The goal was simple. Program a server for Mojang’s popular game, Minecraft, and use a system of microtransactions to profit off the players who chose to play on the server. I had spent months learning how to write code in Java but when I finally launched the server, my plan failed miserably. Forced to shut down, I walked away with a net loss of $57.34, a lot of money for a twelve year old.
Although I don’t play Minecraft anymore, the experience stuck with me. My plan failed because I wasn’t able to effectively manage my money. I rented the most powerful hardware to run my server making it fast, but expensive. I also allocated little money towards advertising. Without adequate marketing, few players played on my server which led to dismal amounts of revenue. Eventually, I had to shut down due to a lack of funds. I had the knowledge in computer science needed to program the server but I didn’t have the knowledge in business needed to sell it. This experience taught me that in order to succeed, I needed knowledge in multiple disciplines.
I’m currently interested in computer engineering and specifically in hardware security. Carnegie Mellon’s vast educational offerings make it the best place to pursue my interest and ultimately achieve my goals.
At the College of Engineering, I would be able to pursue my interest of computer engineering and take courses to expand my current computer knowledge and problem solving skills. Courses such as Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering and Introduction to Computer Systems would cement a strong background in computer design. Then, I could delve deeper into my interest of security through courses such as Introduction to Computer and Network Security and Applied Cryptography. CMU would also allow me to not only learn from professors at the forefront of security research such Dr. Lujo Bauer and Dr. Nicolas Christin but also to participate and assist in their research.
Of course, studying only computers wouldn’t be satisfying or sufficient. I’d would definitely expose myself to other forms of engineering. I look forward to being able to experience the wonders of biomedical engineering or the application of mechanical engineering before committing to a single major. Should I decide that engineering is simply not enough, the Tepper School of Business can offer a minor in business administration for CMU students. This minor would give me exposure to business and the knowledge I wish I had possessed when I started my Minecraft server.
Outside of classes, a CMU education would allow me be a part of a community with people from all walks of life and diverse interests. I look forward to expanding my horizons by joining some of the 300+ clubs and student run organizations at CMU. I would be allowed to spend time with passionate, like minded individuals such as those in the Computer Club and explore new things I might be interested in such as breakdancing by joining International Freestylers. An education at CMU offers both limitless ways to explore my interests and infinite opportunities to discover new ones. I’m truly excited to see where CMU will take me!