eshao18
eshao18,
CalTech ‘22
B.S., Mathematics
STEM & Music in high school. Worshiping sleep in college.
Features Included
7
Essays
15
Schools
30
Scores
14
Advice
11
ECs
1
Sports

Background

Hometown Longmeadow, Massachusetts
GenderMale
EthnicityAsian
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Accepted
Waitlisted or Withdrew
Denied
  • California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Brown University (Providence, RI)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Amherst College (Amherst, MA)
  • Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
  • University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • University of California - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • Columbia University (New York, NY)
  • University of Massachusetts - Amherst (Amherst, MA)
  • Rice University (Houston, TX)
  • Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)

Applied for a B.S. in Mathematics

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
“Your dad is leaving for California.” My mom's words dissipated my characteristically cheerful mood; I was shocked. Overcome by a looming sense of loss and powerlessness, I barely heard my parents as they explained that my father was offered a job in California. Unfortunately, due to my mom’s work permit restriction, the rest of the family have to stay behind in Massachusetts. As I watched my father board the plane, I felt tears welling in my eyes. My parents...
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Snuggled in the south side of my high school is the band room. Walking by it, one hears the clicking of two drumsticks colliding and a man repeatedly shouting the phrase “ta-ka-di-mi” over the mistimed entrances and cracked notes of a practicing ensemble. To the inexperienced ear, the sounds create an unappealing portrayal of what happens there. However, as a trumpeter in multiple ensembles at school, I have spent a large chunk of time in the room with its inhabitant,...
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
312 Words
Tell us about a skill or concept related to your anticipated area of study, that you found challenging and rewarding to learn.
Given my upbringing in a competitive-math environment, where problems had discrete answers, my introduction to the world of predictive mathematical modeling was both shocking and eye-opening. The idea that no precise answer existed and that priors, which are probability distributions that are based off one’s beliefs, needed to be constantly updated puzzled me, as this contradicted my idea of math’s concreteness. No matter how much data I analyze, the posterior will only approach the true value — a “correct”...
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Supplemental Essay: Amusing anecdote
190 Words
Caltech students have long been known for their quirky sense of humor, whether it be through planning creative pranks, building elaborate party sets, or even the year-long preparation that goes into our annual Ditch Day. Please describe an unusual way in which you have fun.
6:45 AM. We enter the building through a backdoor and hide behind the piano as the janitor passes us on his cleaning route. Twenty minutes later, the three of us, sweat trickling down our sore muscles, stood admiring our creation. Towering fifteen feet over the center of the band room stood an elaborate recreation of the Aztec megastructure — Templo Mayor — only it was made out of chairs and music stands. You see, the parallelepiped-shaped chairs were made of polypropylene, making them...
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Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
201 Words
In an increasingly global and interdependent society, there is a need for diversity in thought, background, and experience in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity of Caltech’s community?
Jaws dropped as I listed the courses I planned to take in senior year. “Aren’t you a math a science person?” everyone asked. In my first three years of high school, my schedule revolved around STEM courses, even opting to double up on senior science classes my junior year. However, as my peers debated historic battles and current events, I started to realize I couldn’t go in depth with any of my arguments. My skill set was too...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
254 Words
How did you first learn about Rice University, and what motivated you to apply?
“Old buildings, gorgeous lawns, wonderful weather,” I muttered to myself, looking at the brochure. “Another typical college; let’s get this over with,” I thought pessimistically as the information session began. Yet, as I flipped through the pages and listened to the Rice representative’s lecture, something stirred inside me. The unique combination of the campus’s architectural style added a stylistic tension that prevented aesthetic boredom. I could imagine myself playing frisbee on the grassy lawn of Founder’s...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
203 Words
Why Brown, and why the Brown Curriculum?
As a curious thinker, Brown’s promotion of free inquiry and “Liberal Learning” appeals to me. Not only will I ask thought-provoking questions, but I also will receive unique, compelling answers from varying viewpoints, as everyone creates their own core curriculum. I love Brown’s emphasis on collaborative environments in academia and in research, which I discovered an interest for this summer when I investigated billiard trajectories, a type of dynamical system. At Brown, I will have the amazing opportunity...
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
305 Words
For applicants to The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the Member Questions section.
“The radio says no rain!” I don’t want to bring the bulky umbrella. “It’s going to rain,” Grandma replies, “I can feel it.” “No, trust the radio,” I insist. “Grandma!” “Ok, let’s go quickly.” Many years ago, I lived with my grandparents in China while my parents were pursuing their dreams on the other side of the world. When we arrived at the store, she quickly bought her groceries and rushed out. I was confused. But, halfway...
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School Specific Advice

How I would rate the diversity of the student body
41 Words
The diversity here is not the best, but that is the price...
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What are opportunities unique to my school
98 Words
The two most unique opportunities at Caltech are the extremely low student-to-faculty ratio and the college's collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The low student-to-faculty ratio and the...
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How to increase chances at my school
114 Words
I was admitted to CMU SCS (School of Computer Science) over many of my other friends who were way better than me in computer science. Why? My only answer to this anomaly is that...
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Why I ultimately chose my school
139 Words
I ultimately chose Caltech mainly because I saw myself fitting in with the crowd there and because I knew that it would be the best spot for me to develop my skills and my personality. To me, college is a crucial...
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How I chose schools to apply to
58 Words
I searched for tech schools and other schools that offered great opportunities for me to further my...
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The academic rigor of a typical course load or in my major
78 Words
Caltech is notorious for having one of the hardest, if not the hardest, general course load for a college undergraduate. You truly have...
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What might make for a good “Why Us” essay topic at my school
49 Words
Caltech is known for its emphasis on understanding the fundamentals of science to improve your...
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How to increase chances at my school
120 Words
Definitely make sure you emphasize your dedication and passion towards STEM (or a particular field in STEM). This is really important mainly because Caltech is super SUPER STEM focused, and if you don't have a...
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More Essays

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

General Admissions Advice

How I narrowed down my essay topics
69 Words
It really helps to sit down and brainstorm a giant list of essay topics that pertain to your high school career....
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How to deal with the stress of applying to college
102 Words
Space out your work and start early! It's not normal for a high school student to be cranking out more than ten to twenty high-quality essay questions in a span...
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Recommended summer activities during high school and college
44 Words
The summer activities are very important to your college application because summers are...
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My advice about getting recommenders
101 Words
Your best recommenders are the people who have seen more than just your superficial appearance (grades, achievements, etc...). You want to find people who can write about your personality and...
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What I learned transitioning from high school to college
96 Words
Looking back at high school, it was truly a hectic and chaotic four years of learning and socializing. Nonetheless, high school is only the first to many parts...
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What I’d change about my application process
18 Words
I would definitely have spent...
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High School Performance

Weighted GPA
4.50
(equivalent to 3.90 unweighted)
Rank
Top 1%
 
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest ACT
36
 
ACT Score Details
 
Other ACT Scores
ACT Prep
Highest SAT
1540
 
SAT Score Details
 
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep
SAT IIs
PSAT Scores

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details23 classes and scores

Sports

SportsSoccer

Extracurriculars

ActivitiesBoy/Girl Scouts, French Club, Music: Instrumental, Research, Key Club, National Honor Society, Local Orchestra / Symphony / Band, Math Team, School Band, School Jazz / Orchestra, Tutoring/Mentoring
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received
Application Additional Materials

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