B.A., Physical Science Studies
I am a physics and math student from Cleveland, Ohio. On the weekends I like rock, ice and mountain climbing. I am pursuing a PhD in physics, working on detector technology for gravitational wave astronomy with LIGO.
Features Included


Hometown Cleveland, Ohio
EthnicityWhite Non-Hispanic
AdmissionEarly Action
Class of2016
First Gen College StudentNo
English First Language Yes

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • Ohio State University - Columbus (Columbus, Oh)
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)

Applied for a B.A. in Physical Science Studies

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

School Specific Advice

More Essays

These essays haven't been tagged by school. Click school logos above to see tagged essays.

Personal Statement
510 Words
Role model/inspiration
When I was young the world of men was frightening, a world where women cried on the couch because in the kitchen there were words thrown across the room like stones, words meant to hurt and maim, to tear the water from open eyes, eyes that looked like mine. We fled to the lake when the marriage got bad and while divorce was worse. I understood nothing of the kitchen’s discord but I knew we were untouchable in those...
Supplemental Essay Issue of personal significance
584 Words
Materials: 1 three mL vial, DI water, Pluronic F127. Procedures: Add 18 mg PF127 to 1 mL water in vial; vortex thoroughly, seal cap. Observations: The resulting solution is a liquid but, when raised to body temperature, gels quickly. Though intended for ocular delivery systems, the solution’s intriguing gel designs also provide entertainment during hours of deskwork. Hold or gently shake the vial in one hand for about ten minutes to make an array of intriguing designs! This procedure was a side...
Supplemental Essay Issue of personal significance
878 Words
My friends identify my most prominent physical feature as my “crazy eyes.” They’re not always crazy—only when I find myself exploding with passion for my favorite topics. So I invite you, step into the pupil of one of those eyes, cut through the lens, swim in the vitreous humor to the optic nerve, jump off the Axon Express at the optic chiasm and enjoy a perusal of my brain. As you traverse the grey matter today, you find...
Supplemental Essay “Why us” school essay
508 Words
My favorite sentences are interrogative. Even declarative statements imply questions; why not be straightforward and ask them? The question “Why” rests at the root of the human spirit, and “How” inextricably entwines with the first question. Likewise, my reason for life, my “Why” for waking up to the sun’s kiss each day, is the quest for “How.” As I first gained awareness of my intellectual interests, I began brushing aside lesser questions to get a better look at the ...
Supplemental Essay Amusing anecdote
158 Words
I list two jobs on my application, each of which I held for two summers. I worked as a lifeguard during the summer to earn extra money. My neighborhood pool is within walking distance of my house, so the job was perfect for a teenager without a car. My goals while working at Case were to gain lab experience and learn about academic research, as well as to explore some aspects of engineering. Over the summer, I read countless pieces...
Supplemental Essay Issue of personal significance
231 Words
I am grateful to have developed my leadership skills through scouting. The boys and dads in the program became a second family to me, helping one another learn and discovering the dormant abilities that each of us brings to the group. Through my Eagle project, I realized just how much I changed over the course of my scouting career. Though becoming an Eagle was always one of my goals in the program, I did not always appreciate the personal and...
Supplemental Essay Unique question posed by school
299 Words
Look through my bookbag and you might find Physics Today magazine, The Little Book of String Theory, the Upanishads and the Bible. Discounting the food, these contents reveal my two passions: physics and religion. Currently I am exploring the Hindu path to truth despite being raised Jewish by a Christian mother who now follows the tenets of Buddhism. Such religious confusion enriches my life experiences and piques my interest in all religions as representations of the spiritual world. My thirst...
Supplemental Essay Other
38 Words
My first two essays were used on the Common App and the Harvard supplement. The third essay was for Cornell's supplement. Essays 4-6 were used in my OSU application (they were "short answers" on the supplement).

General Admissions Advice

My extracurricular activities in college, and why I chose them
104 Words
I'm in the Harvard Mountaineering Club, so I climb rock and ice almost every weekend. I'm also in Dharma, the Hindu Student Organization on campus; we organize fun events and discussions....
Why I ultimately chose my school
73 Words
In the end it came down to the people I interacted with on my visits. I found the physics department very welcoming...
Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
101 Words
I didn't use a private admissions counselor, but I have to say from conversations with people who did, the information they received was not substantially different from the information I...
List of schools I interviewed with and my interview experience
150 Words
I only interviewed with Harvard. The interviewer was a fairly recent graduate and was pretty fun to talk with. I asked her about her senior thesis and what she does now (she was part of the team that started Hulu, and now she works for...
Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
111 Words
There are quite a few scholarship databases out there; a simple google search will pull them up. Once you're accepted to a school, they become a major resource for you in finding funding....
How I chose schools to apply to
541 Words
I basically looked for the best programs in physics; to first order US News and World Report did an adequate job of doing this, but I wouldn't rely on them too heavily. After making a pretty extensive list, I went on the physics department webpages and looked at what kind of research was featured prominently. I asked myself if there is a good breadth of topics covered (for example, a university with an astronomy department but no cosmologists would not make the cut). I also looked for a variety of people in the subfields I was interested in (more than...
How to increase chances at my school
160 Words
I really don't know what goes on inside the black box of the admissions office. I tried to be really genuine in my essays. I worked them over for months, I had lots of eyes looking at them. I wanted to know if people didn't understand them, even...
Additional material sent in after waitlisted or deferred
62 Words
I didn't send additional material, and I don't really know much about whether or not it helps. I will...
Post-college plans
110 Words
I'm planning on going to graduate school to get a PhD in physics. Right now I'm interested in experiments that test physics beyond the standard model. I was originally interested in doing theory,...
Reaching out to professors and coaches at schools I applied to
126 Words
Before I visited I contacted some of the undergraduate advisors in the physics departments, just asking if there was any way I could have a conversation with them or a professor during my visit. Most were really friendly...
Recommended summer activities during high school and college
1250 Words
I don't know if I could recommend anything beyond doing what you're most interested in, but I'll let you know what I did in high school. So after freshman year, I worked as a lifeguard at a local pool. I also did some random odd jobs for neighbors, lawnmowing, moving large piles of dirt. I did a lot of activities with the Boy Scouts, including a leadership training camp, a high adventure camp, summer camp, and various other campouts and activities. After sophomore year, I lifeguarded again and also worked at a biomedical engineering lab at Case Western Reserve University....
What I like about my school’s location and culture
370 Words
I love being in Boston. There are a ton of other schools in the area, so there are lots of events with people from other campuses and lots of collaborative activities. The city feels very young, and the environment caters to this demographic. It's far enough north to be close to some amazing outdoor and especially climbing locations. I'm able to go out basically every weekend and climb in New Hampshire or upstate New York and not have to spend two days due to driving. It's also fairly close to NYC, and I've gone down there quite a lot to...
What I’d change about my application process
70 Words
I probably should have applied to some more schools. I basically got in to Harvard early and stopped sending in applications....
What might make for a good “Why Us” essay topic at my school
94 Words
What is a "Why Us" essay topic? Like why do you want to go to our school? As with all the topics, I'd be honest. Try not to...
What set me apart from other applicants
131 Words
I guess my essays showed that I have a variety of interests; I like to think that they were pretty decent essays, though I'm not sure I can pin down one thing about them that made them stand out,...
My advice about getting recommenders
242 Words
Of course I had the required guidance counselor letter. I also had my calculus teacher write me a letter because I had him for two years and he could talk about my science/math abilities. My English teacher wrote me a letter because I had a decent connection with her from class and I wanted to show some breadth of interests. You'll see that in my personal essay I wrote about...
Why I declined other schools
119 Words
I declined OSU and Cornell because I felt I would have more resources and be in a more studious environment at Harvard. I also wanted to get out of the state and distance myself a...

High School Performance

Weighted GPA
Top 1%
High School TypePublic
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School Steady
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Test Scores

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Converted SAT Score1550
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AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details14 classes and scores




ActivitiesModel Congress / Model UN, Boy/Girl Scouts, Yearbook, Debate Club/Team, Key Club, Community Cleanup / Service, Marching Band, Math Team, Multicultural / International Club, National Honor Society, School Band
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

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