What Would You Say Is Your Greatest Talent Or Skill?
As it turned out, MOOCs were a way for professors around the world to teach their classes online for free. Like most others, my thoughts on online education mostly revolved around second-rate scams and suspicious for-profit institutions (I’m looking at you, DeVry). However, curiosity got ahold of me, and I quickly signed up for several courses. As it turned out, these courses were structured similarly to college classes; they consisted of weekly video lectures and a forum for collaboration between the tens of thousands of people that used them. The weeks in my first year of high school sped past as I balanced the workloads of my online and school courses. Calculus and Mechanical Physics confronted me one semester; in another, I tackled Differential Equations and Computer Security. Completing these courses not only gave me the knowledge that I had craved, it also exposed me to mindsets of people across the globe. As we worked side by side to tackle difficult problems or finish group projects, I understood that communication was paramount to …show more content…
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. The ticking noise of the clock pounds in my ears, amplified by the stress of long travel and no sleep for several days. My eyes, marked by dark bags, glaze over as my mind drifts to my warm hotel bed several miles away. Shaking myself awake, I gaze at the set of 25 math problems in front of me, thinking back to how I got here: 400 miles from home, competing in the prestigious Caltech math tournament. Even as a child, I have always had a passion for the seemingly magical properties of numbers. Intricate mathematical designs, known as fractals, mesmerized me with their infinite beauty, while the magic of primes and composites enraptured my soul. As I grew, the concepts discussed in my standard math classes only led to questions, questions that couldn’t be answered by the curriculum.
I pushed myself further and found solace in the COSMOS program at UC Davis. Our studies of cutting-edge mathematical research opened my eyes to the world beyond textbook math. Complex topological spaces danced like algebraic lava lamps in front of my eyes, while origami advanced from being the art of pieces of paper to complicated mathematical