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NYU

1. We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. We are particularly interested in
knowing what motivated you to apply to NYU and more specifically, why you have
applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and/or
area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please tell us why you are
interested in each of the campuses, schools, colleges, or programs to which you have
applied. You may be focused or undecided, or simply open to the options within NYU’s
global network; regardless, we want to understand — Why NYU? (400 word
maximum) Commented [1]: Should I apply to Game Design or
Interactive Media Arts (which will be new starting Fall
396/400 2018)? It's possible to switch majors, correct?
I’ve felt the vague pull of an artistic future since I was 3 years old, but it wasn’t
until recently that I realized the true depth of my passion for visual art. It also wasn’t until
recently that I realized the “digital” aspect of “digital art” has a particular hold on me, and
this realization came because of my love for video games.
I like games for a bit of a strange reason: I absolutely love the mind-boggling
quality of their art and writing. When I step into the digital universe of Guild Wars 2, for
example, I’m obsessed with the fact that every digital leaf on every digital tree was
drawn, programmed, and placed by an actual person’s hand one day!
Programmers, artists, and musicians can make incredible works on their own, but
very few of them collaborate to the extent that game creators do. So, the more I was
exposed to interactive media, the more I wondered – what if I could contribute to
something like this?
As a result, I believe the multifaceted strength of both NYU’s artistic and
academic departments would be a fantastic fit for me. From the bustle of New York City
to the variety of courses offered, I think attending NYU would enable me to explore new
fields, push myself out of my comfort zone, and hone my current interests. If I wanted to
specialize, for example, the Tisch School’s Game Design BFA would be a great way to
fulfill my passion for video games in depth! Additionally, the new Interactive Media Arts
(IMA) BFA degree is particularly fascinating – I’d love to both create digital art and
understand exactly how that art is created.
Most importantly, however, the offerings at New York University resonate with
me because I love the idea of being a well-rounded individual. Even though I want to
pursue art, I also want to be able to crunch numbers, serve an ace, write a stellar essay,
and speak eloquently and confidently. The minimum of eleven required liberal arts
courses, when combined with the ability to take electives from the other incredible
schools at NYU, will ensure that I’m continually exploring a wide variety of ideas. I think
the sheer diversity of interests and passions at NYU make up an incredibly inspirational
environment – one that I would love to spend my next four years at.

Art Supplement
3. Videogame designers usually work in teams. What is it about you that makes
you a good team member?
1499/1500 characters
I love working in groups. Whether it's for our next AP Physics project or the next issue of
the school newspaper, I think collaboration makes seeing a final product that much
more satisfying. Teamwork makes it much easier to catch mistakes, find new ways to
problem-solve, or make improvements on any project. Since I've had experience
working both as a member of a large team and as a team leader, I think I've learned a
lot about how best to contribute to a larger cause in a wide variety of roles.
As a group member, I believe it's important to focus on your personal responsibilities,
but also imperative to offer your own thoughts. I've been an illustrator for my school
newspaper for the past 3 years, and even as leadership has changed over time, my
approach towards illustrating hasn't – I will always ask for clarification, offer
suggestions, and try and make a drawing as good as it can be.
As a leader, I think responsibility falls on you to hone a group's dynamic and productivity
until it is as strong as it can possibly be. Having a leadership role is not simply an
excuse one can use to command others at random. I've been the concertmaster of the
Glendale Youth Orchestra since 7th grade, and it is safe to say that my own growth and
personal development has been hugely shaped by attaining and retaining this position.
Over the years, I've gone from being an incredibly quiet, introverted person to unafraid
to speak out when I feel it will help our violin section perform better.
Yale
Academic Interests
Students at Yale have plenty of time to explore their academic interests before
committing to one or more major fields of study. Many students either modify
their original academic direction or change their minds entirely. As of this
moment, what academic areas seem to fit your interests or goals most
comfortably? Please indicate up to three from the list provided. Why do these
areas appeal to you?
Computing and the Arts
Art
Biology (Ecology and Evolutionary)
93/100
I’ve loved visual arts for as long as I can remember, and my recent introduction to digital
art has only increased my passion for painting. Digital art mediums such as 3D
modelling, graphic design, and even VFX are incredibly interesting fields that I would
love to explore, especially when combined with the capabilities of computer science. I
also love Ecology – last year, I realized my longtime love for nature forms the basis of
my fascination with interspecies interactions, and so I’d love to continue my studies of
the natural world at Yale!

What is it about Yale that has led you to apply? (125 words or fewer)
123/125
Yale’s academic rigor, artistic diversity, and social atmosphere really resonate with me.
Throughout my life, I’ve been able to explore a variety of different subjects outside of my
comfort zone, and so I’ve developed interests in activities that I otherwise never would
have imagined I would enjoy. As a result, I love the idea of being a well-rounded
individual – even though I want to pursue art, I also want to be able to crunch numbers,
serve an ace, write a stellar essay, and speak eloquently and confidently. Additionally,
Yale’s campus traditions and the residential college system sound incredibly fun! I firmly
believe a diverse education at Yale, filled with music, visual arts, and academic
excellence, would be the experience of a lifetime.

Applicants submitting either the Coalition Application or Common Application are


also asked to respond to the following short answer questions:
What inspires you? (35 words or fewer)
31/35
I am inspired by art. Whenever I stumble upon new sketches by renowned industry
professionals or even incredible young artists my age, I’m filled with the drive to create
and improve.
Yale’s residential colleges regularly host intimate conversations with guests
representing a wide range of experiences and accomplishments. What person,
past or present, would you invite to speak? What question would you ask? (35
words or fewer)
34/35
I would ask Anne Frank: “How do you feel knowing that your diary, intended to be a
collection of your most private thoughts, is now one of the most famous documents in
the world?”

You are teaching a Yale course. What is it called? (35 words or fewer)
28/35
I’d teach “Puns and Dad Jokes 101: The Art of Humor without Humor.” I’m both
unqualified to teach anything more complex and a natural expert in this field!

Most first-year Yale students live in suites of four to six people. What would you
contribute to the dynamic of your suite? (35 words or fewer)
35/35
I initially tend to be unassuming, but my quiet demeanor quickly morphs into an
unstoppable torrent of bad jokes. I love helping people, and I’m also always ready to
listen to other opinions and thoughts.

Please choose two of the following topics and respond to each in 250 words or
fewer.
1. What do you most enjoy learning?
Biology essay
2. Reflect on your engagement with a community to which you belong. How
do you feel you have contributed to this community?
Music essay

Optional Engineering and Computer Science Essay


If you selected one of the computer science or engineering majors, please tell us
more about what has led you to an interest in this field of study, what experiences
(if any) you have had in computer science or engineering, and what it is about
Yale’s program in this area that appeals to you. (Please answer in 500 words or
fewer.)
495/500
I’ve felt the vague pull of an artistic future since I was 3 years old, but it wasn’t
until recently that I realized the true depth of my passion for visual art. It also wasn’t until
recently that I realized the “digital” aspect of “digital art” has a particular hold on me, and
this realization came because of my love for video games.
I like games for a bit of a strange reason – I absolutely love the mind-boggling
quality of their art and writing. When I step into the digital universe of Guild Wars 2, for
example, I’m obsessed with the fact that every digital leaf on every digital tree was
drawn, programmed, and placed by an actual person’s hand one day!
Programmers, artists, and musicians can make incredible works on their own, but
very few of them collaborate to the extent that video game creators do. Even better,
after the game is finished, consumers will actually interact with the world that the
creators have worked so hard to craft! Successful video games, to me, are some of the
greatest examples of the power of artistic and digital collaboration. So, the more I was
exposed to the nature of games, the more I wondered – what if I could contribute to
something like this?
As a result, I tried to learn computer science. My schedule at school was too rigid
to accommodate CS courses until this year, so from a 30-day YouTube course on
HTML to simple Scratch tutorials, I’ve devoted some of my free time to these courses
with the goal of learning the basics. I’ve realized that with a language as simple as
Scratch, I can make programs that range from animated greeting cards to simple games
of ping-pong, so what could I accomplish if I had more resources and the capability to
give life to what is in my mind?
With this goal of exploration and synthesis in mind, I believe I would benefit
immensely from attending Yale and majoring in Computing and the Arts. I want to be Commented [2]: Did I write enough specifics for Yale?
able to explore my technological interests with a creative eye, and I want to focus my Maybe I should insert some course or professor
names?
artistic passion through a lens of careful mathematical analysis. I know my experience
with computer science has been limited thus far, but my passion for this field of
engineering and its capabilities is growing with every tutorial and class I take. Hopefully,
I’ll eventually reach the level required to contribute to (and even innovate within) the
field of game design, and maybe I’ll even discover a new passion along the way!
Overall, the thought of studying two very different subjects over the course of four
years is incredibly exciting – it would be a unique experience socially, academically, and
artistically. As a result, I think Computing and the Arts would be a fantastic major for me,
and regardless of my field of study, I believe Yale would be incredible place to spend
the next four years.
Carnegie Mellon University
Please submit a one page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have
chosen Carnegie Mellon and your particular major(s), department(s) or
program(s). This essay should include the reasons why you've chosen the
major(s), any goals or relevant work plans and any other information you would
like us to know. For freshmen applying to more than one college or program,
please mention each college or program to which you are applying. Because our
admission committees review applicants by college and program, your essay can
impact our final decision. Candidates applying for early decision or transfer may
apply to only one college and department. Commented [3]: Should I apply to Dietrich and the
School of Computer Science, or the School of
549/600 Computer Science and Mellon?

I believe Carnegie Mellon’s academic rigor, artistic diversity, and social


atmosphere make up a learning environment that would host the educational
experience of a lifetime. Between the wide variety of programs available and the
focused passion of both students and professors, I’d love to both expand and hone my
interests at this school!
My driving passion has always been visual arts. I’ve felt the vague pull of an
artistic future since I was 3 years old, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized the true
depth of my passion for visual art. It also wasn’t until recently that I realized the “digital”
aspect of “digital art” has a particular hold on me, and this realization came because of
my love for video games.
I like games for a strange reason – I absolutely love the mind-boggling quality of
their art and writing. When I step into the digital universe of Guild Wars 2, for example,
I’m obsessed with the fact that every digital leaf on every digital tree was drawn,
programmed, and placed by an actual person’s hand one day!
Programmers, artists, and musicians can make incredible works on their own, but
very few of them collaborate to the extent that video game creators do. Even better,
after the game is finished, consumers actually interact with the world that the creators
have worked so hard to craft! Successful video games, to me, are some of the greatest
examples of the power of artistic and digital collaboration. So, the more I was exposed
to the nature of games, the more I wondered – what if I could contribute to something
like this?
As a result, I believe the strength and diversity of Carnegie Mellon’s artistic and
academic departments would be a fantastic fit for my interests, and so I will be applying
to the School of Art, the School of Computer Science, and the Dietrich School of
Humanities. There are just so many interdisciplinary programs that encourage the
synthesis of completely different subjects, and this kind of synthesis is exactly what I
want to explore! The BXA Intercollege Degree programs are particularly fascinating for
me, as I think the Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA) degree program
would be a great avenue in which to explore my passion for both video games and art.
The Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology (IDeATe) network, which offers
undergraduate minors ranging from Game Design to Animation & Special Effects, would
be fantastic for helping me specialize even more on video game design.
Most importantly, however, the offerings at Carnegie Mellon resonate with me
because I love the idea of being a well-rounded individual. Even though I want to pursue
art, I also want to be able to crunch numbers, serve an ace, write a stellar essay, and
speak eloquently and confidently. From a year-long Latin elective in 7th grade to the
high school P.E. requirement that prompted me to join the tennis team, being pushed
out of my comfort zone and into completely unfamiliar settings has taught me how to
better grow from mistakes, adapt, and learn. I think the sheer diversity of interests and
passions at Carnegie Mellon will help me explore many different areas of study, and
develop interest in activities that I otherwise never could imagine I would enjoy.

List the books (if any) you've read this year for pleasure. Choose one and in a
sentence describe its impact on you. 500 word maximum

How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie) – As a naturally introverted
person, reading such an ambitious book had a great impact on the way I interact with
other people.
Color and Light (James Gurney)
Figure Drawing – Design and Invention (Michael Hampton)
Dynamic Bible (Peter Han)
Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth (Andrew Loomis)
The Harry Potter Series (J.K. Rowling) (I hadn’t read them prior to this year)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Ash (Malinda Lo)
Ready Player One (Ernest Cline)

Art Supplement
1. It's Wednesday, ten years from now. What are you working on?
At my job at (insert company name here), our team is currently hard at work on a new
virtual reality painting that will form the core environment of our upcoming video game.
As I walk into the studio, I pull on my own VR headset to admire the work we've already
done. The "painting" is really fully immersive and animated, complete with rustling flora
and shifting skies. The silhouettes of several strange creatures are already blocked in,
and our goal for today is to finish fleshing them out – one beast lunges wildly, another
crouches. We're on a tight schedule, but I know we'll pull through.
2. What are you afraid of (in your creative process)?
I'm afraid that no matter how hard I work, I just won't be able to "catch up" to the
incredible students and experienced professionals already saturating the visual arts
industry. I'm afraid that I will lack both the skill and creativity to make a name for myself.
I'm also afraid that I'm not skilled or creative enough at this moment – sure, I can study
anatomy and sketch portraits all day, but am I really contributing something fresh and
new to the community at large? Will I really be able to succeed as a professional artist?
I just have so much more to improve. The future seems distant.
3. Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
I have a dark mark on my neck from playing violin. Most dub it a "violin hickey." It's
ironically a badge of pride for most violinists.
Vassar
Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work
experiences in the space below. [350 words] Commented [4]: Yet another variation on the music
essay
350/350
Before high school, my impression of classical music can be summarized in one
word: familiar.
Every aspect of the concert hall, from the performers’ gleaming instruments to
the sweeping architecture of Disney Hall, was polished and refined. The deft flow of my
mom’s fingers as she practiced particularly difficult passages, her array of black concert
dresses lined up in the closet, and the many youth concerts I attended made classical
music a routine, constant presence in my life. As I began to play, practice and perform
violin more actively myself, I also increasingly took the presence of music in my life for
granted.
During my sophomore year, however, my perception of music changed
completely.
In a conversation with Mr. Vijay Gupta, one of my mother’s colleagues in the LA
Philharmonic, I learned that he formed an organization called Street Symphony: they
regularly perform free concerts for the homeless and incarcerated. I was touched, and
saw a new aspect of music that I hadn’t explored before – its ability to transcend
boundaries. My friends and I were given the amazing opportunity to perform on behalf
of their organization.
We performed one of Beethoven’s string quartets for a packed house in the heart
of Skid Row. Here, we were far from the suits, formal dresses, and shining halls from
my childhood. Many had their entire life’s possessions on them in shopping carts or
trash bags. Even so, our audience listened eagerly, empathized with stories I told of
Beethoven’s lifetime struggle with deafness, asked thought-provoking questions
between pieces, and applauded vigorously with shouts of “Bravo!” when we finished.
They were the most supportive listeners we had ever performed for.
The role of classical music in my life has changed drastically since I first began
playing violin. There will always be school concerts that I’ll perform at or competitions to
participate in, but it’s incredibly important to remember that music, at its core, is art: it is
meant to be created, shared and enjoyed. As the renowned conductor Gustavo
Dudamel said in 2009, “Music is a universal human right.” I can’t agree enough.

How did you learn about Vassar and what aspect of our college do you find
appealing? [350 words] Commented [5]: Should I underline course/program
names to make them stand out?
I love that Vassar gives their students the freedom of choice.
I first learned about Vassar when researching liberal arts schools that would fit
my incredibly scattered interests. While most people seem to want to specialize in
particular topics in college, I’m feeling the opposite!
Even though I want to pursue art, I also want to be able to crunch numbers,
serve an ace, write a stellar essay, and speak eloquently and confidently. As a result, I
believe Vassar would be an amazing place to shape my intellectual growth for the next
five years. Vassar’s emphasis on both technology and the arts would greatly enhance
my growth in fields such as ecology, music, visual arts, and computer science. I could
even join the tennis team!
Additionally, the sheer variety in Vassar’s academic departments is pleasantly
overwhelming – with classes that range from A Prehistoric Perspective on Climate
Change (ENST 187) to The Comics Course (MEDS 281), I would love being able to
choose from such a wide selection of very specific courses. I’m especially interested in
the prospect of only attending professor-taught courses, which will help ensure that all
of Vassar’s classes are taught by passionate, experienced educators. The cooperative Commented [6]: Is this an awkward thing to say?
academic atmosphere of the school and the plethora of campus traditions also make
Vassar a unique, uplifting college that I would love to attend.
In addition to Vassar’s multitude of classes and great school spirit, the lack of a
core curriculum is an idea that I’m especially drawn to. I feel having no core
requirements would be both incredibly freeing as well as a personal challenge – I have
always gone through my education surrounded by the familiar topics of math, foreign
language, English, and history – so I would love being able to control my education to
such an extent. However, I also can’t imagine leaving behind the subjects I’ve studied
for years. Regardless of whether I decide to keep studying every core class, having an
open curriculum ensures the classes I attend will be filled with diverse students united
by a common passion for learning.
Tufts
Now we’d like to know a little bit more about you. Please respond to one of the
following six questions (200-250 words).

3. Artist Bruce Nauman once said, “One of the factors that still keeps me in the
studio is that every so often I have to more or less start all over.” Everyone
deals with failure differently; for most artists failure is an opportunity to start
something new. Tell us about a time when you have failed and how that has Commented [7]: Also, I wanted to verify - since I'm
influenced your art practice. applying to the dual degree at Tufts, one of the teacher
recommendations being sent in will be Ms. Hall's,
234/250 correct?
Commented [8]: They changed the prompt, so I
I’ll be honest: I’m not the most competitive tennis player. mashed my tennis essay into art.
In 9th grade, my first few weeks of playing tennis on a high school team were
marked by inconsistent serves, weak volleys, and an ugly wave of disappointment that
would rear its head whenever I’d miss a point and let my doubles partner down.
However, the next two years were drastically different - from braving 120º tennis
courts during a summer camp to cheering for our team captain in a nail-biting 10-8
match, I felt joy in being a part of a sports team. Still, though joining the team helped
me grow, leaving it behind has made me realize just how much I’ve grown.
So in art, when I feel frustrated with my lack of ideas, flawed values, or
deformed anatomy, I remind myself that seeing my mistakes is better than not noticing
them at all. I may not know how to fix these mistakes immediately, and sometimes I
don’t even know what exactly is wrong with a wonky piece. Still, I’ve come to realize
over the past few years that one of my favorite parts of improving is actually noticing
my improvement – for example, sketches that I thought were fantastic a year ago
actually look ridiculous now!
Through tennis, I’ve learned to be less afraid of failure: what feels like failure in
one moment is most likely a step to improvement in another.
To do: NYU
Personal essay revision:
I don’t believe in talent.
“You’re so talented!” “Wow, I wish I had your talent!” and other variations of these compliments
are what I usually hear towards any display of artistic, musical, or athletic skill. On the occasion that these
comments are directed at my drawings, I always laugh inwardly: I didn’t even like art to begin with.
On an average day, stubby pencils and even stubbier erasers are scattered around my desk,
while old sketchbooks are stacked haphazardly on shelves. My pencil box overflows with too many black
drawing pens, and every few minutes, I’ll distractedly pick one up to scrawl a messy sketch on the edge
of my homework. Is it talent that drives my hand to produce an endless supply of discarded ideas next to
the 2nd law of thermodynamics? Isn’t being talented at something supposed to make it magically easier?
Art permeates a considerable amount of my life. As a result, I’d like to voice a pet peeve that’s
been quietly festering for a while now.
Throughout elementary and middle school, I would churn out 1-2 pieces every few months during
obligatory weekly art classes; meanwhile, my personal sketchbook and collection of art supplies would
gather dust for weeks at a time. Even then, I told everyone that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up - I
expected to magically become a great painter without putting in any work. In the middle of my tenth grade
summer, however, my perspective was drastically shifted.
On one of many lazy afternoons in August 2016, I stumbled upon an online art forum. Users
could post their artwork anonymously for candid critique, so I confidently posted a couple of rough portrait
sketches to show off my skill. Instead, I goggled at the screen as others critiqued my lack of anatomical
knowledge and shaky pencil strokes, and even directed me to the site’s beginner section for further help!
It was an overwhelming truth to accept - I thought I was “talented” like my peers and family friends had
told me for so long, but I wasn’t even close. While this easily could have diverted me from an artistic
future, the opposite happened.
That summer, I found my passion. I finally started learning digital art on the tablet I got in seventh
grade, I read all of Andrew Loomis’ Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth, and I kept posting on the art forum
that first prompted me to improve. Joining such a strong community of artists gave me the motivation to
keep practicing. After only one short month of determined drawing, I could see a significant difference in
the quality of my art.
In junior year, my new skills were immediately put to the test when I was asked to advertise my
school’s production of Les Miserables. I was ecstatic - this was the largest artistic responsibility I’d ever
received! In the busy months before winter break, I spent six weeks frantically balancing school work,
violin, and tennis to produce the designs for a playbill and a gigantic poster. When I finished, and the
poster was finally displayed on the exposed wall of our English building, I felt a surge of pride as others
walked past and inevitably glanced up towards the glowing, backlit figure of Éponine. Although I could still
identify major flaws in the piece, friends would remark that I was “talented.” After so many hours of
painting, hearing their kind words was extremely rewarding, but now I know for myself the amount of work
that goes into “talent.”
Nowadays, I treasure the increasingly rare moments of undisturbed drawing time I can find. On
good weekends, I can hide in my room for hours at a time, busily perfecting a colorful portrait study or
sketching pages of thumbnails. As my hands fly over my new tablet and my brain frantically scans for
errors in my drawing, I know that even if I don’t get it right the first time, I can always try again. I can go as
far as my passion takes me.
ALREADY CHECKED
Brown(-RISD)
5. Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated earlier in this
application? If you are "undecided" or not sure which Brown concentrations
match your interests, consider describing more generally the academic topics or
modes of thought that engage you currently. (150 word limit)

145/150 words

I’ve always been fascinated by nature: as a 5-year-old, I would fearlessly keep


company with the friendly spiders in my garage; all throughout my life, copies of Planet
Earth have accompanied our yearly road trips to Colorado; and calm fields, thick storm
clouds, and flowing rivers have always been go-to comfort drawings in my sketchbooks.
Thus, when I took AP Biology last year, I shouldn’t have been surprised to realize my
favorite unit was Ecology.
When studying Ecology last year, learning about the interplay between species
and environments only served to reinforce the passion for nature that I had harbored
since childhood. I was able to link the physical aspects of life on Earth that I love so
much with the actual ways that they function! From the destruction of pollution to
predator-prey cycles, the tangible aspects of life on earth are endlessly interesting.

6. Why Brown, and why the Brown Curriculum? (200 word limit) Commented [9]: You did a great job communicating
passion in your response to this!
222/200 words

I love that Brown gives their students the freedom of choice.

First, the sheer variety in Brown’s academic departments is pleasantly


overwhelming. For example, Brown’s computer science offerings range from Virtual
Reality Design to Computer Systems Security, and I would definitely enjoy being able to
choose from a wide selection of very specific courses. Additionally, the relaxed
academic atmosphere of the school, the option to cross-register for classes at RISD,
and the emphasis that professors place on undergraduates are traits that, combined,
make Brown an incredibly unique college that I would love to attend.

Most importantly, Brown’s open curriculum seems extremely fitting for my


scattered interests. Between ecology, English, visual arts, and computer science, I’d
love to be a student in extremely different classes unified by a similar enthusiasm for
learning. I feel having no core requirements would be both incredibly freeing as well as
a personal challenge – I have always gone through my education surrounded by the
familiar topics of math, foreign language, English, and history – so I would enjoy being
able to control my education to such an extent, but I also can’t imagine leaving behind
the subjects I’ve studied for years. Regardless of whether I decide to keep studying Commented [10]: I like that. It's honest and
interesting. Good inclusion.
every core class, having an open curriculum ensures the classes I attend will be
thoroughly fulfilling learning experiences.

9. The Brown|RISD A.B./B.F.A. Dual Degree program provides an opportunity to


explore your interests and prepare for the future in two distinct learning
environments. Considering your understanding of both academic programs,
describe how and why the specific combination of the art/design-focused
curriculum of RISD and the wide-ranging courses and curricula of Brown could
constitute an optimal undergraduate education for you

(updated only the last paragraph)

637/650 words
I’ve felt the vague pull of an artistic future since I was 3 years old, but it wasn’t
until recently that I realized the true depth of my passion for visual art. It also wasn’t until
recently that I realized the “digital” aspect of “digital art” has a particular hold on me, and
this realization came because of my love for video games.
I like games for a strange reason – I absolutely love the mind-boggling quality of
their art and writing. When I step into the digital universe of Guild Wars 2, for example,
I’m obsessed with the fact that every digital leaf on every digital tree was drawn,
programmed, and placed by an actual person’s hand one day!
Guild Wars 2 is a name you might never have heard of, but what made this game
stand out in my mind was when I learned about the creative process behind it. The
company responsible for the game is a team of approximately 400 people, and this tiny
group has essentially created an entire fictional continent. The game has icy mountain
ranges, sprawling metropolises, burning deserts, and humid jungles infested with
bloodthirsty raptor-creatures, and every single detail was made from scratch. It would
take dozens of hours on end just to run from one side of the world to the other!
Programmers, artists, and musicians can make incredible works on their own, but
very few of them collaborate to the extent that video game creators do. Even better,
after the game is finished, consumers actually interact with the world that the creators
have worked so hard to craft! Successful video games, to me, are some of the greatest
examples of the power of artistic and digital collaboration. So, the more I was exposed
to the nature of games, the more I wondered – what if I could contribute to something
like this?
As a result, I tried to learn computer science. My schedule at school was too rigid
to accommodate CS courses until this year, so from a 30-day YouTube course on
HTML to simple Scratch tutorials, I’ve devoted some of my free time to these courses
with the goal of learning the basics. I’ve realized that with a language as simple as
Scratch, I can make programs that range from animated greeting cards to simple games
of ping-pong, so what could I accomplish if I had more resources and the capability to
give life to what is in my mind?
I want to make immersive, engaging worlds that others can actually take part in
and enjoy. No matter how large or small of an impact I make on a game – whether I’m
the sole creator, or one of many hands working on programming and drawing tiny rocks
and pebbles – I want to help make something that can totally envelop someone else’s
mind for a few hours. I want them to feel the simple wonder that I’ve felt while gazing
into digital clouds and sunsets. With this goal in mind, I would benefit immensely from
attending the Dual Degree program.
The thought of being a student simultaneously at two very different, wonderful
colleges is incredibly exciting – it would be a unique experience socially, academically,
and artistically. Brown’s open curriculum would sate my curiosity for English, classical
music, ecology, computer science, and even art, but I couldn’t imagine just cross-
registering in RISD courses while giving up the immense value of actually being a RISD
student. The rigor of RISD’s classes, the faculty members’ inspirational creativity, and
the collective passion of the students make up a learning environment that I know would
host the artistic education of a lifetime. As a result, I believe the Brown-RISD Dual Commented [11]: nice wording
Degree Program would be a fantastic fit for me, and an incredible place to spend the
next 5 years.
Columbia
In 150 words or fewer, please list a few words or phrases that describe your ideal
college community. Commented [12]: I like this question and your
response
147/150

● Spirited
○ My ideal college would be filled with enthusiastic students that are united
by not just a common major, but also the college’s identity. Columbia’s
plethora of campus traditions sound especially exciting!
● Community
○ The most important part of a college community is the nature of the
community itself - professors, students, maintenance staff, and
administrators work together to nurture kindness, care, and cooperation.
● Passionate
○ Passion is inspiring and powerful, and passionate individuals make a
passionate community. A passionate community united by a goal, vision,
or ideal is unstoppable!
● Creative
○ Whether it’s in STEM, creative writing, or visual art, I think any part of a
college community should be willing to listen, adapt, and problem-solve in
novel ways.
● Empathetic
○ Empathy makes the world go round! Regardless of anyone’s political
beliefs, social background, financial situation, academic interests, etc., I
believe empathy is key to a kind, united, and thoughtful environment.

Please list the following. It is not necessary to italicize or underline books or


other publications. Author names may be included, but are not required. You may
use semicolons or colons instead of line breaks to separate items. Lists do not
need to be numbered or in any specific order: Commented [13]: Good list!

the titles of the required readings from courses during the school year or summer
that you enjoyed most in the past year;
● The Ice Palace (Tarjei Vesaas)
● Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
● The Scarlet Letter
● Frankenstein
● Wuthering Heights
the titles of books read for pleasure that you enjoyed most in the past year;
● Color and Light (James Gurney)
● Figure Drawing - Design and Invention (Michael Hampton)
● Dynamic Bible (Peter Han)
● Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth (Andrew Loomis)
● How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
● The Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling (I hadn’t read them prior to this year) Commented [14]: hadn't
○ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
○ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
○ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
○ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
○ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
○ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
○ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
the titles of print or electronic publications you read regularly;
● LA Times
● New York Times
● Wall Street Journal
● Popular Science
● ImagineFX
● Artist blogs:
○ Gurney Journey (James Gurney, artist and author)
○ Artprof.org (Clara Lieu, Visual Artist & Adjunct Professor at RISD)
○ Vetyr (Syd Mills, freshman engineer and visual artist at Cornell University)
○ Zephy0 (Angela He, freshman programmer and visual artist at Stanford
University)
○ Awanqi.com (Angela Wang, illustrator)
○ Barnaby Dixon (stop-motion animator, puppeteer)
and the titles of the films, concerts, shows, exhibits, lectures and other
entertainments you enjoyed most in the past year.
● Exhibits:
○ Norton Simon - Maven of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in California
○ Norton Simon - regular visits (2013-2017)
○ Anime Expo (2016-2017)
● Film:
○ Your Name (Makoto Shinkai)
○ Logan
○ Wonder Woman
● Other:
○ Cirque du Soleil: The Beatles LOVE (2017)

SHORT ANSWER:

1. Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why.
I’ve technically been taking required courses since preschool, and these
requirements have played a huge role in expanding my intellectual growth. As a result, I
think most students tend to want to specialize in a particular subject or two after high
school, but right now, I’m feeling the exact opposite!
Columbia’s Core Curriculum resonates with me because I love the idea of being
a well-rounded individual. Even though I want to pursue art, I also want to be able to
crunch numbers, serve an ace, write a stellar essay, and speak eloquently and
confidently. I think the classes at Columbia would be an amazing asset to my overall
growth – I have only heard praise for classes such as Literature Humanities and
Contemporary Civilization, and being able to take them would be an incredibly unique
cultural learning experience. Also, requiring two specific classes for all undergraduates
means I would be able to share a common classroom experience with every other
undergraduate student at the school! I think this is probably a great source of school
unity, a huge prompt for interesting intellectual discussion, and a solid icebreaker for
complete strangers.
Most importantly, having course requirements throughout my life enabled me to
explore more and develop interests in activities that I otherwise never would have
imagined I would enjoy. I’ve gone from being completely unconfident in my STEM ability
to extremely interested in ecology, for example. From a year-long Latin elective in 7th
grade to the high school P.E. requirement that prompted me to join the tennis team,
being pushed out of my comfort zone and into completely unfamiliar settings has taught
me how to better grow from mistakes, adapt, and learn. I hope to continue exploring in
college!
2. If you are applying to Columbia College, tell us what from your current and past
experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or
fields of study that you noted in the Member Questions section. If you are
currently undecided, please write about any field or fields in which you may have
an interest at this time

(shortened version of video game essay) Commented [15]: nice edit

I’ve felt the vague pull of an artistic future since I was 3 years old, but it wasn’t
until recently that I realized the depth of my passion for visual art. It also wasn’t until
recently that I realized the “digital” aspect of “digital art” has a particular hold on me, and
this realization came because of my love for video games.
I like games for a bit of a strange reason – the mind-boggling quality of their art
and writing. When I step into one of the fictional countries of Guild Wars 2, for example, Commented [16]: This is your best version of this
transition sentence. Use this in the other versions of
all I can think about is that every digital leaf on every digital tree was crafted by an this essay rather than the clunkier transition to GW2
actual person’s hand one day. This level of care ensures that the game renders icy that you made in the other versions. Also, I note that
you didn't use the game's full name in the other
mountain ranges, burning deserts, and humid jungles in incredibly realistic detail. versions of this essay, which might be helpful.
Programmers, artists, and musicians can make incredible works on their own, but very
few of them can collaborate and say “you know, I helped make a fictional country at
work today!” The more I was exposed to this game, the more I wondered, what if I could
contribute to something like this?
Programmers, artists, and musicians can make incredible works on their own, but
very few of them collaborate to the extent that video game creators do. Additionally,
after the game is finished, consumers actually interact with the world that the creators
have worked so hard to craft.
The sheer versatility of interactive media is incredible, and I’m fascinated by the
unlimited possibilities of this contemporary medium. I want to make something that can
totally envelop someone else’s mind for a few hours; I want others to feel the simple
wonder that I’ve felt while gazing into digital clouds and sunsets.