My supplementals for Princeton.

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Using a favorite quotation from an essay or book you have read in the last three years as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world. Please write the quotation at the beginning of your essay. “The students were all sitting there taking dictation, and when the professor repeated the sentence, they checked it to make sure they wrote it down all right. Then they wrote down the next sentence, and on and on. I was the only one who knew the professor was talking about objects with the same moment of inertia, and it was hard to figure out...So, you see, they could pass the examinations, and ‘learn’ all this stuff, and not know anything at all, except what they had memorized” - Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman! In the beginning of my 10th grade year, prior to taking Calculus or even being aware of what it entailed, I investigated the equation for finding the area of a sector of a circle. I wanted to be able to visualize the equation at work. I wanted to see beyond the formula. In what came to be common practice for endeavors like these, I imagined each part of the equation as a geometric object on my piece of paper. I was then faced with the challenge of rearranging a square area to fit in a circle. To fit the circle’s curvature, I imagined taking a very large number of nearly width-less rectangles whose length was the circle’s radius from the square area and staggering them so that they began at the center of the circle and ended on the circle’s edge. Maintaining all quantities in the formula, I was able to rearrange the equation to embody this new outlook by taking the sum of these very small but numerous rectangles. All the other terms in the equation simply represented how much of circle’s area was being calculated. I brought the idea to my math teacher and she said that I had discovered integral Calculus. I found it remarkable that I had been able to discover an entire area of study by pursuing a simple question asked of a simple formula. Since that time, I've always been eager to further explore what I learn in school. I’ve challenged myself to think; I’ve made the extra effort to question. I’ve done so without extrinsic incentive and sometimes even against resistance. Consequently, I’ve developed a personalized methodology oriented around spatial reasoning to enhance my learning.


I have sufficiently detailed my work experience at the Physical Chemistry lab last summer. However, my work with Summer Ventures in Science and Math the summer prior is mentioned only briefly in the Activities section of the Common App. To elaborate: This is a state-funded program administered by the North Carolina School of Science and Math. Over the course of 4 weeks, we learned experimental design, laboratory skills, instrumentation, mathematical modeling, strategies in mathematical problem solving, and exploratory data analysis. Having recently read "Chaos: Making a New Science" by James Gleick, I designed an experiment based on dynamical systems. I analyzed the motion of a two mass system and a motor-driven inverted pendulum. Through this experiment, I learned how to represent motion using differential equations. I thoroughly enjoyed being surrounded by people who, like me, were keenly interested in math and science. I fit in perfectly with the other attendees. I know Princeton has a similar population of students, and I look forward to spending my college years with such excellent scholars.