the Fencing Team and in the Latin Club (so you could taunt your opponents in Latin: ouyah allcay athay an alestrabay!). Also you had a letter from your principal who never had you for a class but can comment on your leadership since you organized a pep rally for the football team. Why does UNDERGRAD admissions care about these things? Because, while they want good students, they also want to build a community of scholars of different interests and abilities.
YOU apply to grad school in Computer Science. Hey, it worked once maybe it will work again! You write about being in the ballroom dancing club and you have a letter from the Dean, who never had you in a class,
but you worked in his office and he can attest that you are a good leader and a hard worker.
Does the admissions committee care? NO. The only things we care about are CS, MATH, and RESEARCH. A letter from someone not in math or science is worthless. Some exceptions and thoughts:
- If you recorded ballroom dancing and made a project out of how to teach it using some interesting new technology this IS good. This is likely an Human-computer-interaction project; however, I would care about this no matter what field you are going into.
- If you have an interest in Nat Lang Proc and know Linguistics I would care. I would think that knowing a foreign language would also be good.
- If you are going to go into Human computer Interaction then Psychology helps.
- If you are going to do Quantum Computing then Physics is good. However, whatever you do Physics is good as its more evidence of math ability.
- For ugrad its been said that if your parents are powerful OR donors you may have an easier time getting into some UGRAD schools. What about Grad school? I've honestly never seen a case of this so I honestly don't know.
I know a student who is an excellent math major but also a creative writer. I doubt this will help him.
but should it?
I once saw in a students application a letter from his preacher attesting to his fine moral character.
Do we care? should we? How about the other way around- if someone was an EXCELLENT programmer and math person but served 8 years for armed robbery would we care? This might not be fair since perhaps he reformed.
but my real question is- for grad admissions we don't care about Ballroom Dancing or other misc.
Is this a mistake? If someone was NOT as good at math BUT a better writer, should we take them?