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'Correlation between games and statistics' UIUC Statistics and Computer Science Transfer Essay

Sam112 1 / -  
Jan 19, 2016   #1
I am currently taking gen ed courses at College of Lake county and am looking to transfer to the Statistics and Computer Science department of UIUC. I have a decent GPA and I strongly consider the Essay to be a big part in applications.

I would greatly appreciate any advice, and critiques on my essay. I understand it is well above 300 words and am struggling on what to cut out. (most likely the first paragraph). Please also give me advice on where I could elaborate more on.


In an essay of 300 words or less, explain your motivation to transfer from your current/previous institution to Illinois and how your academic interests and/or professional goals will be fulfilled in your intended program of study.

As long as I can remember, Pokémon games were my favorite past time. I loved watch the Pokeball on the screen shake and come to a stop, an icon of a successful capture. Every time I used a Pokeball, I would wonder about the catch rate. Later I come to learn a complex formula that calculated the exact probability of catching a Pokémon. This helped create a false reality that probability could be calculated with just a formula.

In high school, I stumbled across a scenario that contested my reality. An event, upon success, would decrease the success rate by 10%. Failure has no effect. Starting at 100%, it would decrease down to 10%. I wanted to know how many tries on average I would take to reach 12 total success. It gnawed at me for a week before I went to my father for help. My father, a PHD in Math, used SAS to simulate the event millions of times and created the mean (64 times). Seeing first hand of how useful SAS was and the different methods of solving a problem led to my passion in statistics.

At College of Lake County I had the privilege to take Elementary Statistics that gave me a better overview of this field. With new topics on hand, I pursued to learn more. It quickly dawned on me that my current university could not provide the deeper waters I wished to tread. As I researched institutions that could fit my needs, University of Illinois became a great point of interest. UIUC would not only help me meet my academic goals, but provide me with research opportunities. As data becomes larger, computer languages becomes a more important role. The tools UIUC would be able to provide in statistical computing are incomparable in scale to the number of doors that would open. I would love to the opportunity to learn means and methods of handling the big data frontier as companies fight to find the best method of analyzing all the new data provided in today's society. With UIUC's rich and diverse community, I am ready to help contribute.

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Jan 19, 2016   #2
Sam, truth be told, your reason for wishing to move from your community college to the university is not clear. The Pokemon story doesn't help your essay at all so I agree with you, it should be removed. The event in high school was not clearly depicted so the connection to Statistics and Computer Science is not really clear. What we are looking for here is a strong motivation that would compel you to transfer universities with a change of major.

In my opinion, the information that you should be presenting has to do with your current reasons for wishing to transfer and change majors. It sounds to me like you are not really sure about why you want to change majors at this point. So try to reflect upon the reasons that you might have, in your current state of mind, that relates to your desire to switch things around for yourself academically.

You can't really use your childhood reasons, nor your experience in high school at this point because you already have a previously chosen major that you are not satisfied with. So think about why you are not satisfied with your current course and then discuss it. That should create the foundation for your motivation. Then think of why you decided to pursue Statistics and Computer Science instead. Discuss that as well. Then your academic reasons should automatically fall into place.

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