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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.

One Response to “Computer Engineering Personal Statment, First Draft”

  1. Ben McElroy Says:

    Ending is weak again and not as gung-ho and optimistic as your bioengineering one. In my ideal future – no! Say in the future. It is what you will do (unless something changes but you don’t tell them that – they inherently understand that things change).

    Anyhoo, make this as gung-ho as your bioengineering one and I think you’ll have a great statement. You know, less passive statements like “I would also be quite happy” -make that a I would like to study computer engineering (drop that “alone”) to better understand embedded devices and we can improve them and their functionality” of course add your own mark to it.

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