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Essay for UIUC: Explain your interest in the major you selected.


xanthorapedia 1 / 3  
Oct 28, 2015   #1
Hi, I am an international student applying to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Unfortunately, I messed up my last SAT exam before EA:(, so I am looking for help to make my essay better to compensate the drawback on scores. Please help me figure out grammatical errors, diction problems and advise me on how to improve the essay to make it more attractive and impressive. Any of your comments will be helpful. Thank you!

Explain your interest in the major you selected. Describe an experience related to this area of study, what first introduced you to this field, and/or your future career goals. If you're applying to the Division of General Studies, explain your academic interests and strengths or your future career goals. You may include any majors or areas of study you're currently considering. Limit your response to 300 to 400 words.

Before ten, I had created with LEGO blocks, disposable chopsticks, and electronic components. But when I firstly encountered computer programming, all of the former creations faded.

It was an afternoon. My teacher was teaching the first lesson on programming the robot at the club. He dragged several built-in code blocks into the controller, and the sculpture-like machine moved, rattling. Rather captivated, I glimpsed the screen, finding a program comprising of uniformed boxes of instructions, each like a LEGO part but of no weight, no volume and with infinite plugs. That afternoon, I was excited to discover the ideal material for my creation-the codes. Unlike building with physical materials, programming does not require the designer to ponder the strength or other properties of the material. Under the grammatical rules, every part can be altered separately, every connection is acceptable, like writing a prose, disciplined but not constrained.

Long time had passed before I became adept in programming with C language, but all of my programs so far were used to perform specialized computations. "Is computation the all of a computer? If so, why isn't it a calculator?" I wondered. The puzzles solved months ago when I started to build elementary optical character recognizing algorithms. I learned that in order for a computer to recognize a character from pixels, a neuron-network classifier can be used. In the process, the computer firstly create a network consisting of computing nodes known as neurons to deal with simplistic judgments on the images' characteristics, and then other neurons make the final judgment based on the information provided by previous ones. Amazingly, the network alters connections between neurons to optimize itself so that it can recognize as many characters. I suddenly found that what I have created is a life, a life that can improve itself through learning! Unlike previous physical creations, this time I created a soul of the simplistic form. And computers are never calculators because they can have souls.

Computer science is more a study of life and ourselves than a derivative of math, physics, and logics. If they can recognize characters, they are able to read, speak, and be aware of themselves. I am willing to devote my future energy and knowledge to the improvement of the artificial intelligence, to create the colossus out of "LEGO blocks". And every revolution in technology brings about a whole world of possibilities, so will the AI. I believe that the soul of the computer will render human society infinite chances to survive and thrive.

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 28, 2015   #2
Gao, I never thought I would ever say this but, in order to properly edit your essay, we will first have to fix the grammar problems that exist. We need to do that so the thought process that you are trying to convey will, hopefully, become clearer and thus, allow the reviewer to better understand your response to the prompt. Let me help you out with that below.

Before THE AGE OF ten, I had created IMAGINATIVE ROBOTS AND OTHER MECHANICAL DEPICTIONS USING with LEGO blocks,
But when I firstly encountered computer programming, all of the former creations faded BECAME IRRELEVANT.

It was an afternoon . WHEN M my teacher was teaching the FIRST TAUGHT OUR CLASS OUR first lesson on IN programming the robot at OF the club.

Rather THOUGH captivated BY THE ROBOT, I glimpsed the screen
Under the grammatical PROGRAMMING rules, every part can be altered separately, every connection is acceptable, like SIMILAR TO writing a prose, disciplined but not constrained.

A L long time had passed before
"Is computation the all of THAT a computer CAN DO ? If so, why isn't it a calculator?" I wondered.
I started to build AN elementary optical character recognizing algorithms.
In the process, the computer firstly createS a network consisting of computing nodes
simplistic judgments on the images' IMAGE'S characteristics,
recognize as many characters AS POSSIBLE.
And THAT IS WHY computers are never calculators , because they can have souls.

And e Every revolution in technology brings about a whole world of possibilities, so will the AI ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.

Kindly apply these changes and then post the essay here again. Then we will work on polishing the content of your essay :-)
OP xanthorapedia 1 / 3  
Oct 29, 2015   #3
Ms. Louisa, I really appreciate your advice. Your help make the essay more easy to read. :-) I have accepted your changes, but there are still a couple of questions on the usage of words. Now can we move onto the content? I might have forgotten to say that the essay's word count has been above the limitation. Would you please help me make the essay more concise? Thank you!

Before the age of ten, I had created imaginative robots and other mechanical depictions using LEGO blocks, disposable chopsticks, and electronic components. But when I first ...
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 29, 2015   #4
I'd be more than happy to answer your questions Gao :-) Let me post the question and the answer below.

May I know how the word "irrelevant" is interpreted?
- The basic definition of irrelevant is something that is no longer connected with something. Therefore, in your paragraph, when you learned about computer coding in relation to robotics, the projects that you had as a child with the Lego bricks and chopsticks no longer had a connection with making things move as in the case of a robot. That is why I chose to say that those things were already irrelevant.

Isn't "rather" meaning "a little"? And why "though"?
- In this case, "rather", in your context meant that you indicated a preference. I opted to say "though" because it seemed like you were faced with two options and you had to make a decision. You decided to pay attention to the coding instead of the moving robot. Hence the term usage.

I hope I was able to clarify the questions you have. Please, don't hesitate to ask more questions if you need to. I am here to help :-) Now, let's review the content of your essay in regards to prompt responsiveness shall we?

It was an afternoon when my teacher first taught our class in programming the robot of the club
- We still need to clarify this sentence. It doesn't really make much sense. I would interpret this statement as follows:
"It was on a lazy club activity afternoon when my teacher decided to introduce a robot to us as part of our introduction to programming."

- Was I right to make a club reference? If not, just adjust the content of the sentence to reflect the essence of what I wrote.

I glimpsed AT the screen,

That is why computers are never calculators, because they can have souls.

These are the remaining problems that I found within your essay. I think that correcting them will create a final version of your essay that is ready to use. We can do one final proofread and grammar check after you apply the changes. By the way, what is the maximum word count? I just might be able to help you bring the word use down to an acceptable level.
OP xanthorapedia 1 / 3  
Oct 29, 2015   #5
Glad to see your reply! Here is the modified version of my essay. Yes, your answers perfectly clarified my problems ,and the several changes are effective. :-) But I still fear the essay will not be impressive enough to overcome my disadvantage on scores. I believe that it is inappropriate to bother you too much. So could you please tell me how to further polish my essay on my own? BTW, the essay is now 52 words above limit. Thank you for your help!
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 29, 2015   #6
Gao, truthfully, there is nothing that we can do about your test scores. You can only hope that the common app essays that you will be submitting will be effective enough to catch the attention of the reviewer. We can aim to present some unique aspect of yourself as a student, however, I am not sure that it will be effective in helping you. Remember, the transcript plays a more pivotal role in considering your qualifications as a student. However, your common app essays will also be considered during the adcom deliberations. Right now, we can just hope that your essay will be polished enough to at least help you earn consideration in the review process.

Don't worry about bothering me for assistance. I am here to help you out. That is what contributors do here :-) So bother away ! With regards to adjusting the word count, you can only do that by revising your paragraphs to become shorter. If you know how to rephrase the paragraphs, you will be able to lessen the word count immensely. It will also help if you would be willing to part with some portions of the essay that may seem irrelevant to the story you are trying to tell upon further review.

If you want to try and have a hand at shortening the essay by yourself, just remember two things :

1. Never lose the essence of the paragraph in the shortened version.
2. Consider removing whole paragraphs if they are either just pleading your case or trying to polish a statement that is not really that important to the essay.

Here's what we can do. I'll let you try to revise the essay to bring the word count down by yourself. I admire your desire to learn how to do this which is why I am willing to take the chance and let you try to do it. If you find that you need help, just sound the alarm and I'll jump in to help :-)
OP xanthorapedia 1 / 3  
Nov 1, 2015   #7
Thank you, Ms. Louisa. My application has been submitted successfully. The polish based on you advice is really helpful. I managed to bring down the word count bellow the limit and further enhanced effectiveness of sentences. I believe your kind help will definitely increase my possibility to be admitted. :-)


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