Essay #1 (Required for all applicants. Approximately 250 words) Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.

I come from a world where canvases are stacked higher than dishes, dirty paint brushes line the sink, and stained jeans are merely accepted side effects of artist's syndrome. All this is expected when my sister is a painting major and my parents host weekend oil painting get-togethers.

However, I am the family oddball who has never aspired to be a "traditional" artist. Perhaps it's because I failed to inherit the right genes (I prefer drawing stick figures) and I'd rather construct canvases than paint on them. Yet my family's artistic roots—the ambitious desire to imagine and to create—are present within me.

I may not want to be a painter, but I aspire to be a different type of artist: an engineer. Programming is my form of artistic expression and my imagination roams free in the arrangement of numbers and placement of Booleans. Instead of painting lines on canvases, I draw with lines of code and a few strokes of logic. In a family of artists, I dream of being a computer scientist so I can be a creator, a critical thinker, and a world-changer all at once.

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