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computer science and virtual reality

yazoo 4 / 7 2  
Aug 29, 2014   #1
Please help me revise my essay. This is my first draft. Any specific suggestions about grammar and language style/flow would be most helpful to me.

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 to which you are applying. 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.

I took Fundamentals of Computer Science through Carnegie Mellon's APEA program. The six week compressed semester was a long and brutal one. I knew I had to stay alert because Professor Hilbert would throw chalk at anyone who was sleeping, even if you were sitting in the back row of the lecture hall. He wanted everyone to succeed and not fall behind, and that is why I admire him and the entire computer science school- their commitment to giving us students the best learning environment. But despite the fast paced progression of the class, Professor Greg Hilbert still managed to open a new door that I inevitably entered, showing me the true inner beauty of computer science. Like engineering and other applied sciences, the field of computer science solves real world problems. But as Hilbert emphasized, computer science allows the programmers to build their own a virtual world to simulate physical reality.

Let us examine a problem. A large area of a forest is burning and emergency crew members need to estimate the area of the fire. To simulate this, Hilbert designed a two dimensional array that represented the entire forest. He then shaded some cells to represent points that are on fire, subsequently planting a "seed" at a point in the blob. Finally, Hilbert implemented a flood fill recursion method to expand outwards from this seed to keep count of the shaded cells. In my mind, and probably in Hilbert's mind, this technique of designing a virtual reality to simulate a plethora of scenarios is purely brilliant. I love the freedom and power of virtual reality that transgresses the rules established in the physical universe. "Virtual reality builds its own set of guidelines to work around", I vividly remember Hilbert saying. Because of this freedom and versatility, sculpting an algorithm has helped me conquer greater challenges like the ones he demonstrated.

Programming has been a tool that helped me become more successful in my math ventures. Because programming and mathematics are so close together, I have often programmed algorithms to help solve complex math problems. Recently, I participated in the United States Mathematical Talent Search (USAMTS), where some problems require me to solve complex puzzles with a given set of rules. This is where programming comes in. While "traditional" problem solvers may bash out the problem by hand, I developed an innovative algorithm to solve the problem both effectively and efficiently. The process is simple to understand: acknowledge your limits and rules, design a method to loop through all possible cases, and finally return values that satisfy those rules established earlier.

I believe virtual reality is beautiful - the code that builds this reality is unrestrained and applicable to fields not necessarily in the computer science discipline. This is why I want to attend the Carnegie Mellon's school of Computer Science, to experience the brilliance of computer language and the beauty of creating this virtual reality that can relate to our physical world. Most of all, the school would fuel my need to express my ideas at a more complex level. For someone with no creativity they are lost when handed a blank canvas. But for me, I use my creativity and problem solving skills to paint a blank canvas into something beautiful. A virtual world containing lines of code looks like gibberish to an inept audience, but pure wonder to someone who can read and master the language.

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