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"Engineering a Pokémon team" - Yale Supplement

Lightning55 3 / 11  
Dec 28, 2010   #1
This is the required supplement for Yale. It's just an essay about something that I like, and I want to bring that to the Yale community.

Pokémon. The first thought that comes to mind is that childish game almost every kid loved. It was, and still is, a game that involves strategy and prediction, like online Risk. With 8-bit music and 150 critters, there was every reason to love it. As we learned calculus, built computers, and exhausted our bodies through sports, we forget those small trinkets our lives formerly revolved around. However, Pokémon has grown with us.

As the senior strategy analyst at Thunder Fusion, I construct teams for the sole purpose of competitive battling. The new damage formulas are available for a reason. To most players, it is nothing more than another math problem that shouldn't be in something fun. To me, it is the Holy Grail. That Holy Grail brought me to 11th in the International Pokémon Tournament.

Engineering a Pokémon team is like designing a computer, except with only six parts. The first step is to analyze the objectives. Pure offensive team. High speed, low power. The objectives then provide a goal for research, a strategy or theme to follow. High speed, attack, and special attack stats. Fast processor, efficient power supply. I run diagnostics on how effective it will be and predict the expected performance. Next, I identify synergy between different members of the team, creating the mainframe of the team. The remaining parts give added flexibility, to address common problems. Threats: Azelf, Infernape, Scizor. Hazards: humidity, dust, electric shock. Not only do major issues need to be recognized, I also have to take steps in addressing them. Like how good ventilation prevents a computer from overheating, a proper defensive wall suffices against several threats.

Before I release the team, it must run through a battery of tests. I check its performance, debug any obvious flaws, and examine its use in the long term. This is also when I fine-tune the stats values. This labor-intensive process utilizes my Holy Grail by calculating how many points Cresselia requires to switch in, take two attacks at maximum damage, and defeat it with Psychic. The same process takes place in making sure a computer has just enough resources to allow it to perform its job.

All of these steps are critical to engineering, whether it be something as trivial as a Pokémon team or something as significant as the next generation computer. Even after they are built, they require care and maintenance to stay fully operational. Pokémon teams need to adapt to strategy alterations, or they are dismantled easily. Computer users must similarly update their software protection to prevent viruses and other malware from infecting their computers.

Through Pokémon, I developed a natural methodology for project management. The more I played, the more I realized how many of the skills in becoming a good battler are nearly identical to those of an engineer. I love having challenges to overcome, discoveries to make, and friends to meet. I love to analyze others and myself. I love logical planning. I love Pokémon.

Please be harsh. Thank you. I'll try to return the favor :)
vladic007 9 / 22  
Dec 28, 2010   #2
First, if you are applying to Yale engineering, which essay is this? The first or second (engineering only) essay??
Second, basicaly all the essay you are talking about Pokemons. Try to connect it more to yourself (you have some moments in which you are talking about the influence, as an example the last phar., but that's not enough)

Third, maybe it is worth talking more about a specific engineering major.
This is my opinion.
If you have time, can you take a look at my Penn essay.
navalava 6 / 30  
Dec 28, 2010   #3
I must say it's a very unique essay! I think admissions will like it! (I certainly did.)
However, you talk about some things that may be unfamiliar to an admissions reader, such as 'Thunder Fusion' and 'Cresselia'-I'm assuming that's a pokemon (I stopped keeping up after Johto :)). Instead of mentioning specific pokemon names, just say 'a pokemon'.

Threats: Azelf, Infernape, Scizor

This part was a little confusing too. Once again, I'm assuming they're all pokemon (hmm, scizor..that's sounds familiar), but I doubt your admissions reader knows a lot about that ;)
OP Lightning55 3 / 11  
Dec 28, 2010   #4
vladic, it's the first essay, not specific to engineering. I'm an accomplished Pokemon battler, so I like to make that mention to something which I've spent so much time on. I strongly believe that pokemon team building is very much like engineering. Is that not coming out clearly? Thanks anyways.

Thanks navalava. I guess I'll try to make it clearer. Thunder Fusion is a pokemon battling forum. I was a senior member of it, but now that it has been abandoned, I'm making my way to Smogon, where I'm less known. I guess it would be more appropriate to change the pokemon's names, but it would be difficult to still have very concrete examples. I'll see what I can do about that.
diboy2 6 / 23  
Dec 28, 2010   #5
Wow... This was funny to me. Make it a more understandable, to non pokemon lovers though. You should read my naruto essay.
ailibai 8 / 21  
Dec 28, 2010   #6
As we learned calculus, built computers, and exhausted our bodies through sports, we forgo t those small trinkets our lives formerly revolved around.

The new damage formulas are available for a reason. Explain a little for those (like me) who aren't as cool as you and don't know what this is.

Before I release the team, it mustI run it through a battery of tests.

This made me smile. :) It's such a unique approach; it's engaging and shows your thought process.
I don't know the prompt or anything about engineering, but I loved the essay.
cdyal87 3 / 15  
Dec 29, 2010   #7
I think your essay exmplifies not only why you possess a passion for Pokemon but how it has increasingly designated a desired major for you.

The only grammatical error I could spot was the use of a informal pro-noun which confused me to what exact it was referring to.

"Before I release the team, I run it(the computer?) through a battery of tests. I check its(if you clarify in the previous sentence that it is a computer or hard-drive, etc. then you can leave this informal pro-noun alone.) performance, debug any obvious flaws, and examine its use in the long term(calculate its longevity and efficiency.)? .

Other than this, I believe the essay shows you cerebral ability.
rebrose 8 / 20  
Dec 29, 2010   #8
This is definately an unique essay. You do very well in relating the management of your Pokemon team to project management and enigneering. I just think your first paragraph should grab the readers attention more.
kalebruce 2 / 3  
Dec 29, 2010   #9
Definitely a good read. It is very unique to see a comparison of Pokemon and engineering. You are a good writer and I think they will enjoy it a lot!

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