Why Major X Amplified - Engineering

The School of Engineering offers 9 concentration options, including Sc.B. degrees in Biomedical Engineering, Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, as well as an A.B. degree in Engineering, and a joint program with the Department of Physics leading to an Sc.B. degree in Engineering and Physics. Since there is a common core curriculum within Engineering, students need not select a specific area until their junior year. We are curious to know, however, if any particular program within Engineering presently appeals to you.

What experiences and/or courses beyond school work have broadened your interest in Engineering?

My path to engineering is a relatively straight line through a series of summer experiences starting with a visit to an orphanage in Soweto during a family vacation. I was in fifth grade and I spent most of the visit playing with the kids. I offered one little boy a piece of bubble gum. I had never seen anyone get this excited about gum. That’s when I realized what I wanted to do in life. I wanted to help people all over the globe.

Fast forward to middle school, where I discovered that my academic strength was math and learned about engineering thanks to two summers of Explo at Wellesley and Explo Yale. At Explo Wellesley, I took aeronautical engineering in a class of all boys (somewhat ironic to be the only girl in a course at Wellesley). We built rockets, and my wing design, which decreased the rocket’s height, but increased its length, was a winner. I took particular pleasure in the victory because all the boys were caught by surprise that “the girl” won.

It was the summer after my tenth grade year that it all came together in a realistic and achievable vision for my future. That summer, I participated in a month long program in the Dominican Republic focused on sustainability in the developing world. There we built biomass stoves for families in need -- a sustainable solution conceived by some engineer. My path to my dream was obvious: I would become an engineer who helped people all over the globe.

So last summer, when I was admitted to a highly selective, fully paid for, four-week program in science and mathematics, I did not hesitate. While there, I worked alongside really, really, really smart kids and was challenged by hard-core professors. By the end, I had the satisfaction of building a robot that followed me and I knew I wanted college to be just like camp. Engineering at Brown will be that and along the way I’ll figure out what variety of engineering will ultimately be my best match for my life’s work.