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"My Interest, its evolution, and its future" - 500-Words Limited Essay


yojo1 3 / 17  
Oct 11, 2010   #1
Hey!
I wrote an essay for my Cornell application.
I am not a native English speaker, so I will feel extremely appreciated if you guys can find & improve any syntax, grammar, or awkward sentences. Please point out any weird parts that interrupt the whole essay.

Also I could not answer the last question: "Tell us how you will utilize the academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences to further explore your interests, intended major, or field of study." as I feel the question is so hard to answer. Unless one took many Cornell courses and lived in the campus, it is hard to see how one can utilize the program. Any idea on this problem will be great!

I thank you in advance for any help. Please feel free to criticize me!

+ Word limits: 479/500. If I add one more paragraph, it likely will exceed :(
- WJC -


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

Even before I could read, I harbored a natural affinity for mathematics. I remember the time when I asked my dad to teach addition and subtraction after watching my elder sister being taught Math from her kindergarten. I loved to spend time with numbers, picking up random digits, arranging and aggregating them, and throwing plus and minus signs into the midst. For me, math was never a scary monster - it was just a funny-looking toy to play with.

As I entered middle school, my interests in Math grew exponentially, especially due in part to my friends from after-school math activity. They all liked the unique characteristics of math that allowed one to derive complex formulas and prove mathematical conjectures just with fundamental mathematical operations. I found myself staying with the friends in a local library till sun sets, challenging to mathematical problems and proofs on topics ranging from simple arithmetic to complex national Olympiad problems.

Even when I moved to Canadian high school as an immigrant with language barrier, my passion in math didn't stop to grow. Although the barrier between English and Korean exhausted my energy, math, the universal language, was an immutable ally. Regardless of the language, whether Korean or English, the logic involved to solve a problem was the same. While working on Canadian and American math competitions, I met mathematically-passionate peers, and I embarked on establishing school's official math club with the head professor of math department. Since then, on the days of club meeting, my face was filled with joy of meeting people who speak the same language, Math.

During summer, my passion expanded beyond math to a more practical area. When I participated in Canadian/USA MathCamp, I met John Conway from his colloquial and learned about his cellular automation "Game of Life." Soon my passion transitioned to computer programming and then to algorithms and data structures. Realizing that I could materialize anything I wish by combining theoretics in math with practicality in programming, I began to dream to be a software engineer.

By junior year, after finishing all of remaining school math and computer science courses, I continued my life as an immature, but growing software engineer. I developed software from simple tools to complex games. One day, when I played Tetris from a website, I found the game creative because of its use of four square blocks as a piece. Then I wondered how Tetris would change with another number of blocks. With about one week of designing and programming, I developed Pentris with five-blocked pieces. On the other day, when I was using eclipse, the powerful IDE, I found it too heavy and slow in my old computer. I began to develop a light IDE for my computer and possibly for other people's computers. Racking brain to design a computer program, wrapping the design with Graphical User Interface, and sharing the outcome with other people have been always truly enjoyable processes.

My affinity for math and computer science leads me to computer science and math double majors in Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences. Cornell's CS department encourages students "to choose as if their professional life depends on it." In this way, while pursuing my dream of being software engineer with CS major, I can shape my ability to "think" with math major. Also Cornell's active math club attracts me. From experience in my school's math club, I know that vehement discussion about specific mathematical topics and preparation for international math competition can assist one to reach higher proficiency. Though I couldn't find about Cornell's CS club, if there isn't one, I am planning to establish one to participate in thrilling CS competitions like ACM-ICPC. I already dream to create my own programming language with interpreter, operating systems, extremely additive games, and many more by my hands.

[Extra paragraph required to answer the last question]

simbamaxxed 5 / 59  
Oct 12, 2010   #2
Wonjohn,
The best aspect of your essay is that you have understood and adressed the demands of the question.The quality of writing is commendable,although there are several areas that may need major revision and I will only highlight a few.Consider the following:

1."As Gordon said in movie Wall Street, Greed, for lack of a better word, was good."
-First of all,who is Gordon?-You need to provide more context or rather just find an alternative way to say this.And yes,"greed" is not a good word to use here.

2."They all liked the unique characteristics of math that allowed one to derive complex formulas and prove mathematical conjectures just with fundamental mathematical operations."

-Be succint!You sound like a math textbook author in this line.Sometimes the simpler you make it the better.

3."We competed in faith with each other in the national Olympiad (Korean Mathematics Olympiad) and my greed to be the best led me to a higher proficiency."-This sentence is kind of meaningless.

4."I continued my life as a software engineer. I developed software from simple tools to complex games."- You are declaring here that you are a software engineer already.If that is the case,why are you applying to Cornell?This makes you sound like you already know everything and will therefore learn nothing new in college.

5.Finally,the last paragraph about tetris has a number of grammar issues which I'll leave you to correct.Anyhow,I'm impressed that you came up with a new version of tetris.

I'm not a native speaker myself,so I just did my best to help and I hope I managed to do that.Good Luck:)
OP yojo1 3 / 17  
Oct 12, 2010   #3
Thank you very much!
For the last paragraph I have to write, does anyone have any idea for it?
=>Tell us how you will utilize the academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences to further explore your interests, intended major, or field of study."
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Oct 14, 2010   #4
Well, answer that last question by developing your ideas about what you will do in the next 5 years. This is all about envisioning the future. Keep looking into your own future and list the concerns you find, the things you need to do in order to achieve your goals, and then think of this school as a great set of resources for achieving your goals.

If you have an impressive number of goals, you should be able to think of an impressive number of ways that you'll utilize the academic programs and resources in the College of Arts and Sciences.

:-)
OP yojo1 3 / 17  
Oct 15, 2010   #5
Thanks!
After I complete the essay and improve with my best, I will come back... Hu.. Essays are so hard to write..
OP yojo1 3 / 17  
Oct 17, 2010   #6
HELLO!
I came back after finishing the essay (including the last paragraph).
I love criticism. I really hope you guys to find any awkward sentences or unnecessary parts and criticize about them. I really appreciate your help!!!!


I forgot to mention! There is a huge problem. My essay's word counts (627) far exceeds the word limits (500). Please tell me if there is something unnecessary or there is something that can be more succinct!

Again, thank you!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Oct 18, 2010   #7
I remember the time when I asked my dad to teach addition and subtraction after watching my elder sister being taught Math from her kindergarten.----Wow, you remember asking about math when you were only 4 or 3? That is impressive, but it will be more impressive if this sentence was followed by an example from something more recent, such as the kind of math that most interests you now.

was just a funny-looking toy to play with.--oh! ha ha, very good. I like the end of this intro. Okay, right after this sentence, add a sentence that tells the reader that you were destined to develop your talent for math into a talent for comp sci., and give your thesis statement that tells about your career path as a mathematician and computer scientist.

Is this supposed to be additive, or addictive?

You have to get rid of 6 sentences to get the word count down!! That is going to be hard, but it will make the essay better. Cut the 6 weakest players! See if some sentences have meanings that can be expressed in fewer words.
OP yojo1 3 / 17  
Oct 19, 2010   #8
Thanks! Kevin. You helped me a lot!!!
Thank you for the helps for all essays too!
I will be back with the final revision after cutting 6 "players"!


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