Computer Science Related PS - Please Critique

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Computer Science Related PS - Please Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:21 am

Background: I was part of small, selective honors program that married business and computer science, as is evidend on my resume. Personally identifying elements of the PS have been masked.
Target Schools: CCN
Without further ado:

Refrigerator malfunctions cost hospitals millions of dollars in spoiled blood, tissue, and vaccinations every year. Worse yet, the archaic refrigeration monitoring process in which attending nurses make periodic rounds to record temperatures is tedious drudgery that robs nurses of time spent caring for patients. As a senior member of the FULL NAME OF HONORS PROGRAM, I teamed with four classmates and a LARGE HEALTHCARE IT PROVIDER project manager for 10-20 hours per week in Design Studio (DS) to develop a software solution. The final product utilized radio-frequency identification technology to transmit real-time data from thermometers placed in refrigerators throughout hospitals to nurse-station computers. Conditional displays, compliance logging, and the ability to configure alerts virtually eliminated the need for regular temperature-checking rounds and allowed nurses to better serve their patients. The following year, the product was debuted at the annual LARGE HEALTHCARE IT PROVIDER Healthcare Conference and sold to hospital staff and administrators. This experience, and indeed many others at the HONORS PROGRAM and with computer programming, in particular, has forged an identity and method of thinking unexpectedly well suited to law practice.

As a freshman accounting major entering the HONORS PROGRAM, I was utterly unfamiliar with the required computer science curriculum. But with curiosity and quintessential rural LOW POPULATION STATE work ethic, I consistently earned among the highest grades of my high-achieving classmates and, more importantly, garnered the respect of my computer science cohort. This respect afforded me the opportunity to assume various leadership positions within the HONORS PROGRAM, including “scrum master”, an agile development term for a best practice development process champion, for the LARGE HEALTHCARE IT PROVIDER temperature monitoring DS team and, later, as a graduate assistant and product manager for two DS teams. In these rolls, I often served as the teams’ interface with faculty and clients and, mindful of groupthink, as an advocate of minority opinions. This leadership experience taught me to identify fundamental points of contention, explore the nuances of alternative perspectives, and negotiate amicable resolutions.

The agile development approach promoted in DS projects requires flexibility to the utmost degree. Rather than determining all design specifications at the start of the project and coding to spec until completion, agile development condenses scope and repeats the process in iterative two-week development “sprints” with the expectation that design requirements will change as priorities and product understanding evolve. Immersed in this culture for five years, I learned to be responsive to client requests, yet methodically forward-thinking so as to manage client expectations and produce well designed and executed work products that are easily adapted.

Computer science and business management naturally intersect at entrepreneurship. The HONORS PROGRAM caters to this cross-discipline and quickly instilled in me an appreciation for passionate innovation. By the end of freshman year, I co-founded a university sport club and, after becoming proficient at computer programming, developed various personal stock trading and analysis applications. Design Studio projects later provided the platform to tackle meaningful problems on an expansive scale. In law, I envision my entrepreneurial spirit manifesting itself in advocacy of innovate public policy and technology, defense of intellectual property, or even in service of fellow entrepreneurs. Early in my career at BIG FOUR ACCOUNTING FIRM I transferred from an audit department serving large, sometimes stale, corporations with vast pools of in-house expertise to a tax department serving relatively smaller private companies with equally complex issues, but little in the way of technical tax knowledge and experience. The switch not only enabled me to assist as an advocate rather than a regulator, but it also exposed me fervent company founders and the operational and structural challenges of young businesses.

Higher education, especially law school, fundamentally challenges students to “think” better. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the method of thinking engendered by years of computer programming is fundamentally similar to that provoked by the study of law – both requiring the ability to think logically and abstractly. Programming, as with law, is essentially a framework for understanding and responding to challenges through a series of logical conditional and causal statements. In fact, “if…then” logic blocks are a staple of even the most basic computer programs. Abstract thinking enables computer programmers and lawyers, alike, to identify and extract meaning from similarities occurring in seemingly unrelated circumstances. A computer scientist factors out common elements in order to represent data and functions semantically, decoupled from idiosyncratic implementation details. Likewise, a lawyer discerns analogous fact patterns and methods of argumentation from ostensibly different contexts. This method of approaching problems logically and abstractly, honed line-by-line in development environments and debuggers, guides my professional experiences even today. As a tax associate, I research statutory and regulatory law in order to navigate clients through myriad tax reporting and compliance requirements imposed by federal and state jurisdictions.

With ubiquitous technology, a plethora of architecture alternatives, and design preferences as varied as developers and users themselves, computer science continually demonstrates there are many ways to achieve the same end results. Open-mindedness, sincere contemplation, and previous execution experience help bring to light the full gambit of plausible possibilities. I have no doubts the opportunity to engage in candid, critical discussion with the LAW SCHOOL’s renowned faculty and diverse student body, participate in practical clinics such as the CLINIC, and further my cross-disciplined education with select courses at equally impressive business and public policy programs will be as uniquely transformative and eye-opening as my experience at the HONORS PROGRAM.

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Re: Computer Science Related PS - Please Critique

Postby jselson » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:55 am

This PS is cool and all, and I get what you're saying with the 5th paragraph, but that paragraph also makes it seem like you think IRAC (Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion) is all you'll need in law school and the law, and I think adcomms will be turned off by it. Idk, that's just my impression from that. You don't seem to give enough credence to ambiguity there.

e: Also, just so no one takes this the wrong way, I think the paragraph is probably technically consistent with the mechanics of legal thought (obv if-then logic is the basis of forks in the road thinking [yeah I'm an OL who's read GTM, whatev]), but it's more the tone that I'm talking about.

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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Computer Science Related PS - Please Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:07 pm

OP: Thanks for the thoughts jselson. I agree that paragraph makes legal thought seem too mechanical. I can add a sentence or two in the 5th paragraph addressing ambiguity.

Any other thoughts out there?

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