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How many piano tuners are there in the city of Chicago? Well, if we assume that the population of Chicago is three million and that each household has approximately two people and that one in every twenty households owns a piano… And so begins the answer to the classic Fermi problem, named after physicist and University of Chicago professor Enrico Fermi. He was known for challenging his students with seemingly impossible questions that required erudition, quick wit and out-of-the-box thinking.
This is precisely the kind of thinking that draws me to the University of Chicago — the sheer intellectual vibrancy of the school, the quirkiness and originality. I love the university’s size, its academic intensity, its location in the crowded, vivacious city of Chicago (different in scenery, but not in spirit, from my own hometown of Miami), its sense of humor, and its gothic (and very Hogwarts-like) architecture.
When searching for colleges, I was focused on finding a school where I would be able to express my ideas and have the opportunity to listen to what others have to say as well. The University of Chicago fulfills this desire for a thoughtful, intellectual community where deliberation and debate over the true value of Jay Gatsby’s character, the violation of Constitutional rights in the Patriot Act, and the best Friends episodes are a common — no, a fundamental — part of conversation between students.
My quest for knowledge is all-absorbing, all-consuming, and ultimately exhilarating. I may not be as brilliant as Fermi, but I’m ready to ask original questions about my world and its inner workings, and the University of Chicago could help me to discover the answers.
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