I was born in Taipei, Taiwan and moved to the United States of America at the age of 8. I lived at Lodi, CA, South Bend, IN, and Naperville, IL. I spend most of my junior high and all of high school in Naperville, a southwest suburb of Chicago. Then, I went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA for my college education. And finally, I'm living and working in Boston, MA.
I spent the first 8 years of my life in Taiwan, where my life was very simple and rural. Each day after school, I would run to to the backyard and play marbles in the dirt with my friends. If there were enough people, we would play baseball or soccer in a self-made virtual field.
Schools were very competitive even in first grade!!! Kids had to take school wide exams in each subject every semester and be ranked. No wonder, I have this very competitive nature inside me till this day. I hate to lose and always want to be first and perfect even back in first grade.
My family finally settled in Naperville, IL after moving 4 times between fifth and sixth grade and entered Jefferson Junior High School.
The basic routines was the same as elementary school. Wake up early, go to school, socialize during lunch and PE class, go home, do some quick homework and play video games all day.
I particiated in a lot of sports including: the cross-country team, basketball team, and Track & Field. Being Asian, you had to play at least one musical instrument. For me, it was the viola.
This was also the time where I met up with all my best friends "Oldskul". We don't really know how it all got started but very quickly the eight of us became really good friends. We are all very diverse. It is amazing how well we all get along and kept in touch!
Let the NERD year begin! Freshman year at Naperville North High School is when I started to be very interested in all the nerdy things in school. I started off being part of the volleyball team but soon joined the computer club, chess club, math team, JETS Team, ARML, etc.. I really enjoyed all these activities and have something to show for it. I would have to say my four years with the NNHS Math team was the most memoriable. There, I met the smartest and diverse group of people, learned how to work in groups and be a leader. We had a great rivalry against Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) because they recruit some of the best and the brightest math and science students from the state of Illinois. Thus, making it very tough for the rest of the high schools to compete against them in any math or science related competition. However, lead by our fearless coaches Mr. Martin, Mr. Morse, and Mr. Petersen the NNHS math team had a THREEPEAT (94'-96') as the state champion in mathematics. It was a shocker at first, but we certainly established ourselves as the dominate leader after the first wins. This is obviously proof that great team work goes way beyond pure talents.
Weird facts: Before any of my friends bring it up, I will just admit it. YES, I did carry a briefcase around high school, wear tie-dye shirts, wear ties on Mondays, was a calculator dealer, and was one time the school's mascot.
The greatest university on earth!!! I went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and received a degree and Computer Science and Electrical Engineering with minor in Chemistry and concentration in Chinese. This was greatly different then my initial intent of wanting to be a Chemical Engineer. The epiphany was the most amazing thing, it hit me one night sitting in the lounge pondering what I want to do for the rest of my life and a little voice told me: Chemistry, chemistry, chemistry and don't forget computers, computers.. sounds silly but it is the truth.
What can you possibly do for fun at such a nerdy place like this?
We, MITers, are new breed of human race that the administration is raising. The objective is to have minimum input (i.e. food, sunlight, sleep..) and achieve maximum output (loads of problem sets, socially - deprived - workaholics, innovators..). Many people tries to escape this hidden trap behind the prestige facade of MIT but fail. Always get sucked back into this black hole of never ending labor! Thinking about coming to MIT? You better think again.
Actually, I love this place! I met a lot of fun and 'normal' people at MIT. It is the best place to be if you want to be enriched with the latest technology and innovative research. In your spare time, you can walk to Boston and visit all the famous landmarks, take a walk along the Charles river, play any kind of sport that you can possibly think of and or just converse.
I belong to the following clubs and organizations at MIT
I also had the privilege being a TA in the infamous organic chemistry class under professor Daniel Kemp. It made me realize how much work it takes to learn everything inside out for a subject. I also learned how to prepare materials in many representation so it be easily understood by people with different background, ways of thinking, and learning speed.
Similarly, I taught a SAT program offered by MIT to high school students. Volunteered and worked at a local grade school teaching both teachers and students on how to use the computer and the Internet.
I have always been a very ambitious. Took college courses when I was in junior high school, work extra hours to earn extra money, join all the clubs that I can, and always had a dream about starting my own company. CampusCraze was an awesome company that I started with a close friend Neeraj Gore in 1999. The idea started off from email I sent out about creating a college match making company. Through a couple of forwarded emails it found itself at Neej's desk and we started trading emails back and forth to further discuss the idea. Both of us are very ambitious and had complementary skills that made us a great team. From each of our past experiences in entrepreneurship, we finally formulated a real business idea and proceeded in recruiting a team, raise capital, and start to grow the company out. The product we had is a patent pending technology that provided a point liability marketing mechanism similar to AllAdvantage, Desktopdollars without the fuss of downloading software to each user's computer thus making a great viral marketing tool for many of the Internet business. (This was when the eye-ball game was hot!) We had great advisors that help us shape our ideas further and provided software and hardware for us to carry out our operations. With the help of Patrick Brown, Warren Chow, CrazyGirl (Sylvia), Cary Hirschstein, and many others, we created a site that can generate of 40,000 users a week through viral marketing. Very shortly, we were presented with an acquisition offer and we went through with it. It was a great experience to start a company from scratch develop a product and lead it through an acquisition all within one year. I was mentioned in BusinessWeek for this effort.
After going through MIT taking an insane amount of classes, work, and research each semester, life after school seems like heaven.