UC Berkeley
B.S., Computer Science, , Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Science major, with a hobby in firearms and the shooting sports and a strong passion for creative writing.
Features Included


Hometown San Diego, California
AdmissionRegular Decision
Class of2019
English First Language No
Other Language(s) Spoken Spanish, Mandarin, Russian

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • University of California - San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  • Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
  • Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  • California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
  • Columbia University (New York, NY)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • Amherst College (Amherst, MA)
  • Rice University (Houston, TX)
  • Williams College (Williamstown, MA)
  • Harvey Mudd (Claremont, CA)
  • Yale-NUS College (Singapore)
  • University of California - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Needham, MA)
  • Cooper Union (New York, NY)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)

Applied for a B.S. in Computer Science

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.

Miasmal Maverick “Pride’s a little fire. Extinguish it and you shiver unbelieving, ignite it and you shout unthinking. But light a candle with it and you shine understanding.” After writing that line of dialogue, I felt a sobriety that lingered through the rest of the chapter. All at once I realized how familiar it was—from stuttering unconfidently during my first debate competitions, from eating my words after poor performance on a linear algebra test I’d boasted about,...
Supplemental Essay Unique question posed by school
312 Words
Telewarped Cashes In on Holofilm Following the sale of its film rights for an undisclosed sum to Hollywood last week, Robert Mao’s dimension-bending tale has made its decades-overdue leap to the 3D world. “Never thought I’d see something I wrote in my 20s make it to holograms,” laughed Mao. “It’s been my dream ever since I saw Harry Potter and The Hunger Games on the old big screen as a kid.” With a bachelor’s degree in...
Supplemental Essay “Why us” school essay
663 Words
Lines upon lines of prose, all on an Asus laptop. In the quiet, lamp-lit solitude of my home office, surrounded by character biographies on people from a Swiss private military contractor to an Armenian merchant, with pages upon pages of chapter outlines written 6 months ahead of time to ensure the author’s best friend of continuity and to keep at bay the author’s worst enemy of the plot hole, I sit at my own desk and smile as I...
Supplemental Essay Using a metaphor
618 Words
Smashing My Canadian Cuckoo Clock Perhaps it was a result of a speech impediment I had going on as a kid, despite my best efforts to rectify it and speak clearly and confidently. Or it could have been being bullied back in elementary school, being framed and forced to apologize for breaking pencils I never touched. Who knows, maybe it was even a result of being Canadian. “Sorry.” Whatever the cause, I found myself using it more often than I...
Supplemental Essay “Why us” school essay
655 Words
Unimpressed by the clocks from a land far removed from the Middle Kingdom, a silk-robed Qianlong emperor dismisses the high-nosed foreigners—led by a certain George Macartney. Uninterested in repeating the Opium Wars and decades of foreign aggression from their ignorance of foreign culture, a pair of men in four-pocketed jackets negotiates with the business-suit clad, yangren counterparts from across the sea—the talks between the Mao-Zhou and Nixon-Kissinger duos that opened China to the world. Uninclined to commit the...
Supplemental Essay Diversity statement
308 Words
Inhale, exhale. Align the sights…lower the buttplate. Everything looked good. Squeeze the trigger. Check the spotting scope. A 9 point shot. Hmm. Adjust the sights a click higher. Inhale, exhale. Points to refute…think about counterarguments. Clear my throat. “The affirmative contends that NSA has violated the 4th Amendment…” 7th place. Not bad for the first time. Inhale, exhale. Check the last question…erase a mistake, brush away the shavings. 5 minutes left. With blood pounding a crescendo of panic, scribble...
Supplemental Essay Amusing anecdote
211 Words
“I cannot offer you a position within my project this year.” Dismayed, I reread the message hoping I’d misread it. I sighed. No dice. All my hopes of turning my AP Computer Science skills into something real, of common vocabulary with my database administrator father, of work and accomplishment for this. A rejection letter from SDSC’s REHS internship opportunity. I made myself some tea. Dimly I recalled that the letter was from the individual program manager—not from...
Supplemental Essay “Why us” school essay
488 Words
I learned English through a computer game. I was five years old when I discovered the joys of solving puzzles in Dr. Lunatic. (Evidently I’d started learning English before I fully mastered potty training, because my father told me that I had a little accident after learning the phrases “Pants up!” and “Hammer down!”) But what I acutely remember from the game was my exposure to the sheer realm of possibility in technology. I glimpsed mechanical exoskeletons and directed-energy...
Supplemental Essay Using a metaphor
317 Words
Blue eyes, large and strained by candlelight. A craggy castle of rainy medieval England. A tapestry of the lord’s archbishop ancestor. A university-educated tutor teaching a boy English through religious lessons in an heirloom copy of the Bible and Latin, through sword and sorcery in an invaluable copy of King Arthur. Brown eyes, narrow and relaxed under sunlight. A gated community of temperate southern California. A painting of my employer’s Native American relatives. A realm where I, a...
Supplemental Essay “Why us” school essay
257 Words
“My sister’s studying chemical engineering at Rice University—it’s very hard to get in.” “Wait, you said it’s called Rice? And very selective?” “Yeah, why?” “Well, suppose I head there, order myself a bowl of noodles.” “Er…” “On top of what you said—can’t think of a better way to live out the stereotype, eh?” At that the green-eyed girl and I shared a laugh. Though time and life have since come between us, my curiosity...
Additional Essay Details
63 Words
Looking back, I cringe a little every time I read over most of the essays I wrote for college. As a writer, I suppose that's a good thing; it means that I've made progress in the craft since those unhappy and stressful times. But as a college applicant, it makes me wonder how I could've crafted them better. Though I've been told before

General Admissions Advice

What I’d change about my application process
612 Words
As a whole I don't regret too much about my application process; I wrote about the things (marksmanship experience, the process of creating a novel, etc.) that were most precious to me and felt that I had few things better that would reflect who I am. That said, If I could travel back in time one year and do the whole process all over again to try for better results, I'd do so. And I'd do so with the following changes. Firstly, I'd cut down on the number of schools I was applying to. College application fees these days are...
Additional material sent in after waitlisted or deferred
103 Words
At the seven schools I was waitlisted for, I sent in letters detailing what I'd done since turning my applications. These included things such as becoming valedictorian, shooting in a national...
Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
108 Words
Don't use a private admissions counselor. They charge thousands of dollars, and college admissions officers can smell an essay tweaked by them from miles away. In my personal experience, many of my...
List of schools I interviewed with and my interview experience
130 Words
At all of the schools I interviewed with (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, UPenn, and MIT), I walked away liking the interviewer and feeling good about what I'd said. There's really not much to an interview (it's my opinion that you...
Recommended summer activities during high school and college
127 Words
Do whatever you like. But give yourself the self-discipline to ACCOMPLISH in what you like. If you like studying foreign languages, research Spanish/Latin/Chinese/German/*fill in language here* competitions online and try to place in...
Post-college plans
93 Words
Don't feel pressured to think about what you will do post-college without even being in college yet. Try out many different things in college itself and figure...
What set me apart from other applicants
161 Words
I believe that several activities in particular made me a more unique applicant: shooting an air rifle in NJROTC marksmanship, having an interest in foreign languages, and writing a whole novel in my spare time. On the other hand the first (given the wave of school shootings lately)...
Why I ultimately chose my school
168 Words
Out of the 20 schools I applied to, I was accepted to five: UCSD w/ Regents, UCLA, Berkeley, Amherst, and Cooper Union. Amherst stiffed me on financial aid (would've had to pay 50 grand a year to attend, even after much wrangling and negotiating), and Cooper Union is unknown in my neck...
Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
121 Words
I'll state outright that I have the benefit of "daddy's money." My father saved and scraped 20 years to pay for my education, and so while paying for Berkeley will be a financial squeeze it is one...
My advice about getting recommenders
63 Words
Pick the teachers/coaches/employers who you feel like you can sit down and have a drink with when...

High School Performance

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

Test Scores

Highest ACT
ACT Score Details
Other ACT Scores
ACT Prep
Highest SAT
SAT Score Details
Converted SAT Score1590
SAT Prep
PSAT Scores

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details16 classes and scores



ActivitiesChinese Club, Debate Club/Team, Athletics Organization, Chess, Community Cleanup / Service, Habitat for Humanity, Local Orchestra / Symphony / Band, Computer / Technology Volunteer, Academic Decathlon
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

How Spent Summers
Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received
Application Additional Materials

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