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Should I attach code as a supplement?

VictorianLiteratureVictorianLiterature Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
edited October 2013 in Harvard University
Should I attach computer code or an executable file as a supplement?
Post edited by VictorianLiterature on
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Replies to: Should I attach code as a supplement?

  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,499 Senior Member
    No . . . that's a little too geeky. You could submit a website with your computer projects that allow for downloading code for inspection.

    BTW: The Dean of Harvard's Computer Department, who has taught both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of the Admissions Committee, so your computer projects and code need to exemplary to impress.
  • VictorianLiteratureVictorianLiterature Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    oh... so it's good enough that I write about it in one of my essays & list it as an EC?
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,499 Senior Member
    I suppose. When my son applied to colleges, he wrote about computer science in one of his essays and submitted a website with his computer projects which included several games written in java, net logo and flash. Many students who have a lot of computer science background do the same submitting websites with apps they created that are for sale on the App Store. It depends on how much stuff you have to display.
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,499 Senior Member
    If you're applying to a selective college and highlighting your interest in computer science, you need to be able to back it up with examples of your work. It's kind of like applying as a studio art major, but not including an art portfolio -- colleges wonder how good you are.

    In past years, I have known several students who wrote essays about their involvement with their school's math team, robotics team, or computer science lab only to have an Admissions Officer email them and ask for samples of their work. So, even if you currently do not have a website to submit, you should have a portfolio of your work at the ready in case you are asked for samples.
  • VictorianLiteratureVictorianLiterature Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    my code is kind of "amateur"... but i'm still interested in computer science at Harvard... Is there any point in submitting still? Or should I just leave it :/
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,499 Senior Member
    Define amateur -- what does your code do -- Write "Hello World"?
  • neontissuesneontissues Registered User Posts: 277 Junior Member
    I have a similar issue - I just started learning computer science and learning to code in java and a little bit of PHP this year. I absolutely love it and will definitely pursue it in college, but I don't really have anything impressive to show admissions officers. Should I still work on making a basic portfolio with some of my more creative but still simple programs?
  • Falcon1Falcon1 Registered User Posts: 1,950 Senior Member
    ^^If they are simple programs, it is probably not worth assembling a portfolio. My son could code in middle school and wrote his first iPhone gaming app in 7th grade. There are many kids like him.
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,499 Senior Member
    Your work will end up being overshadowed by other students who are more advanced and who have submitted websites with multiple games and apps -- students like Falcon1's kid.
  • NeutralityACTo36NeutralityACTo36 Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    I am writing a python based application basically for stock market analysis, it is months in the making, I have released the latest versions on the python package index. Do you think I should submit it? I am also submitting a research supplement in biochemistry. I am putting physics on my app, but I like economics and math. In general, what should we be submitting?
  • NeutralityACTo36NeutralityACTo36 Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    Oh yeah, my research had python code I made in it too, to simulate a biological process.
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,499 Senior Member
    In general, what should we be submitting?

    It's Harvard . . . the best of the best apply. If you submit a supplement -- be it computer code, a website with your computer projects, an art portfolio, or music supplement -- you need to understand that your work will be compared to all other student's who have also submitted a portfolio or supplement. In past years, there have been students accepted to Harvard that have sold their company or idea for millions of dollars while they are in high school -- yes those kids exist -- and they have submitted their projects as supplements to their application. If your work is not of the highest caliber -- and only you know if it is -- then submitting a portfolio may not help your application and you might be better off just writing about your interest.
  • Falcon1Falcon1 Registered User Posts: 1,950 Senior Member
    ^^ Good advice

    Btw @NAo36, I know of a girl who five or six years ago wrote a complete stock market simulation program that was adopted by many high schools across the nation. She later went to Harvard.
  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    ^^agree with gibby...for those attaching code as a supplement to schools like Harvard, Stanford, MIT...they better be outstanding...or else...it may diminish the impact of your overall application...
  • NeutralityACTo36NeutralityACTo36 Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    Yeah, I mean I know there are many kids who are better programmers, but do you think it is more relevant because my research sort of revolved around simulations written in python, and actually used some of the same code as my stock program? The bio program is included in the appendix of the paper btw.
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