Application: Stanford Supplement
Pseudonyms used.
  1. Stanford Supplement, John Smith, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science/English Literature, MIT 2014
    1. Acceptances with these essay(s): Stanford, Harvard (adapted Intellectual Vitality)
  2. Stanford Supplement, Kay Cue, Chemistry, Yale 2014
    1. Acceptances with these essay(s): Stanford
  3. Stanford Supplement, Ted Menagerie, Economics, Stanford 2014
    1. Acceptances with these essay(s): Stanford
  4. Stanford Supplement, Dory Fish, Chemistry, Yale 2015
    1. Acceptances with these essay(s): Stanford
  5. Stanford Supplement, Will Theondi, Computer Science, Harvard 2015
    1. Acceptances with these essay(s): None (waitlist at Stanford)
  6. Stanford Supplements| Eric Smalls | Computer Science | Stanford 2016
    1. Acceptances with these essay(s): Stanford
  7. Stanford Supplements, Shadi Barhoumi, Computer Science, Stanford 2017
    1. Acceptances: Stanford

Application: Stanford Supplement

Pseudonym: John Smith

Acceptances with these essay(s): Stanford, Harvard (adapted Intellectual Vitality)

Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.

“Let’s use sodium sulfide,” I decided.

I snatched the bottle labeled Na2S and placed three drops of the foul-smelling liquid into a well on the well-plate. Then, I added some of the clear unknown solution I had been given and watched the reaction unfold. Upon contact, the two combined to form an obvious white solid.

“Not again!”

I stared at the chart we had been provided: seven of the twelve metal cation combinations with sulfide were white. The teacher had also informed us of other methods to differentiate between cations such as the flame test, but many were too time-consuming to use for the compound-identification race. It was time to innovate.

My mind wandered to when our AP Chemistry class had covered certain properties of metals and their ionized forms. There was something special about aluminum and zinc…

“Wait! Don’t aluminum and zinc form acidic complex ions with water?” I exclaimed to the instructor. He smiled, nodded, and gave me an encouraging wink.

“And aluminum’s is more acidic than zinc’s. So, blue pH paper should be able to determine that it’s aluminum or zinc, or eliminate them from the options entirely,” I reasoned.

I took a strip of the paper and dipped it into the unknown solution. It turned a distinct shade of red: it had to be zinc. I could barely contain my excitement as I scribbled down the answer on a sheet of paper and turned it into the teacher for evaluation.

“Good job, Kevin; four points for correct identification.”

Though the method I had developed did propel me to the top of the class, the experience was not the least bit about points. Instead, it was about the process of creating something new and effective, which showed me the value of innovation and applying classroom knowledge to real situations.

Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. What would you want your future roommate to know about you? Tell us something about you that will help your future roommate-and us-know you better.

Dear Roommate,

I don’t plan on being in the room much. I have to sleep and do homework, of course, but I’d rather not experience the rest of Stanford from the dorm. It’s not you. In fact, I’d love for you to join me. That said, if you decide not to and you need to find me when I’m not in the room, look in these places first:

Laboratories: I hope I can convince a future professor of mine to let me work with him or her so I can make the most of Stanford’s world-class faculty and research facilities. I don’t know where my pursuits will land me yet, but because I’m looking to be a chemical engineer, try the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology or Energy and Environment building.

Practice rooms: I love science, but I also have a deep passion for music. I could be in a room practicing clarinet, piano, or guitar. I hope to join a band or orchestra, so you can also look wherever our rehearsals or concerts may be.

Athletic events: You won’t find me on a college varsity team, but I’m an avid sports fan. I’ll watch any game; your best bets are football and baseball. I follow the Chargers and Red Sox too, but I’ll probably be in the room for those games. Then again, I did play volleyball in high school so I might try my luck at some intramural; give that place a shot too.

Libraries: Stanford’s libraries have some of the world’s best academic resources; I could be studying in one of them. Some homework I can do in the dorm with a bit of Jimi Hendrix on, but if I really have to read, a quiet place like the library is where I’ll be. You can try the music and engineering libraries too; I could be browsing there to fuel my ambitions.

If you join me, perhaps you can learn to love some of the things I do. Of course, there’ll have to be balance; I’m open to your passions too.

Tell us what makes Stanford a good place for you.

Consider the chemical equation below:

Student + Opportunity —> Adult + Success

From experience, we know that the reaction above requires considerable energy input to complete, and even with the most concentrated students and opportunities, the products may not form at a practical rate. A catalyst should be used to provide a surface for the reactants to collide and thereby speed up the reaction. For the equation above, college is a suitable one.

There are many substances that are considered colleges, but as with any set of related elements or compounds, some are superior to others for certain reactions. For some students, crimson red will produce the best output of adults and success. Others prefer a combination of orange and black or a mix of navy blue and white. For me, cardinal red, also known as Stanford, is the optimal choice.

Stanford offers the best opportunities for catalyzing the development of an aspiring chemical engineer like me. The faculty members of Stanford’s chemical engineering department are pioneers in research on medicine and renewable energy who can provide me with insight into the scientific world in and beyond college. Stanford is also situated in Silicon Valley, the haven for engineering and breeding grounds for technological innovation. The area not only inspires me with names like Apple and Google, but also presents me with the opportunity to have as large an impact on the world as these companies did.

However, Stanford also promotes a balance of academic, extracurricular, and social activities. The unique marching band convinces me that I can find a place for my other passion: music. The active student body and all-important sporting events also show me that, as time-consuming as my reaction may be, I will still be in for a fun ride.

Stanford Supplement, Ted Menagerie, Economics, Stanford 2014
  1. Acceptances with these essay(s): Stanford

III. Tell us what makes Stanford a good place for you.

In AP Statistics, I often utilized the Least Squares method to find correlations between two data sets. First, I would generate a curve that minimized the residuals: the differences between corresponding values of the two sets. Smaller residuals implied greater correlation, with a residual of r = 0 being optimal. The process works as long as the data analyzed is a random sample from the two sets.

I will now perform Least Squares reduction, juxtaposing my traits and expectations for college with my impression of Stanford. Consider the data points below.

Californian: On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the CA stereotype, I am a 9. I value the environment, I have an enviable tan, and my casual dress belies my assiduous personality. Stanford (a 10) is undoubtedly Californian due to its association with Silicon Valley and John Steinbeck. The resulting residual is r = 1. I belong in CA, and so does Stanford.

Academic Balance: I excel at math and science; I enjoy writing and the arts. Stanford fosters the perfect balance of innovation and imagination. r = 0.

Opportunity: I’d be delighted to explore the plethora of research and job opportunities at Stanford and in the Bay Area. r = 0.

Distance: San Diego is 32N. Stanford is 37N. r = 5, close enough for me!

Climate: San Fran is San Diego minus the Santa Anas. r = 0.

Numeration: Stanford is currently number 1 on my list of colleges. I would love to be 1 more active student on campus. r = 0.

The residuals are sufficiently small, implying a strong correlation!

Normally, I’d do some number crunching at this point to find the exact correlation. However, since I have not yet experienced Stanford, I cannot guarantee the randomness of the aforementioned data. To determine the true correlation, I first require a Stanford education.

Stanford Supplement, Dory Fishie, Chemistry, Yale 2015
  1. Acceptances with these essay(s): Stanford
There were few dull minds in San Jose the spring of 2010. Around 1600 teens from around the world streamed into the heart of Silicon Valley for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair; for me, it was an unforgettable first glimpse of the talent and imagination of my global peers.

Perhaps it was the discovery that innovation is contagious, that science is a universal language for the young, but as I strolled through the massive exhibition hall on judging day, gasping at the elaborate schematics and full-scale engineering prototypes, I suddenly felt a tantalizing sense of belonging. It was enthralling and humbling, the realization that I too was a part of a community bound by a passion for knowledge and willingness to devote thousands of hours of research to obtain answers to our inquiries. Yet even as the exotic flavors of the multicultural dishes faded away, a vivid impression still lingers of the power of intellect and the celerity with which it struck down instantly all language, cultural, and mortal barriers. For a week, this microcosm of the future generation, my future generation, transcended international conflicts and tensions and dispelled the resentment and problems that plague modern society; for a week, we lived simply to see and feel and cooperate and learn - from ourselves and from each other. It was inspiring to hear a myriad of accents and languages mingling, my own among them, exploring the same interests and hopes of bettering the world through our leadership and research. Even though I will probably never again meet the Austrian girl with whom I gossiped about neural networks or the boy from my birth city Nanjing with whom I chatted (in Mandarin!) about college and computers, I am deeply inspired by this promise of a vibrant future.

I'm quite infamous, apparently. As divulged in the following article… Topping the list of this (school) year's most wanted outlaws again is TPHS senior Dory Fishie, juvenile at large with a record of offenses like overachieving. "I tell her every layout she needs to stop working so hard and go home," newspaper adviser Mia Smith said. "But she's still there at who-knows-when, editing pages in not just her Feature section but News and Sports as well. It's ridiculous." According to reliable sources, Fishie is also regularly spotted as late as 9 p.m. in UCSD's Pacific Hall laboratories scribbling hazardous data in a lab book. While loyal friends refused to betray her whereabouts, neighbors are encouraged to watch for a short, bubbly figure lugging an oversized backpack and a Canon EOS Rebel. Never seen without a voluminous ponytail adorned by at least 3 fluorescent bands, Fishie will likely be clad in varying hues of blue. Known for a laugh resembling a D Major scale, Fishie does not, authorities warned, possess the stereotypical criminal appearance, as she always waxes an enduring smile and is fond of assisting peers in writing or calculus. "Seriously, people need to be careful; she looks so sweet, but she'll hit the highest note on the clarinet and blow your eardrums to shards," band director Amy Willcox said. Indeed, Fishie tends to carry concealed weapons such as ink pens (to engage in lethal literary battles) and an army of post-its. As she is prone to prowl local streets on rollerblades, residents are advised to spread all driveways with sand or water to deter her escape. "There's only one way to catch her," former lab partner Jamie Li said. "Make a trap with a Steinway grand and an unlimited cache of Chopin impromptus. Or burnt cookies. She absolutely adores burnt cookies."

They say when something is right, it's right in a heartbeat. That's what I felt when, at 9 years old, I skipped into Stanford's characteristic main quad for the first time. Never having imagined that a college could appear so elegant, complete with stone arches and bell towers, I vividly recall gazing at the Spanish-styled buildings, musing to myself that it was very much like what my dad had promised that our house, when we could afford one, would look like. Indeed, I am living in a Stanfordesque home right now - red roof and beige walls and all. Of course appearances are hardly what ought to matter, but they foster first impressions, which for me have cemented into reality. Stanford had the aura that immediately made me feel that it was invigorating, deep, yet accessible. Maybe it was coincidence that I had just read about Rodin and thus elatedly recognized his Burghers of Calais; for a child, life escalates quite a bit in excitement when there is something familiar in an unfamiliar territory. But I like to think that the connection was fate. Fueling the heart of innovative Silicon Valley, what is most appealing about Stanford is its ability to draw the top minds and most vibrant enthusiasm from thespians to politicians, writers to philosophers, and bind them by a simple German motto and a lifelong sense of entrepreneurialism. With scientific pioneers and flourishing artisans, Stanford represents the ideal balance between concrete and abstract, novelty and tradition that I value. I realize now that everything I had believed as a little kid about Stanford was in fact true. As a child who grew up all over northern and southern California, I am a true golden coast girl, and Stanford embodies that sun, fun, and brain mixture, the bright and lucid ideology that is me.

Application: Stanford Supplement

Pseudonym: Will Theondi

Acceptances with these essay(s): None, wait list at Stanford

Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.

[Not worth your time to read.]

Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. What would you want your future roommate to know about you? Tell us something about you that will help your future roommate-and us-know you better.

Dear Roommate,

I’m that guy who’s unabashedly outgoing. I frequently settle random debates with friends by asking the opinion of a stranger walking by. Some people call that crazy; I call it fun.

I’m that guy who looks on the bright side. When something doesn’t go as planned, I find a way to turn it into a positive development. If bad luck really exists, I’ve never been forced to admit it.

I’m that guy who’s going to make you come fountain hopping with me through Stanford’s twenty-odd fountains. I’m very persuasive.

I’m that guy who’s such a nerd at times. My Facebook comments for the past month have all obscurely referenced The Fountainhead, simply because that’s what I’ve been reading for fun. Nobody’s had a clue what I’ve been talking about. I’m that guy Kent Lansing.

Yet I’m also that guy who’ll come sit on a rock with you when your day sucks, listening and trying to help, even if there’s something else I’m supposed to be doing. I’m that guy you can come to when your math or physics homework makes no sense. I’m not that guy who’ll do it for you; I’m that guy who’ll lead you through the process and not let you leave until I’m confident you understand how to solve similar problems in the future. You can pay me in Heath bars if you want, but you don’t have to; that’s not why I did it.

I’m that guy who wants to meet you. Hi.

I’m Will.

Tell us what makes Stanford a good place for you.

Stanford is that refreshing sea breeze at Half Moon Bay. It’s comfortable; it feels like home – and yet it’s wild, fresh, excitingly vibrant. I remember playing soccer at Stanford, and going to Pirate Camp; I also remember examining the solar car that raced across Australia. Tressider was the first place to which I learned to bike, and for Halloween I once made a Firebolt broom out of a Stanford palm frond; Stanford was also the place I saw Honda’s ASIMO demonstration and took notes on George Lakoff’s speech about framing political arguments. I won the halftime hula-hoop contest at a women’s basketball game and photographed the cactus garden; I’ve participated in MRI experiments and in the Global Innovation Tournament, too. Every time I look there’s a new opportunity to explore at Stanford, and new possibilities open. It’s familiar, like an old friend, but there’s always something fresh and stimulating, too.

Perhaps it’s because Stanford doesn’t stress it’s history, where it’s been and what it’s accomplished – Stanford focuses on what it’s doing now. I like that attitude. Reveling in past successes slows a person (or school) down; I’d rather keep moving forward, searching for the next opportunity, pushing towards the success on the horizon. I want to be a tech entrepreneur, and I want a school with this forward focus and Silicon Valley roots. Stanford’s unconventionality and adventurousness fits me perfectly, as does its cross-disciplinary nature; programs like the Technology Ventures Program excite me. Stanford’s mixture of the familiar and the unconventional entices me – just like that sea breeze.

Stanford Supplements | Eric Smalls | Computer Science | Stanford 2016

  1. Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. CLICK HERE
  2. What matters to you, and why? CLICK HERE
  3. Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate - and us - know you better. CLICK HERE

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