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Intellecutal Interest: Mathematics (Cornell Essay)

essayhelp 4 / 8  
Sep 19, 2009   #1
Cornell Essay

Prompt: Describe your intellectual interests, their evolution, and what makes them exciting to you. Tell us how you will utilize the academic programs in Cornell to further explore your interests, intended major, or field of study.

I am applying to College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

I need help!!! People have told me to make this more personal, and make it more focused on where I'm applying too. Help pls...

I have always been amazed by all of the things we can create with a finite set of resources. All of the substances in the universe are composed of different combinations of the same 100 or so elements. Every song ever written is from the same basic set of musical notes. This principle also applies to math. While the quantity of numbers is theoretically infinite, the rules that govern their operation are incredibly small in number. Everything we do, from architecture to business, to astronomy, deals with a very small set of overriding math concepts.

All my life, I have been a numbers person. Math and especially physics have always had a strong appeal to me. I see real beauty and elegance in the workings of mathematical operations. I also see how very practical these subjects are: they govern virtually every other field and the universe, too.

Thinking about the next four years (and beyond), I know that I want to develop and refine my knowledge of math. Whether I ultimately pursue a career as an architect or engineer or in the field of business, I know that my interests and my talents lie in this area.

Math and all of its applications are unique in that it allows someone to be extremely creative but always conscious of very strict rules. It is a balance between what can be and what must be. Every vision must conform to the rules- rules that are fundamental to the very design of the universe.

I know that Cornell will allow me the chance to explore my interest in mathematics while giving me the freedom to see for myself what aspect of the field best suits my abilities and my desires. In essence it will enable me to balance my vision with reality, what can be with what must be.

EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Sep 19, 2009   #2
I'd like to see you go deeper here. Your initial examples are good, but you should follow that up by showing (rather than telling) us that you are "a numbers person." Are there particular problems in mathematics or particular mathematical patterns in nature that intrigue you? How have you expressed your fascination with numbers so far? How do you expect to do so at Cornell?
cdrappi 3 / 6  
Sep 19, 2009   #3
Agree. You need to go beyond the "rules." If you really want to go into math, the rules will be broken. Complex numbers broke the "rules." In Abstract Algebra, we can break the rules by dividing by 0, et cetera.
OP essayhelp 4 / 8  
Sep 20, 2009   #4
Thanks for the comments....I am really good at finding out how to solve problems(especially algebra and precalculus) because it comes easy to me, but am not compelled that much by just math. The thing that really intrigues me is Physics, but since I am applying to the College of Agriculture of Life Sciences I didn't put that in. Since, I'm applying to CALS do I have to direct it towards that particular school and talk about the environment etc or can I show my interest of Physics?
pcvrz34g 22 / 117  
Sep 20, 2009   #5
Well since your major isn't yet decided, I guess you can.. I'm not too sure. I would talk more about the programs that Cornell has that directly support your field of interest.

reading it again, i feel like you talk only about mathematics of what it is or what you percieve it to be. I think you can make it stronger if you write generally more about the connection between math and you like if you ever went to a math camp/club that helped you develop it. But the first paragraph about your insights on math is pretty good.

Please read my essay!

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