<p>I think this is much better...I am still unsure of how to present myself as being prepared for graduate school or what I can bring to the department. Shoudl I mention specific research interests, or leave it general?</p>
<p>As a child, the series "Cairo Jim" inspired in me an interest in the ancient world and archaeology. However, for practical reasons I entered the world of Information Technology, earning my degree from Queensland University of Technology. Since then I have worked in a number of increasingly diverse positions and situations, performed contract work around the world, and earned a masters degree in Computer Science.</p>
<p>Having always been able to think quickly and pick up new concepts with ease, I looked forward to entering the university life, being awarded a chance to discuss and learn topics with my professors and students at my level. However I found at university that most students are still learning about life, and are not yet fully capable of planning or seeing the consequences of their actions, I know now this is somewhat accepted, as part of the goal of a university is to prepare students for the real world. </p>
<p>One important thing I discovered while earning my undergraduate degree is that I had a strong desire and gained joy from teaching people, helping them understand and passing on knowledge. This manifested itself as being offered a tutoring position in university, due to the fact that I was able to demonstrate my knowledge of the subject exceptionally well, until it went further, assisting lecturers with research and holding private tutoring sessions.</p>
<p>In part because of my teaching and professional experience, I was appointed as Teaching Assistant/Peer Mentor in QUTs General Education Program. In working with a course titled Object Orientated technology, it was my responsibility to develop curriculum for mentor sessions, which accompanied the main course sessions. A significant portion of this year-long course examined the methods and practises of developing software using an object orientated approach, its differences, advantages and disadvantages in both professional and academic contexts. It was vital for the mentor sessions to consider and test concepts and understanding.
Also during this time, I gained an interest in travel and exploring the cultures and peoples of the world, starting with a coast to coast tour of the United States and Mexico lasting 3 months, later travelling all of 2005 across Europe and Asia, while completing contract work remotely and locally. It was an amazing experience to meet and make new friends, and perhaps more importantly see the ruins I had fantasized about seeing since my childhood, such as Pompeii and Athens and the coliseum.
At Queensland University of Technology, I engaged in a comprehensive undergraduate study of the four computer science sub-disciplines: data communications, software development, information systems and multimedia applications. I believe my academic and intellectual pursuits are well suited to the wide discipline field of Archaeology, because of its applications in reconstruction, modelling and simulation to aid in a better understanding.</p>
<p>I have acquired most of my knowledge and familiarity about the many archaeological sites only through my private readings, or by watching significant discoveries featured on Television. Yet I was also lucky to have a glimpse of some important sites during my travels in the last few years. There I had the chance to see some of the ruins of the once glorious Roman era. Some of the buildings such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, or the underground churches in the catacombs in Rome were still in good shape. The rest such as the various Roman forums were already in ruins. Still all of them clearly manifested how resplendent was their time once. I know there are still other known primitive and ancient places of equal importance or yet to be uncovered. </p>
<p>In line with my computer science background, which is largely a mathematical and logical science, I had a desire to undertake a different type of learning, in part inspired by my travels, seeing the worlds cultures, and wanting to better understand them, I made an effort to teach myself Standard Mandarin, which I am now at a third year level, and have a basic reading and speaking knowledge of german.
Computers have long been used by archaeologists for tasks such as recording excavation plans, illustrating artefacts and presenting the results of scientific analyses. Lately computer generated images have become commonplace in television documentaries, film and the publishing industries, however, if we are to avoid misleading representations of how a site may have appeared, then the computer generated environments should not only look real, they must simulate very accurately all the physical evidence from the site. It is my goal to utilize my extensive computer science background to aid in making new discoveries in the field of archaeology.
My relationships with my professors, my teaching and research experience, and my commitment to interdisciplinary work are formative of my plans to pursue graduate study at Cornell. As a student within the Archaeology Graduate Group, I would welcome the rigorous study of the disciplines history and development, theory and methods, and would find comparative Archaeology paradigms particularly useful for pursuing my dissertation research. Studying for a MA in the Archaeology Program at Cornell would be an unparalleled opportunity for me. The universitys prestigious history, unparalleled resources, and established level of excellence make me believe that there is no better institution in which to prepare for a future of scholarship in the field of Archaeology. I would dedicate myself to making the most of this opportunity.</p>