The essay I wrote for my Carnegie Mellon application.read more
I have read that college is "what you make of it" and it doesn't matter very much which college one attends. Although I agree that one can get a great education at an average college or an average education at a great college, I know that I do best in an environment where I can readily discuss my ideas with peers and teachers. I believe that Carnegie Mellon, with its high standards for admissions and its renowned faculty and alumni, will provide an excellent environment for me to pursue my studies.
I want to be around students who are interested and engaged; students who question things as I do; students who are going to test a formula before using it. I'm looking for a collaborative environment in which other students inspire me and share their insights. I want to work with people like me, people who really care about the basis of the topic and not the superficial aspects such as formulae. I want to be with people who can explain a formula with words and diagrams. Based on Carnegie Mellon’s small class sizes and diverse student body, I believe that it will provide the best environment for me to continue my studies in math and science.
One of my favorite aspects of science is that the conflicts of ideologies aren't resolved with weapons, warfare, and demagoguery but with reason and rationality. Moreover, these conflicts even promote scientific advancement as their resolution and the disproving of one thing or another is in the best interest of the entire scientific community because they are all united by one overarching objective: to uncover the truth about reality. Specifically, I'm drawn to Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science all for the same reason: I want to understand the universe by studying its phenomena and these three topics of study are the tools I need in order to do so. Mathematics is the most fundamental of these; math is direct, descriptive, and concise in representing our world.
I find Mathematics and Physics so profound because the laws discovered in their study not only existed before humans, but have existed since the beginning of time and space. This means we're discovering the indisputable and invariant laws of the cosmos. Thus, these discoveries are the closest to absolute truth one may achieve. This is remarkable. The inherent integration of mathematics and physics with reality provides them with a certain beauty that’s unique to the sciences. It is this beauty that attracts me.
I think that math’s infinite reach and multitude of approaches makes it the most formidable field. Just as there is not only one way to solve a problem, there is not only one way to understand a concept or principle of mathematics. Another appealing quality is the description of perceptibly inaccessible attributes/objects (such as the geometric 4th dimension) using mathematics.
However, the most interesting thing about the world, which Mathematics allows us to identify, is its interconnectedness. The relations between superficially discrete phenomena can become integrally connected from a comprehensive Mathematical view. The depth of Mathematics is incredibly intimidating and to understand even a fraction of it would be an incredible feat. If, as Richard Dawkins has said, science is the poetry of reality, then mathematics is the language of reality.