Today, Zachary Ives, Associate Professor of Computer and Information Science (CIS) and the undergraduate curriculum chair of the Rajendra and Neera Singh Program in Networked & Social Systems Engineering (NETS) discusses the Networked and Social Systems Program and offers insight into the program-specific essay.
2013-14 essay: “Describe your interests in modern networked information systems and technologies, such as the Internet, and their impact on society, whether in terms of economics, communication, or the creation of beneficial content for society. Feel free to draw on examples from your own experiences as a user, developer, or student of technology.”
“Technological networks like the Internet are an essential fabric of our lives: we rely on them for information, commerce, communication, and even social activities. How do they work, how do they affect our behavior, and where are they headed? The Networked and Social Systems program focuses on the convergence of people, digital systems, and networks. You will learn how the structure of a network, the protocols of interaction, and participants’ incentives and limited knowledge influence behavior and sometimes result in predictable outcomes. You will learn how algorithms, sociology, dynamical systems, and economics combine in one of the most vibrant and innovative fields in science, engineering, and industry.
The Networked and Social Systems program is looking for enthusiasts who want to know how networked systems work, what properties they have – and especially how to engineer the next great service or make the next breakthrough in scientific understanding. In writing your essay to the Program, we hope you will show your inquisitiveness and enthusiasm for the field, not merely as a user but as someone who has looked into how things actually work. A good essay will also highlight prior background or experience in topics and themes relevant to Networked and Social Systems: for instance, prior programming experience, entrepreneurship, involvement in technical internships or charitable efforts, unusual mathematical abilities, familiarity with sociological principles, and so on. Applicants are sought from a wide variety of backgrounds, but the ideal candidate will show that they are able to handle a technically rigorous Engineering program, and that they are passionate about doing great things with what they learn.
Check P217 frequently for insight into Penn’s interdisciplinary programs and tips on required essays.