Comparing college to high school is like comparing apples to oranges to an extent. Found out why.

We had the opportunity of interviewing Peter Sauer '23, a student at Carnegie Mellon University, about: High School Courses Carnegie Mellon is a highly ranked private university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania best known for its top computer science, engineering, and business programs. Read more on their website. Peter is currently majoring in Computational Neuroscience and Statistics/Machine Learning. His goal is to develop data analysis tools to analyze cognitive function and apply that knowledge in the medical field. Peter is currently an EMT, teaches high school students about statistics and neuroscience through Project Ignite, and is a research assistant at CMU. Key points Peter made: "I wouldn’t say that I “overcame” a weakness, but I found that talking to my professors about how I could improve a creative piece or essay helped me a lot." "I would then try to get some feedback from other teachers to verify my suspicions about certain concepts to make sure I was learning from my mistakes." Q: Since you’ve shown an interest in biological sciences, mathematics, and computer science, did you take any courses in high school that were related to those subjects? If so, which courses? A: I was originally a math and physics person with some computer science background. For math, I took multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and intro to continuous dynamical systems. For physics, I took modern physics and an electronics course. And for computer science, I took an intro to java course. While I did take a marine biology course, I would say that was more for fun. Q: How would you compare the AP/IB/college level courses you took in high school with actual college courses? A: College courses are definitely different in comparison to AP/IB/college level courses. From my high school experience, I would say that any class taken in high school is more concerned with the broad and big picture of an idea, whereas college courses are more concerned with the technical aspects and the precise details. Neither is necessarily more difficult; comparing high school courses to college courses is like comparing apples to oranges. Q: Was there a subject area that was a weakness for you in high school? If so, how did you overcome it? A: I definitely struggled with modern languages and English. I wouldn’t say that I “overcame” a weakness, but I found that talking to my professors about how I could improve a creative piece or essay helped me a lot. Another technique that helped me specifically was to approach my English assignments like my math or physics problems. Not only did I finish my assignments quicker, but I also found that I was able to express myself in creative assignments a lot more fluently. Q: Were the courses you took in high school primarily related to what you were interested in, or did you explore a variety of courses? A: To be honest, I was not entirely sure what interested me during high school. All I really knew was that I was good in math and that I liked science. That being said, I did take some time to explore some courses that sounded interesting to me. However, I will say that any course on the high school level will likely also be offered in college. Q: If you ever struggled with an assignment or didn’t do well on a test, what was your first instinct to do? A: My first instinct in high school was to get some exercise or complain to my friends to vent all my angry energy. However, once that phase was done, I would go back to the problems and see what I got wrong. I would then try to get some feedback from other teachers to verify my suspicions about certain concepts to make sure I was learning from my mistakes. While you’re here, connect and learn more about Peter Sauer on his LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/pjsauer/. Subscribe to our *NEWSLETTER* AlumniAlert to stay updated on interviews like Peter Sauer on a monthly basis! Have more questions based on what you’ve read? Submit them to us here! Follow us on Instagram and connect with us on LinkedIn @alumnianswers to interact with us!

Comparing college to high school is like comparing apples to oranges to an extent. Found out why.

We had the opportunity of interviewing Peter Sauer '23, a student at Carnegie Mellon University, about: High School Courses Carnegie...