When applying to college this year, I made sure that my recommendations, SAT/ACT scores, and high school resume were sent to their appropriate destinations. These are some of the tasks that college applicants do as they apply to their future home and educational center for at least the next four years.
However, Alex Greene thought different. When applying to a school as competitve as Stanford, and to a CS program as cut throat as theirs, he knew he had to have something else up his sleeve. No one knew it would be as creative as an iPhone app. I was able to talk with Greene about all things Stanford, tech, and about his novel idea.
Apart From the Applicants
The 17 year old high school senior from New York decided to create an app to outline his strengths when applying to Stanford. As many of us know, admission into Stanford is one of the toughest (6.6% admission rate), and Stanford’s renowned Computer Science program – in the middle of Silicon Valley – is also tough to get into.
However, Greene felt that creating an app would set himself apart from the other applicants to the school. He mentions of how he “connected the dots” when thinking of the idea. Greene knew he loved creating apps, and what better way to show off his talent and knowledge to the school than by creating an app.
Below, we have the video showing Greene’s application.
Alex’s Coding Experience
Alex Greene has extensive coding experience. Despite learning Java later on in school, Greene’s first encounter with coding was through diving directly into Objective-C. This was due to the fact that his main goal was creating an iPhone app. This was in Greene’s Freshmen year of high school, now the high school senior has a good portfolio. Below are some of his coding projects mentioned on his website. For a complete list, check out his online portfolio on his website:
ideaBin - Developed in PHP/MYSQL, Designed in Photoshop
iLaser - Developed for iOS, first foray into programming
Doodle Drummer - Developed for iOS
numbrs - Developed for iOS, experimental app to test the effect of gestures and motion detection on a user interface
Tile Trek – Developed for iOS, tile based puzzle game
Alex Greene’s coding experience made it a bit easier to create his app resume, taking him about a week in total to complete. This was through working on the app every day after school.
Despite the coverage of his app, Greene has shied away from telling too many individuals in his life. Mentioning, he wants to save the trouble “in case [he] doesn’t get in”. However, close friends and family know. This led me to ask if his friends are also programmers and developers where he mentioned that few were.
Advice For Other Applicants
One thing Greene recommended for college applicants is to go out and apply through early action/decision. This will free up the stress a bit, and will allow them to focus on the other aspects of college admissions (including scholarships, etc). Applying early on will also allow you to apply to as many schools that match your criteria – opening up your opportunities in the end.
You don’t have to build an app to set yourself apart from other applicants, but it certainly does help! Let us know in the comments some important tips you may have for college applicants.