Artist as an Engineer

I was born an artist. I see shattered colors that make up a random pattern beautiful, but others don’t. An artist's job is to use the raw colors to invent a new product so that everyone can witness the beauty. My love towards the colors is enough for me to produce something with them to the world so that all will feel their importance.
Likewise, this is how I imagine myself as an engineer, an artist. My job will be to bring out pure science, like colors, in a way that all will witness the beauty of it. Most of my classmates back in high school hated science and math, but their blackberries are attached to their hands and Facebook is on their laptop screens all day long. Here’s where engineers come into the picture. They take science, because they’re able to feel the pleasure and significance of it, and convert it into something more productive so others will share their feelings.

On my senior year of high school, my physics teacher taught us how to write lab reports for the first time. To my surprise, it wasn't part of the curriculum, but the teacher believes that it is vital to graduate knowing how to write one. Our teacher gave us the chance to choose any unprecedented experiment idea related to optics, electronics, or thermodynamics. I was very thrilled and excited that we actually had the opportunity to be creative and decide whatever we’d like to work on, for usually topics of projects that count a big part of our final grade were already set up for us. I came up with a long list of ideas. However, the teacher found a problem in every challenging idea I got excited about, so I ended up choosing something seemingly simple; studying the relationship between heat absorption and color.

I assumed that there were already researches available on the topic I chose, but most of the information I found was limited. What I found was all about black absorbing more heat energy than white, but I was trying to find something about colors. I came up with two experiments to collect data to analyze. I kept complaining about how simple my project was, when I wanted something more engrossing. I expected to find a straightforward relationship between wavelengths of the colors and absorption, but I didn't, and that was the challenge. I then became more enthusiastic about it. I read about colors and different ways they were categorized, and tried to see what independent variable would make my data make most sense. I reached to a point where my teacher couldn't keep up with me when I got deeper into my readings. I asked university professors and physics tutors whom I found their contact information online, and each gave me a different response. I had to choose what seemed right to me based on the data I collected. In the end, emissivity of colors turned out to be the variable I was looking for. However, after all my work, I realized that it's not what I'm made for.

An engineer would use that science in an application. I got a full grade for the report, but not according to my own standards. I decided to write an additional lab report, where I’d use the theoretical knowledge I’ve acquired to serve a purpose. I wanted to find out how an animal’s coat color affects its water consumption. In order to do so, I used two rabbits; a white one and a black one, to see which one consumed more water. According to my findings from the previous report, the black one absorbs more heat energy, and will lose more water by sweating. Consequently, the black rabbit will consume more water to compensate for the water loss. I separated the rabbits in two cages, and gave them the same amount of food and water each day. The graduated water bottle helped me measure the daily consumption. The black rabbit did indeed consume more water, but unfortunately, its life came to an end.

I remember when I was younger, and faced difficulties (like running out of tape), I used to whisper to myself, "think like a scientist," to come up with solutions to resolve the problem. It's different now; a scientist will find the answers. "Think like an engineer, Mayada." That's what I tell myself now, for an engineer will take scientists' answers and put them into action. I will take the colors and will mix them. I will use them wisely, but creatively, and you shall see the painting.

(College app essay)