Personal Statement

July 1, 2004 at 11:57 PM

I finished my personal statement (and therefore my application) for Computer Science. Here it is...

     Computer systems have interested me since I was eight years old, when I discovered my parent's Kaypro IV personal computer. This machine revealed to me the world of O-BASIC, rich with games to play, lose, and later win by altering the source code. My interest in computers has not relinquished since then, but instead has grown into a passion-a passion which, rather than simply serving my own interests, is expanding into an unusual arena. At the student organization I attend, I recently heard a speaker who made the case for spending time serving in Africa-having organized a college in Malawi, he addressed us to convey the reality of need in such countries. One footnote to his presentation that especially caught my attention was the college's need for skilled computer experts. If possible, I would like to someday aid them in this capacity-perhaps after completing some graduate work.

     Having tutored students during high school and college in math, chemistry, English, and computer science, teaching has always come easily to me. Whether in an instruction capacity or otherwise, I aspire to use my passion for computers to enrich others' lives. Within computer science itself, I am interested in image recognition, artificial intelligence, and operating system design; however, my interest is not limited to abstract computer problems. A degree in computer science would enable me to enrich the lives real people while exploring a world I love.

     As can be seen from the courses I take, I also have an interest in literature. I have decided that whatever my primary degree is, I am going to pursue it as part of a double degree alongside English. The contrast presented between my two passions thrills me; I enjoy writing papers on subjective literary interpretations for one class, and then learning and implementing concrete algorithms in another. While its implications are mostly true of me, the computer nerd stereotype is only a sub-section of my personality. I read philosophy, play the trumpet, mentor junior high and high school students, make pie crust, and write poetry; I contribute something unique to any and every community I am a part of.

     The winter and spring quarters of my freshman year show rather significant low points in my GPA due to a recurring illness. This same illness has hospitalized me on a handful of occasions over the past few years; but, as my grades from this second year show, I have learned how best to deal with it while working and taking classes. With three consecutive quarters on and above the requirements of the Dean's list, I would suggest that my GPA will only rise as I continue school-especially while completing a major that encapsulates interests of mine so neatly.

     Experiencing this hardship influenced where I want to take an education in computer science by helping me realize that while school and work are important, one must not treat them as an end in themselves. A degree in computer science would allow me to direct the talents and passions that I have towards important problems. Already, I volunteer my time building websites for churches, a student organization, and a band-I would like to take the next step and work on products or projects that would cause wide-reaching effects and help improve our world. I believe a degree in computer science would best equip me to serve in this capacity.