Saturday, August 11, 2012

University Of Illinois Had Approved Aurora Shooter For Admission

The AP has obtained admission records for the man accused of carrying out a mass shooting at a screening of "Dark Knight Rising" in Aurora, Colorado last month from the University of Illinois. It turns out that James Holmes had been accepted into the Neuroscience Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign last year starting with the 2011-12 school year. Holmes, of course, wound up entering a similar Phd. program at the University of Colorado instead. It is unclear why he turned down Illinois' offer, which would have paid him a starting stipend of $22,600 per year plus a waiver of tuition and most fees. The letter signed by Dr. J. Lee Beverly said, "We hope we will see you here in the fall!"

The admissions records for Holmes include his impressive resume, flattering letters of recommendation and a strikingly well-written personal statement submitted by Holmes. Holmes began by writing, "Rational people act on incentives based on self-fulfillment, including fulfilling needs of self-development and needs of feeling useful and helpful to others." Those words are a striking contrast to his inexplicably irrational acts a little more than a year later in Aurora, Colorado. Holmes describes his passions as "the science of learning, cognition and memory." Describing his lofty ambitions in an eery-like fashion, Holmes discusses "a cross-temporal calibration model" he developed while studying at the prestigious Salk Institute. "The purpose of this model was to show an illusion between cause and effect relationships," he wrote. "In this illusion, the mind is actually tricked into believing an action precedes the event that caused it." Completing the project and presenting his model was "exhilarating" Holmes said. Holmes said he aspired to be a cognitive neuroscientist with a life-long goal "to increase the efficiency of how human beings learn and remember." Little did Holmes know then that when he later would begin his studies at the University of Colorado that he would become the object of that learning and training.

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