From a very young age, it was evident that I loved mathematics and anything that included numbers and calculations. I was never passionate about words or essays. In elementary school we had to learn several subjects including Chinese, English, Mathematics, Natural Science, Ideology, and Morality. Among all the subjects, I was always enthusiastic about Mathematics homework and I did it last. The idea of doing Mathematics last stemmed from the fact I wanted to end my evenings on a high note. In the same way, I never liked vegetables but my mother always insisted that I eat vegetables too. I would eat the vegetables first and would find the rest of my dinnertime perfect as I ate the other types of foods that I liked. Every day after my Geometry class, I would take the shortest route to the cafeteria and then go to my hostel because I lived in school.
In 2010, my high school sophomore year, my best friend and I decided to do something fun because the daily routines were overwhelmingly exhausting. We chose to memorize the Pi digits to relieve stress. We settled on Pi digits as opposed to history of politics because Pi digits were unlimited, meaningless, and random numbers. It was a competition and I won writing 308 Pi digits. It was so much fun that we made a bet that we would repeat the same competition at the Beijing Tiananmen Square for her birthday in 2020.
I am a very competitive person and I am continuously developing this character. During the winter quarter of 2014, I participated in the AMATYC—American Mathematics Association of Two Years College math competition, which was a great experience. It was an opportunity of enjoying Mathematics for me. Competition is the best way of learning, and you only can promote your superiority and overcome your weakness when you do away with what makes you lose and build on what makes you win. Five years ago, during my second year in high school, my colleagues and I were involved in a competition to build a water rocket using air and water pressure as power. The competition was in terms of the height of the water rocket. During the first two rounds, we did not manage to get to top ten but we did not give up. Later, we figured out the problem and we became number three. Our water rocket, 33 meters high, is still displayed in our school’s physics laboratory.
Most students consider mathematics to be one of the toughest subjects. I am a volunteer at the math path at Seattle Central College Science and Math building. I tutor students who struggle with quadratic functions, exponential functions, and logarithms. This experience not only helps students have a different perception about mathematics but also in problem solving. It is a learning process even for me as I see different students build their confidence and the various ways that they reason and handle the problems that they face. Most of the students that I tutor go back to school with a better perception about their careers, this has helped me in communicating with different people, and I have become more competent in mathematics too.
“21” is my most favorite film because it reviews a math genius battle with his professor. I am particularly interested because of the concept of “Non-linear waves” explored in the film. I did not exactly understand the concept and I did not look it up in the dictionary because I looked forward to joining a college where I would learn about all these mathematical concepts to avoid being confused. As I was looking at possible universities, I learned that University of Washington has a Nonlinear Waves Research Group of University of Washington Mathematics Department from the UW. I immediately knew that this is where I needed to be to kick-start my career on a high note. I am determined to learn and use my knowledge across the globe. I am confident that I will be accepted at the University because I have the urge and willingness to learn. I believe in safeguarding what I have currently, to be able to go further. I will take each step of my career and study with utmost sincerity and seriousness.
Many of my peers do not understand why I chose to do a major in mathematics. Most of them get the impression that I intend to be a teacher. My inspiration to major in Mathematics stems from the biography of James Harris Simon that I read. He was a mathematician and many people referred to him as the King of Wall Street as opposed to Warren Buffett. The sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” said: “You will be shocked, kids, when you discover how easy it is in life to part ways with people forever”. The same as opportunities, once I found the answer of my life, I decided I would never let it go.
The year 2011 was a big step in my life because I took part in an exchange program with students in California. I had an opportunity to be in a multicultural learning environment and it contributed greatly towards my improvement. During the exchange program, there were many American students and I had a chance to interact with them. In addition, I taught them Chinese and told them about the Chinese experience. As I purpose to join the University of Washington, I look forward to an opportunity to interact with people from different cultures.