Common App Admissions Essays

Describe a place or environment - "The world of mathematics"

Prompt:

Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?


I get lost.

Ninth grade geometry began my fascination of the world and its principles. The unified and coherent system of geometry built around simple concepts--lines, circles, and polygons--captured my interest, as the idea of a system with so much clear depth seemed so unreal. How can an individual such as Euclid build such a strong base of conclusions? Soon after this class, I became lost in a world tied into my reality--a world which spurred an intellectual curiosity and greater understanding of the world that had to be built upon.

This happens to be the world of mathematics.

    The world of math is surrounded by treasures meant to be discovered. In a sea of unknowns, I find the answer with only a few scribbles, only a few careful deductions. With just a few observations, I can make predictions of the future--I become the psychic with symbols. In examining graphs, with their  paths dispersed in all directions, I can discover where these paths travel. I can see, and prove, where these graphs halt, fall into infinity, or split in their direction. Even with one’s velocity, I can discover their future destination. I can even discover the volume of shapes as contorted as the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This world is all fabricated. With just a few simple ideas, I build my understanding and explore this world further, and use what I know from this world and apply its ideas to what is reality. In this new world known as math, I am its explorer.

    It is these very explorations that have shaped my life and the direction I intend to go with it. My abilities to discover new forms of learning within math has served as both an escape and an aid. My work at Kumon Learning Center and my many tutoring ventures have intertwined with my love for service to allow me to not only discover new concepts and how others view them, but how I can shape them into different forms of problem solving. Even outside of work or volunteering, math is a leisure through the lectures I find on Coursera or MIT Courseware. In my future, I will find new direction in my explorations by seeking the seemingly endless quantities of mathematical knowledge at the university level. My goal is to breakdown the world of analysis--to discover the theorems and headaches of understanding infinity--and to apply this knowledge to other fields such as economics. With this appreciation I hold for math and its energetic depth, I will harness its energy and transfer my explorations onto others as a teacher or professor.

    But that is not to say that all the learning from math has been purely mathematical. Existing within an unexplored world allowed my mind to seek out all possible solutions to problems--ones that exist within math and ones within reality, as well. Immersing into the math world has revealed the multifacetedness of life; I have discovered that reality is more than a single perspective, and that every step within life lays new perspectives. The conflicts of today do not bound me by the consequences present in my life: the solutions and many perspectives I seek in problems within reality always exist, if given enough insight. My world is not meant to be bounded by unforeseen consequences or opinions; it is the world I shape on my own through my own explorations, and college will be yet another medium meant to be explored.


Insights from college advisor:

"It can be particularly difficult for students who are talented in math to articulate their interest through words, but you are a man of many talents. The way you see math as a medium to explore the world shows that you think subjectively. Your rich ideas on building a base of mathematical knowledge and applying this knowledge to other fields show that your thinking extends across multiple disciplines, a trademark that you share with Stanford. Not only that, but the way you intertwine your love of math with your love of service has allowed you to serve as a role model to others, and if your essays are any indication, that enthusiasm is contagious. Congratulations!"


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How to cite this essay (MLA)

Anonymous Student. "Describe a place or environment - "The world of mathematics"" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 22 Jun. 2017. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/common-app/describe-a-place-or-environment-the/>.
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