Why Major X - Biomedical Engineering

Essay Prompt

For applicants to The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, please 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. (300 words or less)

Sample Essay

Age 9. My first ever science experiment. My hands trembled as I carefully poured the vinegar into the seemingly mile deep crater of my home-made volcano. Whoosh. Suddenly this burst of red fizzing liquid rushed out. What makes it fizz? What causes such a violent reaction between the two substances? How can I make the explosion even bigger? It was at this moment that my lifelong passion for science was ignited.

Age 14. I am diagnosed with insulin resistance, the precursor disease to diabetes. Having watched my grandparents suffer with significant consequences from their own diabetes, I resolve to do what I can to keep from developing diabetes and I begin thinking about a future in biomedical engineering. I’ve been told that there are promising possibilities for an artificial pancreas.

Age 16. My first real lab experience. Sitting at my own little workstation of Dr. White's lab, a mold and a chip are in front of me. First thing to do today: make the PDMS gel. I measure it out, taking care to pour exactly 10.01 grams into the mold. Oops. Too much. Start over. Okay. Right amount. Now, checking the clock, I discover that the gel is finished curing. Next, I carefully put it under the "purple lightning" machine, covering it in O3. A mistake. I have to start the whole thing again. Finally, ready for the last step. Insert the chip and the small plastic tubes. Carefully, carefully. Success!!!!! What try is this? 10th, 11th, 12th? I'm not sure. But, finally, I have a prototype that I can actually use to prove the concept. Will this business card size device really detect the earliest stage of cancer? It looks promising and I'm totally hooked. This is my future if I pursue biomedical engineering.

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