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Interest in Computer Science - UIUC Undergrad Essay


fshaikh 2 / 1  
Nov 23, 2015   #1
Hi, I am an international student applying to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am having difficulties in ending the essay and keeping it within the word limit. Please help me figure out any grammatical errors and any comments on how to improve my essay further.Constructive criticism would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Explain your interest in the major you selected. Describe an experience related to that area of study, what first introduced you to this field, and/or your future career goals. Limit your response to 300-400 words.

Lying in my bed at night I was thinking about a specific experience that I had regarding to computer science. Some instance where I've achieved greatness in the field. Pondering upon the dilemma for day and night I realized that it was not my achievements that counted but my passion in the field.

My introduction to gaming began when I was three years old. My dad had got a computer home with a bunch of Kellogg's games for me to explore. From then onwards I graduated to other consoles and every day in my house you would hear the same dialogue playing on repeat.

"The whole day you've been sitting in one place and playing that stupid game. This is not the time to play. Go study!"

"Five minutes mum, I promise", was a response that always followed as I proceeded to continue my journey through the 18th Century Nassau in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag or avoided the brain eating zombies in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 only to know that I'd be immersed in it for a few more hours.

I'm proud to admit that I am an avid gamer since video games have been a huge part of my life, cheering me at times of stressful academic work. The beautiful graphics, fluid physics and alluring game-play was enough to take my mind off work and send me into a state of nirvana.

My love story with computers started when I was 10 years old. At my primary school I was taught the `programming language Logo. It was basically a triangular shape called a "turtle" that we had full control over. Simple commands like "fd 10" would make the turtle move 10 units forward in a straight line! This fascination fueled my desire to expand my knowledge and go out my way to learn the basics of HTML.

To my dismay, computer science was not offered in 11th grade as a subject. But that didn't deter me from veering away from my passion. In my free time I would read articles about computers and try to teach my self the basics of Java and Python in order to keep my desire for computers burning. I realized that programming in those languages was not anyone's cup of tea, by dismantling my problems into smaller ones I was able to overcome my ambivalence towards Java.

Majoring in Computer Science in UIUC will open many doors of opportunity for me to contribute to the gaming industry and open many more in the field of research such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) which I'd like to spend countless number of hours researching into, starting from undergraduate itself. I believe that the sufficient facilities and the holistic environment help me succeed in my big dreams and aspirations.

kunaal 2 / 4 1  
Nov 23, 2015   #2
Keep your essay more direct, in its language. Someone mentioned keeping your response in a language that you would use if this same prompt was asked of you in a face to face interview.

If you did decide to stay with the current format, I would definitely recommend reviews with people around you to increase the quality of the essay, particularly in areas of grammar and sentence construction.

I do like the premise of your story - about how you have been hooked on gaming since your early years. Go from your experience to turtle to Python and Java and talk more of what you did with that. This will make a stronger story.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Nov 24, 2015   #3
Fahad, the fact that you start your story at the age of 3 does not really offer the essay any strength nor does it validate the development of your interest in computer science. Rather, the story that you related which started when you were 10 years old better relates to the prompt. So my advice is this, use the following edited paragraph for the foundation of your essay:

My love story with computers started when I was 10 years old. At my primary school I was taught the `programming language Logo. It was basically a triangular shape called a "turtle" that we had full control over. Simple commands like "fd 10" would make the turtle move 10 units forward in a straight line! This fascination fueled my desire to expand my knowledge and go out my way to learn the basics of HTML.

To my dismay, computer science was not offered in 11th grade as a subject. But that didn't deter me from sticking to my passion. During my free time I would read articles about computers and try to teach my self the basics of Java and Python in order to keep my desire for computers burning.

Majoring in Computer Science in UIUC will open many doors of opportunity for me to contribute to the gaming industry and open many more in the field of research such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) which I'd like to spend countless number of hours researching into, starting from undergraduate itself. I believe that the sufficient facilities and the holistic environment help me succeed in my big dreams and aspirations.


In the part between "To my dismay..." and " Majoring in Computer Science..." you can add some information that will further enhance your application essay. Try to discuss some other specific activities that you did which helped your become a progressive, self-taught gamer. Talk about the programs that you became proficient with and how that happened. Doing that will help you present some solid supporting facts related to the development of your interest in Computer Science. You have more than enough words to develop that and enhance the essay because we deleted enough unnecessary portions of the previous version of this essay :-)
justivy03 - / 2,366 607  
Nov 24, 2015   #4
Fahad, as you already have an edited final paragraph, let me help out with the first few paragraphs you have.

- Lying in my bed at night, ( don't forget your punctuation marks ) I was thinking about a specific
- experience that I had regarding towith computer science.
- Pondering upon the dilemma for days and nights, I realized

- My dad hadgotbrought a computer home
- I graduated to other consoles and every day,in my house you would hear the same dialogue playing on repeat .

- I'm proud to admit that I am an avid gamer sinceand video games have been a huge part of my life,
- cheering me up at times of stressful academic work.

That's about it from me, I hope you follow through with the remarks done in your essay and I hope to see the revision.
hasbi 29 / 42 23  
Nov 25, 2015   #5
Lying in my bed at night(COMMA) I was thinking about a specific experience that I had regarding to computer science.

Pondering upon the dilemma for day and night(COMMA) I realized that it was not my achievements ...
My introduction to gaming began when I was three years old .

.... fluid physics and alluring game-playgameplay was enough to take my ...

At my primary school (COMMA) I was taught the `programming language Logo.

Simple commands like "fd FD 10" would make the turtle ...

In my free time(COMMA) I would read articles about computers and try to teach my self myself the basics of Java ...
... and open manymuch more in the field of research ...

here my advice for you:
please pay attention about how to use PUNCTUATION MARK, like missing COMMA after introductory phrase.

about your content:
you solely tell a story about your experience and your skill about several language computer program.
it would be better if you put the specific you contribution to society about your skills and for the University of Illinois.

good luck
OP fshaikh 2 / 1  
Nov 26, 2015   #6
Well I revised my whole essay and wrote another one based on the feedback provided. Is the revised version better? Any help would be appreciated

Right from my early days at school I was drawn towards the mathematical world. From algebra to permutations and combinations to just sitting around and solving mathematical problems, the world of numbers and logic has always fascinated me. As I thought where I can apply my passion for numbers, one field clearly stood out - Computer Science.

I was first introduced to computers when I was 10 years old. At my primary school I was taught the `programming language Logo. It was basically a triangular shape called a "turtle" that we had full control over. Simple commands like "fd10" would make the turtle move 10 units forward in a straight line. Later, my dad bought me a computer of my own on which I spend hours playing video games. I was fascinated by beautiful graphics and designing that goes into making a computer game. Not only I was fascinated, I also wanted to know the inner workings of the games. To this end, I started to learn computer languages. I started with learning HTML and quickly graduated to Java.

People would approach me looking for answers to their computer programming problems, I felt honored that they valued my opinion. As the word got out that I am good with websites, people started approaching me for freelancing work. I designed the websites for several neighborhood businesses helping them grow their business. It gave me immense satisfaction to see that my passion for programming not only helped me make some pocket money and learn, but also helped the community.

At UIUC I want to learn Artificial Intelligence, especially computer vision, object recognition, spatial understanding and scene interpretation. I believe that with several companies working on driver-less cars, the technology would be ready to go mainstream by the time I graduate and having deep knowledge in this field will help me in contributing more towards this field. I look forward to a fruitful and exciting career in the arena of computer science and its applications and sincerely hope that I will be provided an opportunity to study CS at UIUC.
irfan727 49 / 68 29  
Nov 26, 2015   #7
Hello Fahad, let me try to give some corrections on your passage

Right fromIn the beginning of my early days at school ...

... one field clearly stood out -,namely Computer Science.

At my primary school I was taught the `(may be you just typo here) programming language Logo. It wasb Basically, it was a triangular shape called a "turtle" ...
Later, my dad bought me a computer of my own on which I spend hours playing video games.

thanks, hope it can help
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Nov 26, 2015   #8
Hi Fahad, I edited the content of your essay online just so it would become more streamlined, offer more information regarding the development of your interest, and focus the essay on your future as a computer scientist. Here is what I came up with for you:

Right from my early days at school I was drawn towards the mathematical world. From algebra to permutations and combinations to just sitting around and solving mathematical problems, the world of numbers and logic has always fascinated me. As I I got older and my thoughts turned to my college studies, I found myself thinking of where I can apply my passion for numbers. One field clearly stood out - Computer Science.

I was first introduced to computers when I was 10 years old. My primary school their students, including me, the programming language Logo. It was basically a triangular shape called a "turtle" that we had full control over. Simple commands like "fd10" would make the turtle move 10 units forward in a straight line. Later, my dad bought me a computer of my own on which I spend hours playing video games. I was fascinated by the beautiful graphics and design that went into making the game that currently held mu attention for hours on end. Along with my fascination, I found myself wishing to know the inner workings of the games. This interest led to my introduction to the more advanced computer languages which helped create these games. I started with learning HTML and quickly graduated to Java.

People would approach me looking for answers to their computer programming problems, I felt honored that they valued my opinion. As the word got out that I was good at creating computer websites and images, people started approaching me for freelancing work. I designed websites for several neighborhood businesses , helping them grow their business. It gave me immense satisfaction to see that my passion for programming not only helped me make some pocket money and learn, but also helped the community.

At UIUC I want to major in Artificial Intelligence, with a minor concentration on computer vision, object recognition, spatial understanding and scene interpretation. I believe that with several companies working on driver-less cars, the technology would be ready to go mainstream by the time I graduate and having advanced and thorough knowledge in this field will help me in contributing more towards the advancement of the technology.


You can use this essay as it is. I already made it perfect enough for you to use with your application packet :-)


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