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Personal Statement

个人陈述 Statement of Purpose




bioengineering personal statement  

2009-09-16 23:43:57|  分类: 生物 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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1. Tough memories played a key role in my decision

I am determined to pursue graduate studies engineering in a large part because both of my grandmothers died because the hospitals did not have the facilities to give them prompt diagnosis and effective treatment. My paternal grandmother suffered from cancer, but he doctor did not know it was cancer until was already to late. A few years later, my maternal grandmother passed away because of a sudden heart attack. To this day, my mother’s words at her funeral till echo in my ears:“If only she could wear a portable monitor for heart disease, and if only there was a portable cardiac pacemaker in the ambulance.”

On the strength of my strong performance in the 1994 National University Entrance Examinations, I won acceptance into the Tsinghua University, China’s top engineering school. Without any hesitation, I chose to major in biomedical engineering in its Department of Electrical Engineering. In making that choice, I hoped that, one day, I could be more of a help to patients than doctors, since a doctor treats patients one at a time, but the more effective medical devices I develop can help many people all the time.

2. My solid academic record

With a clear objective in my mind, I made myself a “gifted student” recognized by the department. In my class of 32 students, I was consistently a top student. My GPA for basic courses was 3.75/4.0 and my GPA for specialized courses was as high as 3.87/4.0. In my second year in Tsinghua University, my academic ranking and comprehensive ranking were both the highest in my class, and I was awarded the first ranking excellent student scholarship that year. I was particularly strong in mathematics and physics, which I took as fundamental to every branch of science and technology.

3. My independent research ability

As a recognized gifted student, I was one of the first students in my year to be given the opportunity of taking part in actual research. In July 1996, I joined the research group for biomedical instrumentation and signal processing, led by Professor Cheng Jiajie, a noted Chinese term EEG signals. A joint project between Professor Cheng and the National Research Center for Engineering and Technology on Appliance for Medical Treatment and Health Care, the system was to consist of two sub-systems. One was for sampling and recording the EEG and other physiological signals, and the other was for reviewing and analyzing the signals. I was involved in the development of both.

I first built a double-T band-stop filter network for ultra-weak signals to serve as an essential part of the EEG hardware. As brain waves are extremely weak signals, only from tens to hundreds microvolt, the whole system, including the filter network, had to meet extremely stringent standards. I designed the circuit and its components meticulously. After painstaking efforts, I successfully set up the filter network.

After that, professor Cheng assigned me to perfect the clinical EEG software in recognition of my computer skills. In a Windows-based EEG review and analysis software system, I integrated various functions of automatic and manual data scrolling, annotation, grouping, montage, block marking, data discarding and transferring into diskette, filter design and filtering, compress spectrum array, brain electrical activity map, power spectrum estimation, twelve quantity EEG analysis and statistics. This cleared away a major hassle for doctors working in the hospitals. The software system also adopts background data loading and re-sampling of data while displaying to speed up the scrolling process and reduce the doctors’ waiting time.

Through this project, I was solidly trained in independent research, much more so than most of my classmates.

4. Extracurricular activities

I was a good student not just because I studied well but also because I actively involved myself in a variety of activities. In these activities, I not only honed my leadership and communication skills but also acquired a pioneering spirit and the ability to do teamwork.

For much of my undergraduate studies, I served as a member of the student union council. In 1995 and 1996, I was elected the monitor of my class. Under my leadership, my class was chosen “A Class of Good Academic Atmosphere”, a designation given to only the best group of students. To take advantage of my leadership and communication skills, the department appointed me a counselor to first-year students in the school year between September 1996 to July 1997. In this position, I advised the freshmen on the choice of courses and adaptation to the university life.

Interested in the cultural and recreational activities, I helped to organize, in 1995, the First Beijing Opera Competition in Tsinghua University. In December 1996, I organized and participated in making the first music video for our class as our contribution to the department’s art festival, and it won a second prize.

What I like to emphasize is that I was one of the founders of the Biomedical Club in our department. The purpose of it is to spread knowledge and exchange ideas in the rapidly developing biomedical world. During the past three years, we successfully fulfilled our goal by means of regular seminars as well as visits to various academic institutions and hospitals.

I became even more active in extracurricular activities after m third undergraduate year. In January 1997, I went on a trip to ShenZhen, China’s first and most successful “special economic zone”, as part of a social investigation group. The far-reaching economic and technical reforms taught me a lot outside my discipline. From June to August 1998, u worked in the IBM China Research Laboratory on localization and system testing for IBM WorkPad Chinese Applications. It was an extraordinary experience for me. I not only tested myself in real research, but also I learned about advanced technology and thinking. During this time, I attended the IBM Research Summer Jam 98, which was an event for IBM Research’s supplemental and summer student employees to get together and explore the future of computing. My creativity displayed in this Summer Jam won acclaim from IBM Senior Vice President Dr. Paul Horn.

I believe that the team spirit, communication skills and other qualities I acquired in thee activities will be conducive to advanced research in an American university.

5. Solid command of English

Although not an English major, my English proficiency is comparable to that of English majors in Chinese universities, as demonstrated by my high grades in both TOEFL and GRE. I do not just know the English language well. I can communicate as effectively in English as I do in Chinese. I believe that good communication and writing skills are indispensable to a successful researcher or engineer. My TWE score is 5.5, which is especially high for Chinese students, and my oral English is good, too, as I have many a chance to talk with my parents’ foreign colleagues and exchange different ideas and information with them when they come to China. I will take TSE this October and I am confident that I will get another high score.

6. Why I decide to pursue my study abroad?

Although studying in Tsinghua University has solidly grounded me for an engineering career, I have for long felt the urgency and responsibility to study abroad. From my personal experience, I realize, frankly speaking, that China’s biomedical engineering is not yet developed enough. I remember that, in September 1997 when I went to Beijing Recovery Center for “social investigation”, I found all the advanced recovery and nurse appliances displayed and used there were made abroad and the expenses were too high for ordinary people. To give you another example, the EEG system currently made in China for clinical use requires electrode check-up before operation. This always brings patients suffering because the nurses have to rub the electrode heavily on their scalp for about half an hour for ideal location. One day, a professor there brought us an EEG system imported from California, U.S.A. This system not only solves the old problem, but also sets up a new detecting function for brain’s cognition ability.

From these and other things, I know that the United State has the advanced technology and thus the original ideas, but China has quality researchers like me who can learn to do as well. I feel that I have not taken the full advantage of my intellectual capabilities. I wish to pursue more advanced studies and then improve my country’s biomedical situation. Only by doing this can I feel better when I recall my childhood memories, memories of my grandmothers dying needlessly. Only by doing this can I fulfil my ultimate aim to make biomedical appliances part of everybody’s life, to help provide ordinary people correct and timely treatment and care for their illness.

I have inherited from my parents’ intellectual qualities. My father, a professor of Physics at the Beijing University, and my mother, a senior engineer of Physics with the Chinese academy of Sciences. Have bestowed on me the character of diligence, resolution and perseverance as well as the ability to understand new things quickly. They have both been to several universities in U.S.A. as visiting scholars. So when I was young, I had some knowledge of universities in United States. My older brother pursued his graduate studies in MIT, where he obtained a Master of Science Degree in physics in 1992 and a Ph. D. in the Division of Health Sciences and Technology in 1996. By realizing his achievement, he has given me tremendous encouragement and confidence because I know that I am as excellent as he is.

7. I think Cornell University is an ideal place for me.

Graduate studies should be both intellectually exhilarating and challenging. But to decide which university to attend is one of the biggest decisions in one’s life. Keeping these in mind, I consider Cornell University as my First Choice. A world-famous top-notch university, Cornell has a world-class faculty, advanced research facilities and a stimulating academic atmosphere, all very conducive to the development of my potential into actual ability. If I am accepted, I will Instrumentation and Diagnostics as well as Biomedical Mechanics. My solid academic foundation, independent research ability and strong background in biomedical engineering and related subjects, coupled with my determination and strong sense of responsibility, have paved the way for me to undertake advanced studies at an institution of higher learning like yours.
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