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Need help for REU personal statement

  1. Feb 20, 2016 #1
    Hi, all. I am planning to apply REU for math this summer. This is my first time to write a personal statement, I am not sure how it is. Basically, my statement needs to answer why I want to apply this program and what my future goal is.


    Malcolm X said: “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” As an immigrant from China who lived in a small, poor rural village, I never imagined that I could attend school based on family income, but my parents supported me to elementary school and middle school. When I was 15, I got a strong interest in Geometry because I enjoyed finding the missing degree of an angle of a shape and proving two triangles are similar or congruent. Unfortunately, I had to apply for a full-time job at a small factory to gain money for my family after middle school. Thus, I thought I lost my passport to the future and opportunity to learn Geometry until I moved to America with my parents in 2011.

    In 2013, I continued my mathematics education at {__} Community College under the support of the local school district. The math courses I have taken at {__} Community College took me into a new level; they are more modern, complex and challenging. I really enjoyed learning the concepts of calculus and solving each homework problems. I also took a free online python class at MIT for basic programming background and solved some questions on Project Euler for practicing last summer break. As a student who knows the value of having an opportunity to receive education and lost the opportunity before, I am very treasured each day that have chances to study. I believe in higher education; I am planning on pursuing a M.S. degree in Applied Mathematics. As a student who is living in low-income, I am pursuing a job at a computer information and software film such as Kuberre Systems; TheMathWorks, lnc; Mocrosoft; and Yahoo Research, because they offer high salary and good benefits.

    {__} Community College is a great community college. Because it has limited math research opportunities, my advisor encouraged me to apply REU. When I was looking the project lists, I saw that Professor {__} is going to study Geometry and it requires Calculus and Linear Algebra. I can say this is my first choice. Since I don’t have any research experience, I believe that by participating in this project will provide the first research opportunity for me and facilitate my interest in mathematics. And, it would benefit my education in mathematics.

    REU is a stage to challenge people who want to attempt difficult problem to discover the mystery of mathematics. On this stage, I hope to grow as a critical, independent thinker through solving difficult problems; I hope I can learn how to balance collaborative and individual work through the research program.

    As a math lover, I am very love to receive the unique solution with number of different approaches under hard work. In this program, I am willing to put as much affort as I could and make it be an essential step to receive the passport to the future.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2016 #2
    Hi HaLAA,

    I am a firm believer that if you can effectively communicate your curiosity and passion in your personal statement, you will be accepted into an REU program. The first time I applied for an REU I made several mistakes and as a consequence, I was not accepted. My first mistake was I only applied to two programs. The application process, if done properly, will take some time. Balancing classes and extracurriculars while applying to REU programs is all about time management -- this is the first crucial step towards getting into an REU program.

    My second mistake was I did not effectively communicate my curiosity and passion. When writing a personal statement you have to find a way to tell them who you are in a page or less. Most applicants will focus on what makes them qualified. While this is important you should instead express how your interests lead you to such qualifications by using your character traits to segue into your experience. This is the most important aspect of your application since it demonstrates who you are.

    Sitting down and writing about yourself can be a daunting challenge. Getting in the right state of mind is very important. The set and setting in which you craft your application will have a significant impact. Embedding yourself in an environment that allows you to translate your emotions into words will give you can advantage few applicants will have.

    With regards,

    Jarod
     
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