Cryptography at Carnegie

Please submit a one-page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen your major, department or program. This essay should include the reasons why you've chosen the major, any goals or relevant work plans and any other information you would like us to know. If you are applying to more than one college or program, please mention each college or program you are applying to. Because our admission committees review applicants by college and programs, your essay can impact our final decision. Please do not exceed one page for this essay.


I firmly believe that there exists an inborn connection between the fields of mathematics and language. This understanding has always come to me intuitively, and yet every English teacher I’ve ever had has asserted his or her dislike or even downright loathing for numbers. My math teachers, too, often justify typos in handouts by saying, “That’s why I’m not an English teacher!” Only my Algebra II teacher in eighth grade, Ms. Steffero, confirmed my theory that the two disciplines can in fact coexist peacefully.

Whenever I see any word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph, I immediately find myself searching for patterns and hidden meanings in the text. Perhaps there is a higher being that slips these hidden messages into the writings of humans and entertains itself by watching us puzzle over them. Every aspect of writing has special significance for me: I scrutinize sentence structure, capitalization, and even the spacing between words to see if I can extract another meaning from the combination of letters that lies before me. Couldn’t every sentence in existence arguably have been created by the proverbial monkey on a typewriter? Why, then, should there not be multiple meanings to every supposedly random sequence of letters and...

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