brain increased, leading me to pursue to a research volunteer role with Dr. Kalasapudi, a psychologist in New York. Working with her, I prepared synopses of various issues of Scientific American Mind magazine, learning more about the architecture of brain.

The mystery of brain and the magnitude of its capabilities never cease to amaze me. Human memory particularly intrigues me. How am I able to remember complex song lyrics and megabytes of baseball statistics while struggling to remember basic math formulas? To help answer some of my curiosities, I began reading about memory and consequently took up a research project to compare the immediate and short term memory of the brain to that of a computer cache, taking gifted memory artists (Avadhanis) as extreme sample. I am currently working on a research paper that presents my observations.

To fulfill my school requirements of participation in a regional science fair, I initiated a project in my school to do a primary research establishing the correlation between the onset of Alzheimer's and variables such as race, age, ethnicity, family history and life experiences. I am planning to use a Test Your Memory questionnaire, developed by neurologists Jeremy Brown and George Pengas, on a group of people varying in age. Using statistical analysis to quantify the results and create a mathematical correlation, I hope to achieve an independent confirmation of the connection between the disease and the variables. In addition, as part of my school internship, I am doing a project under the head of oncology at Montefiore Hospital in Bronx, NY, working on establishing a correlation between brain metastasis of cancer patients and their insurance status.

These research projects and school courses in Psychology and Statistics reinforced my interest in pursuing research and academics in the field of neurology. My limited experience taught me the value of multi-disciplinary approach in research. I believe research in neurosciences calls for background in social sciences, biological sciences and neurosciences in addition to in-depth knowledge of mathematical and computational sciences. CMU, with its emphasis on such interdisciplinary learning, freedom of course selection based on interest, deep commitment to undergraduate research and above all its reputation as a leading academic and research institution makes it my dream choice for undergraduate education.

Please rip this essay apart! Any help would be greatly appreciated =]
ssuraj 4 / 7  
Dec 25, 2009   #2
This is a well composed essay in terms of the ideas and content present. tweak things around here and there. u make some strong and impressive points about your research... now tell us why u want to bring that to CMU. how can CMU help u further ur research or how will u help CMU? nice diction throughtout, but you need to structure ur essay a little bit more. the transitions are a little off and choppy. "I am currently working on a research paper that presents my observations. To fulfill my school requirements of participation in a regional science fair" I know you explain your points well, but you just skipped from research paper to a science fair project. but otherwise, i liked you essay a lot and that's really great that you are working on a research paper. makes you as a person credible. keep it up and best of luck!
OP pprajoth 6 / 15  
Dec 26, 2009   #3
thanks suraj! any other suggestions?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 29, 2009   #4
At Carnegie Mellon University, I would like to pursue a major in Biological Sciences with focus on neurosciences.The human brain is the most fascinating organ of the human body. As a child, I always wondered about...

I scratched out that weak sentence because it was like a weed sucking the nutrients from the rest of the paragraph.

My limited modest amount of experience enables me to appreciate the value of multi-disciplinary approach in research.

This is very impressive! I think you will do well with this. You write without errors, and you seem very clear-headed.


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