How My Background Influenced the Problems I Want to Solve

How has your own background influenced the types of problems you want to solve?

The headline “20 Worst Places to live in the US” flashes on my laptop. I curiously click it, disappointed to see my community, San Bernardino County, top the charts in crime, education, and pollution-induced high temperatures and air quality.

As an aspiring future data scientist and lover of lists, I plan on creating algorithms to rank cities’ liveability and to measure air quality and crime. Mainly, I’ll promote all cities’ improvement so a “worst list” wouldn’t need to exist. I’ll use my pursuits in environmental science to invest in better ventilation and renewable energy like solar and hydroelectric power. I’ll beautify my desert city of Ontario, California to resemble Ontario, Canada with cooler temperatures through waterfalls, dams, and wind farms. Additionally, I’ll combat pollution by promoting carpools and asbestos checks instead of engine sputters from trucks and coal. I want to help since after all, I don’t need any more record-breaking heat waves causing me to sweat in my own home. We’ll be as green as Germany, which imports trash to recycle.My home state of California brings natural beauty but also natural disasters like heat waves, earthquakes, and the recent wildfires. To combat these horrors, I’ll advocate for government lobbying and emailing of government representatives to build more earthquake-ready homes and stores rather than just earthquake-ready skyscrapers. The government should also increase the costs of fossil fuels and subsidize renewable resources. Also, I aspire to reduce urban sprawl by creating calculations for the government to place homes and stores nearby instead of having people wait ten minutes in traffic just to get to the nearest store. This would reduce carbon dioxide emissions and make communities more walkable, allowing people to admire the beauty around them.

Even more, California is renowned for its heat, which is partially due to overpopulation. I can’t help that California is so awesome with its numerous theme parks, film culture, and big cities, but I know that advocating compact neighborhoods and reducing urban sprawl would save the world energy and pollution, thereby reducing heat. Environmental science cures climate change and social problems by incorporating politics, statistics, and economics. Similarly, this explains my interest in solving problems in many interdisciplinary fields; every topic connects to each other.

I’ll also emphasize STEM education in my community since there are so little emphasis or opportunities. I recall my disappointment to the lack of an AP Calculus BC class since only three students qualified for it, which motivated me to self-study it. I recall lamenting my classmates’ lack of knowledge or interest for participating in USAMO competitions. It shocked me that although I was still learning calculus, I would teach calculus in my Kumon job. Ultimately, guidance is needed to foster success in STEM, and education will reduce crime rates. I see math and science in everything: how our air and global warming hurt my asthma and how we predict the world through numbers. With education, Ontario, California can become a healthy, crime-free place to live.

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