I am currently a Junior at Utah State University majoring in Physics and minoring in Mathematics. As of now I am on the 5 year program so I have 3 more years to go. My GPA is not the most impressive, it's currently a 3.3 and I am projecting around a 3.6 when I graduate. I've always focused more on the research aspect of school then getting straight A's. I feel like doing good research does more to benefit my education and society than being a book worm. As far as my research experience goes I work with the optics on the largest LIDAR (Light detection and ranging) system in the world at Utah State ran by Dr. Wickwar. For those of you not familiar with LIDAR systems it is a rather niche field that uses light detection and ranging to map the upper atmospheres temperature profile, densities, and other phenomenon including noctilucent clouds, gravity waves, etc. By the time I graduate I expect to have written a published paper or at least get my name on a paper. Although I am not interested in atmospheric physics I am interested in optics, specifically optical quantum computing. Dr. Wickwar has agreed to mentor me in the field of optics and have me work on a side project designing an optical system for a quantum computer which I will submit to the research colloquium at Utah State. I will be applying for the research REU at the University of Washington since they have a quantum computing group. Hopefully I will be able to go either this summer or next. As far as extra curriculars I am a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity holding several positions and continuously doing service. I am involved with SPS (Society of Physics Students) and will be getting more involved soon. I will be running this term for the Science Senator position for student government. I am involved with many other clubs and organizations on campus. I teach a physics lab, TA for physics classes. Am I on the right track? I feel as if I have to save the human race to even qualify to apply to MIT.