3rd Quarter, 2007
Engineering Scholarship Winner
“My name is Nickalus Khan. I am a Senior Civil Engineering Major pursuing also a degree in Biology and Chemistry. I have plans to attend medical school in the Fall of 2009. I am interested in using my engineering background to apply to biological and medical problems.”
A Portion of Nickalus’ Winning Essay:
The reason I choose engineering over other educational oppurtunities is the fact that engineering will not only one day provide me with a useful skill but it will, in the process of this skill give me a small taste of how academics, namely mathematics and physics relate to the world.
Engineering is a vastly changing and diverse field, but throughout history people have viewed engineers as problem solvers and as promoters of society. Historically engineers have progressed society to the point in which it is today.
There are three different subjects that I wanted to study while pursuing an engineering degree, which are : physics, mathematics, and history. I will briefly describe why I wanted to pursue each of these academic fields in relation to personal knowledge and applications in engineering. The following is an essay written by me to describe these three different subjects and why I am interested in them:
There are many subjects that I consider unique and necessary for the pursuit of knowledge, and the lifelong goal that scholars seek to obtain: understanding. It is mans most noble goal, to understand the universe that surrounds him, and ultimately his purpose in it. This dates back to the age old question, what is the meaning of life. This question has perplexed many people to seek extreme answers through various fields of study, some pursue the hard factual science route, and others pursue the more artistic route to find the beauty inherent in life. It is my goal in this paper to illustrate my definition of a lifelong learning opportunity and to also present the various fields of study that I feel would best suit this opportunity.
The first subject I will describe is history. There is an old quote “Those who do not learn from the past are destined to repeat it”, this quote implies that without first knowing our past we could never be able to progress in our future. History has impacted world society on many scales. Events happen in the past and in the future we look back at them and continually learn and progress. How many times have we looked back into the Ancient Greeks for answers to today’s questions?
Our government was fashioned in some aspects from ancient political thought. The forefathers of our country while very creative themselves looked back to the past in order to build documents such as the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and other prestigious documents. Without a firm knowledge of the past, it is questionable of the founders of our country would have maintained the same route they took in creating our government structure.
On a completely different level, history not only affects events but it saves lives. For instance, the Spanish Influenza of 1918 which nearly killed a third of the world’s population is now known as the “Flu” and while it is not desirable to have it is very treatable at the present time. Without proper study of history and the trends of the virus mutations and the necessary vaccines to prevent epidemics this would not be possible.
In the times we live in now there are not major epidemics as such in the past which cause the deaths of a third of the world’s population. While there are constantly new diseases and viruses the best tool that today’s medical scientists and doctors have in treating them is history. By learning from the past and pursuing improving the future there have been major advancements in the field of medicine in the recent past.
In the past ancient cultures thought that by their children understanding the past, they would understand who they are. In today’s ever changing society sometimes we as a society get caught up in only what is happening now, and not paying attention to the past. This happens because we are experiencing the most rapid growth of population, technology, and change in the history of the planet. With our focus totally on the future sometimes we lose sight of our past, and where we came from. T
he mentality of why should we care what happened twenty years ago when we are more interested in what is happening twenty years from now. The most ironic thing about this mentality is the fact that the best indicator of our future is the past. In a final quote from George Orwell’s famous novel, 1984 “Those who control the past, control the future”.
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