The Magic of Code

If you selected one of the engineering majors, please tell us more about what has led you to an interest in this field of study, what experiences (if any) you have had in engineering, and what it is about Yale’s engineering program that appeals to you. Please respond in 300 words or fewer.

I became a magician at age seven.

Standing before my friends, I plucked coins from elbow bends and crushed dandelion heads into painted buttons. Green hair ties ripened to rich plum hues. Cards flipped up and hoisted themselves into the air, floating under the shadow of my palm.

Of course, this magic isn’t real. Like a knot, each illusion can be undone through logical steps. For most, knowing the trick dispels the allure. Yet for me, understanding this sleight of hand yields a special thrill. This perspective shift leads to a sudden, beautiful clarity. And striving to uncover such layers of understanding is ultimately what draws me to computer science.

The computer is a magical box. Glimmers of color appear as pixels flash RGB light. Electro-pop tracks bounce out from the speakers. This machine’s capabilities range from making contact across oceans to predicting statistical likelihoods. It solves problems. But what’s the trick?

That’s what I want to know. I’m fascinated with the logic behind the glamour, with how a computer functions. My love for computers is as infinite as its dimensionality—there’s always another level of complexity lingering tantalizingly beneath the surface. Superficially, the computer is an apparatus that...

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