Red Team Inspiration

Please submit a one-page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen Carnegie Mellon and your particular 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


I will admit: computer science has not always fascinated me like it does today. As the son of a software engineer, I did not find take-your-child-to-work day particularly appealing. Seeing my father constantly work on the computer had given me a distorted view of what “programming” encompassed: sitting at a computer and typing about on a keyboard. Additionally, my ignorance towards the area had slowly dragged computer science down my list of interests.

Fortunately for me, my prejudice towards computer science did not persist. A turning point of my interests occurred early on in high school: more specifically, during my first encounter with Carnegie Mellon. Science channels were my preferred programs to watch on television as a young student, and PBS’ NOVA became one of my favorite series. One afternoon, in what seemed like a typical episode of NOVA came the birth of my new enthusiasm for computer science. Before me was the airing of “The Great Robot Race.” It was an episode on the DARPA Challenge of 2004 and 2005, and Carnegie Mellon’s Red Team, lead by Dr. William Red Whittaker, was the featured contestant.

Like during all my other viewings of NOVA, my eyes remained glued to the screen during the entire session. The display of...

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