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]