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Final Statements?

The deadline is February 1, 2006, 5pm. All I am really looking for at this point is grammar and spelling checks. Thanks.

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Schooling Ryan

While I haven’t spent every waking hour studying recently, the percentage of my life devoted to school is definitely a lot higher this quarter than last, despite what I suspected when I signed up for one less credit.

Computer Engineering Personal Statment, First Draft

When I first applied to the University of Washington in 2001, I listed my major of choice as Computer Science. I was accepted and even offered early admission to the CS program. Instead, I took a different path before ending up, in many ways, right where I had started – but with much more experience, motivation, and dedication, not to mention many more credits. I learned something very important about myself along the way as well. I discovered that I would not be happy as a pure “computer scientist.” Programming, in and of itself, did not resonate with me. Computer Science was not my calling. However, I also realized that computers and technology were far too interesting for me to not study them.

Along with my experiences working at Microvision and mentoring the Titan Robotics Club, I uncovered a truer passion – namely, embedded systems. Though similar in all the good ways to Computer Science, Computer Engineering struck me as the perfect blend of hardware and software, of theory and application. Though it’s a bit dramatic, as a computer scientist I always imagined myself trapped forever in a dark cubicle in front of a glowing monitor tapping away late into the night. As a computer engineer, I see myself in a somewhat brighter cubicle working not quite as late into the night, and enjoying myself a lot more. In short, I think that Computer Engineering is about balance – the right balance for me.

I believe that my unique experiences and accomplishments will bring a lot to the Computer Engineering program. For example, I am an active mentor with a FIRST Robotics team, the Titan Robotics Club (TRC), which I co-founded during my senior year in high school. The TRC had such an important impact on my life that when I returned to the area, I began working with the team again so that I could help other high school students have an experience similar to mine. Since I rejoined the TRC, the club has won back-to-back regional competitions and placed highly at The Championship (5th and 9th out of 300 teams). I say this not to boast (though I do like to brag about the kids on the team), but to show that I understand the motivation and dedication it takes to build a winning team.

Another example is my work experience at Microvision. Originally slated as a three to six month position, I have now been at it for nearly two years, and I have worked projects that I would never associate with an intern’s normal role – including business trips to meet with important clients and the development of mission-critical applications delivered to partners and consumers. The arrangement has been mutually beneficial – they provide flexibility and experience and I deliver high-quality work and timely results.

Finally, Computer Engineering is not my only interest. From my transcripts, you will see that I have chosen to take a wider variety of science and engineering classes than is necessary to apply to the department. This is because I genuinely enjoy learning about and understanding how our universe works and because, if I am so lucky as to be accepted to both Computer Engineering and Bioengineering, I plan to major in both. In my ideal future world, I would like to use this “Biocomputer Engineering” degree to facilitate the fusion of biological and computer systems to develop devices such as artificial eyes that could restore vision to the blind and enhance visual capabilities of normal human beings. I would also be quite happy to study Computer Engineering alone and concentrate on developing the types of embedded devices I currently work with at Microvision.

Bioengineering Personal Statement, First Draft

Although I did not know it at the time, I see now that my interest in Bioengineering first took root when I participated in the role-playing game Shadowrun. Based in the year 2050, the Shadowrun universe features a somewhat post-apocalyptic earth where magic and myth run amuck among a high-tech society that is the fusion of Japanese and American cultures. Yet in spite of the powerful magic spells and the intricate Matrix-esque world of the “deckers”, I found that for me, the most intriguing part of the Shadowrun world were the cybernetics – an assortment of electro-mechanical implants that would turn an ordinary individual into something extraordinary. My interest didn’t stop there, however. Unfulfilled by the limited offerings in the official “Sourcebooks,” my companions and I developed a completely new set of cybernetics and compiled the Rachman Catalog. While many of the details have faded in the years since I last played, I still clearly remember the slogan we placed on the front of the Rachman Catalog: “When the going gets tough, even the weak can go shopping.”

Years later, during my senior year in high school, I conducted a research project into cybernetics, though I quickly learned that the correct term was “bionics.” I was thrilled to learn about the state of the art, including the highly successful cochlear implant and the early work into restoring vision to the blind. Perhaps, if I had attended the UW then, I would have learned about the nascent Bioengineering department and enrolled. Instead, I took a different path, before eventually finding my way back here. Yet looking back through all the turmoil that led to my departure from BYU, I realized that at least some part of me knew what I really wanted to do all along – for when I finally sat down with an advisor, we were both amazed at how much of the Bioengineering curriculum I had already completed, without ever consciously planning to do any such thing.

Last quarter, I received warnings from two friends I met on a flag football team (of all places!), both of whom had left the Bioengineering program. They told me that the courses, especially the labs, were highly unstructured and often hard to parse or comprehend. While at the time I nodded sagely at their advice, upon reflection I realized that this is exactly how the real engineering world is. If my experience at Microvision is anything to go by, innovation rarely comes from following the well-trodden paths. Instead, innovators must take roads less traveled, perhaps stumbling on occasion, in order to learn and create. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that what my two friends had described was not only acceptable, but necessary for a cutting-edge program. If we are truly “inventing the future of medicine,” we cannot take Main Street and expect a novel destination. I am excited at the opportunity I have had to apply to this program and I can honestly say that I have never been more motivated or directed in my life.

I believe that my unique experiences and accomplishments will bring a lot to the Bioengineering program. For example, I am an active mentor with a FIRST Robotics team, the Titan Robotics Club (TRC), which I co-founded during my senior year in high school. The TRC had such an important impact on my life that when I returned to the area, I began working with the team again so that I could help other high school students have an experience similar to mine. Since I rejoined the TRC, the club has won back-to-back regional competitions and placed highly at The Championship (5th and 9th out of 300 teams). I say this not to boast (though I do like to brag about the kids on the team), but to show that I understand the motivation and dedication it takes to build a winning team. Another example is my work experience at Microvision. Originally slated as a three to six month position, I have now been at it for nearly two years, and I have worked projects that I would never associate with an intern’s normal role – including business trips to meet with important clients and the development of mission-critical applications delivered to partners and consumers. The arrangement has been mutually beneficial – they provide flexibility and experience and I deliver high-quality work and timely results. Finally, Bioengineering is not my only interest. From my transcripts, you will see that I have chosen to take a wider variety of science and technology classes than is necessary to apply to the department. This is because I genuinely enjoy learning about and understanding how our universe works and because, if I am so lucky as to be accepted to both Bioengineering and Computer Engineering, I plan to major in both.

If given the chance to graduate in Bioengineering at the UW, I cannot promise anything astonishing. I can, however, promise that I will devote myself to excelling in all aspects of the curriculum. Based on my record I hope you will agree that this is good enough.

Maneesh Joins the Blogosphere

Once You Go Brown…

Welcome to the club, Manizzle!!!

Inspiration

UPDATED:

I rewrote some portions to make it more closely follow the original…

R: Kickoff Saturday, wake up in the early mornin’
R: Call Bobby just to see how he’s doin’
B: Hello?
R: What up Bob!
B: Yo Elroy, what’s cracking?
R: You thinking what I’m thinking?
B: Kickoff
2: Then it’s happening
B: First the robot needs control with odometry
R: Lets google sourceforge and utilize some ANSI C!
B: No doubt that website is all about sharing!
R: I love open source like a wheel loves a bearing!

B: It’s two,
R: No six,
B: No twelve,
2: Pounds overweight!
R: That robot’s needs to diet
B: I’m drilling through that metal plate!

Where’s the kickoff playing?
At International dude
Well, lets hit up Yahoo maps to find the dopest route
I prefer MapQuest (Thats a good one too)
Google maps in the best (True that)
Double True!

R: To the TRC headquarters
B: What’s the game gonna be?
R: Lets get moving now, man.
B: Like Stack Attack, maybe?

–Chorus (repeating, switching off)–
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
–End Chorus–

R: Hit of Laird Plastics, TAP is overpriced
B: Got the purchase order,
R: gonna spend it all thrice!
B: Don’t want the judges to get suspicious
R: Aluminum and polycarb equals totally auspicious!
B: Walk up to the counter, pull out the P.O.
R: Girl actred like she’d never seen the T.R.C. before!
2: Its all about the drill press baby
B: Throw the goods in the trunk and we off like crazy

–Chorus (repeating, switching off)–
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
–End Chorus–

R: Roll up to the IPAC. Grab two crates full of good times.
R: You can call us R&B from the way we’re throwing down the rhymes
B: Parked in out seats, robotics trivia is key
R: What award did we win out-of-state in ‘03?
B: We answered so fast and then we let it slip
R: Now everyone knows it was entrepreneurship
B: Turn off our cell phones
R: We won’t talk to our clients
2: We’re about to learn of an engineered world of science!

–Chorus (repeating, switching off)–
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
–End Chorus–

While reading my Introduction to Digital Design Textbook this morning before class, I was hit with a flash of inspiration. To understand, you must first watch Saturday Night Live’s Diginal Short “Chronic (what) cles of Narnia.” My version is called the “TRC Rap.” It was originally written for a cast of Bobby and myself, but it would also work well with Dan (Marsh or Moretti) or anyone else whose name has one- and two-syllable versions.

R: is a line I say
B: is a line Bobby (or whoever) would say
2: is a line both say

R: Kickoff Saturday, wake up in the early mornin’
R: Call Bobby just to see how he’s doin’
B: Hello? R: Whatup Bob! B: Yo McElroy, what’s crackin’?
R: You thinking what I’m thinking?
B: Kickoff (2: Man its happening)
B: But first my mini sumo needs to control its electricity
R: Lets google sourceforge and utilize some ANSI C!
B: Man that website is all about sharing!
R: I love open source like a wheel loves a bearing!

R: Hit of Laird Plastics, TAP is overpriced
B: Got the purchase order, R: gonna spend it all thrice!
B: Don’t want the judges to get suspicious
R: Aluminum and polycarb equals totally auspicious!
B: Walk up to the counter, pull out the P.O.
R: Girl actred like she’d never seen the T.R.C. befo’!
2: Its all about the regional champs dude
B: Throw the goods in the trunk, now we’re in a good mood
–Chorus (repeating, switching off)–
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
–End Chorus–
R: Roll up to the IPAC (B: Give a shout out to the Titan Times)
R: You can call us R&B from the way we’re throwing down the rhymes
B: Sit down in the theater, robotics trivia is key
R: What award did we win out-of-state in ’03?
B: We both knew the answer, because we are so hip
R: But other teams didn’t know that it was entrepreneurship
B: Turn off our cell phones, we won’t talk to our clients
R: We’re about to learn of an engineered world of science!
–Chorus (repeating, switching off)–
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
–End Chorus–

How’s that for creativity?

Picking up right where I left off

Picking up right where you left off is usually a good thing, unless where you left off was this:

Spring Term 2002
  CHEM   351   001         Organic Chemistry                3.0  C    

Yeah, thats right. Organic Chemistry 1 was part of my Worst Term Ever, a very not-good part of my life. And after the first two quizes in my Chem 238 (OChem II) class here at the UW, I seem to be right on track to do just as well, or worse.

A wise man once told me that some day I would be in this situation, and how I dealt with it would be very important. Well, now we shall see how Ryan deals with it.