1. Could you tell us about your background i.e. department, research interests, hometown, hobbies?
I was born in China and grew up mostly near Boston, MA and Las Vegas, NV. I graduated from Rice University with a BS in chemical engineering, and I will be starting graduate school in chemical engineering here at UIUC this fall. I did research in coarse-grained protein modeling back at Rice, and that gave me a general interest in using math and computational tools to study chemical systems. Outside of research, my hobbies include classical music and photography.
2. What project you are working on this summer?
This summer, I am interning with the Whole Tale project, which aims to address reproducibility issues in science by building computational framework for “living publications” that capture the entire scientific process. Specifically, I am working on the Online Materials Modeling and Analytics Project. The goal of this project is to create benchmark tests for machine learning/predictive models used for materials property prediction (similar to a Kaggle competition for materials). I am working to recreate several materials property prediction methods and benchmark them against each other.
3. What is your favorite place or activity on campus or CU?
Any place with good ice cream, honestly. Jarling’s Custard is pretty good.
4. Advice for students who want to pursue undergraduate research.
Don’t be afraid to try something unfamiliar. I didn’t really know what I was doing when I joined my first research group as an undergraduate, but I ended up learning a lot and really enjoying it.