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'Science, math' Cornell - College of Arts and Science - Intellectual interests


warsovereign 1 / -  
Jan 1, 2012   #1
It seems rough. But since I just started it when it comes near to deadline, so I couldn't come up any inspiration.

College of Arts and Sciences:
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.

Enthusiasm about science and mathematics

I cannot recall since when, I had been preoccupied by a whim. 'If I could combine all laws of mathematics and physics, with sufficient information, I would be able to infer everything in anywhere and anywhen.' The whim was the primitive source to drive my strong interests to science.

I deemed physics and mathematics the 'ultimate laws of nature'. The whole new world brought about by relativity and quantum mechanics refurbished my mind, for it both provided challenges me for comprehending only the basic theories since they breach the observed world so much.

Moral and religious views

I underwent great changes in older age when I began to expose to new ideas. While still being an enthusiast of science, I began to expand my scope of knowledge, especially humanities. I was fascinated by philosophy and sociology, which propelled me to rethink my worldview. The methodologies of science, which I long dealt with, inevitably imply that everything consists of mere atoms. The mechanical materialism engendered moral nihilism. I started to question the moral system - why murder is wrong? Meanwhile I also started to question the religious teachings taught by school. I turned into an atheist. It further undermined my moral conceptions.

Then I rethought my moral nihilism, and acknowledged that morality has its inherent values which are evolved naturally through the progress of human civilization.. The reliance to determine the validity of morality is to determine the impact of it to the collective interests of community. This thought has resolved the fear of religious people towards atheism - that atheists must be immoral and corrupted because moral only has its base when promulgated by a deity. I believe, only by courageously acknowledging the anthropological nature of morality can it be flexible enough to adapt to societal needs.

Relating to intended field of study

So I have roughly described my intellectual evolution in the past ages. Since my scope of interest is wide enough to cover almost half of available programs in the CAS, I am inclined to pick 'undecided' until if I am gratefully granted a chance to explore the sea of knowledge in Cornell. I am interested in the natural world because I adore the subtleties of the natural laws and in the human world because it aims to achieve felicity of mankind. Or put it in this way, I stress on both aesthetics and pragmatism. For I wish to learn more about the how the way it is, I also wish to learn more about how the way it can be improved, and put it to practice. The emphasis of CAS on both theories (e.g. pure science) and practices (e.g. studies on races and sexual minorities) perfectly satisfy my ideal. Moreover, I may consider applying dual degree programs to delve into the two aspects. For instance, the study of both Physics and Asian Studies program would sound more than appealing to me. Therefore, Cornell indubitably matches my yearning for intended field of study.


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