B.S., Computer Science
Software developer, writer, lover of food and bubble tea
Features Included


Hometown New York City, New York
Class of2022
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • McGill University (Montreal, Canada)
  • University of California - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Binghamton University - SUNY (Binghamton, NY)
  • University of California - San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
  • University of California - Irvine (Irvine, CA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)

Applied for a B.S. in Computer Science

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.
On the first Sunday of every month, I skip over to the Baskin-Robbins around the corner. My black hair flows in the wind as I joyously hum Here Comes the Sun. When I enter the ice cream shop, the ding of the bell soothes me while slightly jolting the store clerk behind the tubs of chocolate and milk. With a jump and a glowing smile, I order the same thing as always: "One scoop of vanilla with rainbow sprinkles, please." ...
Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
There’s a feeling of euphoria that is irreplaceable. Some get it from making the winning touchdown. Others get it from performing their symphony. Meanwhile, the program I wrote runs on the terminal, and I wait anxiously, hoping that I successfully debugged my code. 3... 2... 1... Let the euphoria begin. As someone who loves solving riddles and problems, coding gives me a rush. I love thinking logically and building algorithms one step at a time. Coding is my own puzzle: by fitting...
Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
When I was first introduced to the Locksmith, Key Club’s newsletter, it was not living up to its potential. It was published sporadically with an unappealing format and text copied-and-pasted directly from emails. I envisioned the Locksmith as a strong voice to spread the great work of the volunteers at the Key Club. Therefore, I decided to make a difference by revitalizing the Locksmith. At the end of my sophomore year, I became the Locksmith Director. I immediately created...
Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
Every year, NYU’s GSTEM selects high school girls to conduct research with experienced scientists. Last summer, I was one of the fortunate few that were awarded the Winston Data Analytics Scholarship to attend this program. I worked with Dr. Rob Barton to build a data model predicting housing prices with machine learning algorithms. Because I knew so little about data science, I went into the program a bit nervous but excited. I immediately enrolled in a machine learning course...
What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
"Next up will be Tiffany Chen presenting her first exhibit." I nervously walk up with my exhibit in hand, anxious to present the electronic leaf that changes color depending on the season. As I look down at the exhibit, I remember why I wanted to create it for the Museum of Natural History. As a kid, I fell in love with the beautiful fall foliage. However, whenever I asked about the reason behind the leaves’ color change, I always got...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
508 Words
How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago. (1-2 pages)
I’m no Michelle Kwan, but I can manage well enough on the ice. Every winter, I find myself at an ice rink. Once the blades on my feet hit the slippery surface, I find my balance, skating slowly and sensing the environment around me. The stresses of my daily life fade as I listen to the cutting of the ice and the flow of the breeze. I glide away, free. Off the ice, I still search for balance between...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
493 Words
Dog and Cat. Coffee and Tea. Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. Everyone knows there are two types of people in the world. What are they? (1-2 pages)
I love the country. Many are shocked when they first hear this. How can a girl from New York City appreciate the country life when there’s the hustle and bustle of the city? However, there's no denying it: between being a city person or a country person, I would rather be a country person. I think I was bound to be this way. For most of my life, I have lived in the suburbs. I lived in the meadows...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
253 Words
Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations? (200-250 words)
My Chinese name is Tianyu. It means "happy every day." My parents named me that because they wanted me to grow up happy. It's such a simple wish. Who doesn't want to be happy for the rest of their life? As I grew older, however, I realized that being happy every day is easier said than done. We live in a world full of pressures—pressures to fit in with friends, pressures to excel academically, pressures to do more than...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
97 Words
We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do simply for the pleasure of it. (100 words or fewer)
I enjoy writing stories, particularly the creative process that allows my imagination to fly. With a stroke of my pen or a touch on my keyboard, various characters come to life: a teenage spy at an international summer camp, a girl with a pizza-shaped head, or a boy living in dystopian Seattle. Although the stories may sound outlandish, the themes and plotlines reflect the trials and tribulations of myself, the people around me, and the society that we live in....
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
254 Words
Tell us about the most significant challenge you’ve faced or something important that didn’t go according to plan. How did you manage the situation? (200-250 words)
After developing a data model that predicts housing prices using machine learning algorithms, I sighed as I submitted it to the Kaggle Zillow Price competition. Admittedly, I was scared: this was the first time I used complex modeling techniques and competed against accomplished data scientists. I waited a few anxious seconds before my placement popped onto the computer. I was ranked 1,583rd place out of 1,700 competitors. I looked at the computer screen, disappointment rimming in my eyes. I had worked...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
251 Words
At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc. (200-250 words)
When I was first introduced to the Locksmith, Key Club’s newsletter, it was not living up to its potential. It was published sporadically with an unappealing format and text copied and pasted directly from emails. I envisioned the Locksmith as a strong voice to spread the great work of the volunteers at the Key Club. Wanting to make a difference, I decided to revitalize the Locksmith. At the end of my sophomore year, I became the Locksmith Director. I...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
98 Words
Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? (100 words or fewer)
As someone who loves solving problems, coding gives me a rush. Coding is my own puzzle: by fitting together the right lines and functions, I can create a beautiful picture. With so much power at my fingertips, I am able to design anything, using my creative and analytical abilities. I hope to continue my technological journey at MIT’s EECS program, building a solid foundation in both the theoretical and practical aspects of computer science. I especially desire to work...

School Specific Advice

More Essays

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

General Admissions Advice

Recommended summer activities during high school and college
19 Words
Get a summer job! It will...
How I narrowed down my essay topics
57 Words
Admittedly, for the Common App, UC app, and UChicago creative essay, I didn't look too closely at...
Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
38 Words
I applied for scholarships, but admittedly, I would've applied for more...

High School Performance

Unweighted GPA
Top 10%
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest SAT
SAT Score Details
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details11 classes and scores



ActivitiesSchool Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism, School Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism, Computer / Technology Volunteer, Computer / Technology Volunteer, Research, Computer / Technology Volunteer, Key Club, School Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

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