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How do you hope to use your college education?
I am a doer. I want to become a problem solver.
Humanity has hundreds of problems ranging from public health to global warming. Persisting problems are either too difficult to solve or cannot receive enough attention from people who are capable of solving them. Like any other high school student interested in science, I always had ambitious goals like curing cancer. However, even as a naďve high school student, I quickly realized that there is already a vast amount of knowledge about the mechanisms of cancer disease. Human genome is sequenced, numerous cancer causing mutations are revealed, gigantic biological data sets are being produced by researchers with an incredible pace, and fascinating novel gene editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas9 are now available. But yet, people still die of cancer. I do not want to give up and simply say that cancer is a difficult problem. There should be a solution to this problem.
The 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak in London is an inspiring story that teaches me how to approach problems. Even before the germ theory was established and the cause of cholera was understood, a physician named John Snow systematically studied the infection map of London and showed that the outbreak was propagating from a water pump on Broad Street. Authorities removed the handle of the pump and thousands of lives were saved. An unconventional physician who had the courage to look at the big picture long before people even believed the existence of microbes made that difference. This is who I want to be.
I want to contribute to human well-being by solving problems. Math and computer science have always been my favorite classes. Within me there is an impersonal triumph that never changes, whether I convert a decimal to a percent or untwist the mystery in a derivative in Calculus. Math is a dazzling, creative game that captivates me because of its unambiguous answers. However, I am also aware of the fact that problems do not care about disciplines of science as well as my intellectual satisfaction in math. Being a mathematician or a biologist alone is no longer enough to make a difference. I believe a modern scientist should be able to design and carry out experiments, have a quantitative understanding of of the outcomes, and initiate and be part of interdisciplinary efforts. Therefore, as a scientist, I would like to be educated in a nourishing environment where I will be exposed to different fields of science and I can develop the necessary skills for communicating with scientist from different fields. With my college education, I want to contribute to the solution of devastating human health problems such as cancer and drug resistance. This is my dream. It will become my reality at University.