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About the author
Hi, my name is Yosen, and I am an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science student at the University of California, Berkeley. Situated in the East San Francisco Bay, UCB has an interesting mix of cultures which give it a unique personality. Eccentric characters regularly visit the campus, including preachers, jugglers, and musicians, often providing impromptu performances in Sproul Plaza, the social center of campus. Academically, UC Berkeley is well renowned for its biology, business, and engineering programs.
Since immigrating here from Taiwan when I was 3, I have pretty much stayed in the south San Francisco Bay Area my entire life. I have been to South California, but the Bay Area will always have my heart. =) For the 8 years before college I lived in Cupertino. Together with the surrounding areas, Saratoga and Santa Clara, this region is well known as an Asian engineering haven; it doesn't hurt that Silicon Valley is located here as well. In fact we even have a Ranch 99 here, where people can find almost any Asian thing they want, from CD's to books to food.
During my college years I lived in Berkeley. I could often be found in the Unit 3 Residential dorm, as I am one of the freshman math tutors there. My second home would have been the computer science building, a green marble building (some would say bathroom) on the North side of campus. When I wasn't overburdened with school or work, I often sang, programmed, experimented with magic tricks, or played games online such as Chess and Go (on Yahoo games).
Next stop in my academic career would be the University of California, Irvine, where I will be pursuing graduate studies in computer science. What will happen next? Only time will tell.
Anyway, enough about me... I've listed some of my hobbies below. Talk to me if you are interested in similar things! We can switch ideas.
To contact me:
What kind of EECS major would I be if this weren't here at least SOMEWHERE? Computer programming is still one of my main interests, even though I don't do this much as a hobby anymore, since I get plenty of work from classes. I have programmed for (relatively) a long time now, and once in a while I do work on my own projects, although, considering my major, I try to find non technical things to work on in my spare time.
Related to the subject of computer programming, computer graphics is one of the main sub fields I'm interested in. For the first time, non programmers can appreciate what I've been doing in class. The other classes were cool too, but you can show people a beautiful picture of a landscape, or an animation of a car race, and they can appreciate that, unlike other CS classes, were you run a program and at the end all it says 'no packets dropped' or 'no page faults.' In any case, I am currently playing with graphics tools like OpenGL and Bryce 3d, and eventually I will put some stuff up in the digital art gallery.
Most people like to listen to acid rock when they program, but I usually listen to Asian music. More specifically, I listen to predominantly Chinese rock and pop music, with some Japanese and Korean mixed in there too. I actually didn't listen to Asian music at all until I got to college, since none of my friends in high school were really into Asian things. Then my freshman year, one of my friends sent me a song by Jacky Cheung, and then it was all downhill from there. Some of my favorite singers include Jacky Cheung, Andy Lau, Valen Hsu, Sandy Lam, and Elva Siu (those who know Asian music know that these are fairly old singers, except for the last one). If you know of any good songs by new singers (and there always seem to be new one hit wonders in Asia), let me know, I always like to hear new music.
If you have broadband, you can listen to a radio feed directly from Taiwan, at http://www.kiss.com.tw
Of course, everyone likes to sing! And since I listen to Asian music, and they have a lot of karaoke videos, I like to go to karaoke places and see if I can sound like a star (unfortunately, most of the time the answer is no =) If you don't know what karaoke is, Asian music companies often produce a version of their music videos, but without the vocals (only the background instrumentation) so that people can sing along. It's a lot of fun. Some of the time I sing English songs, but those videos are usually filled with spelling and timing mistakes, so I typically sing in Chinese. Maybe one of these days I'll pick up another language... Anyway, there are several karaoke places around Berkeley, if you are in the area and you'd like to go, email me, we can go some time.
Piano and guitar
I played piano few a few years when I was young. I'm sort of disappointed, because I wish I was better now, but I didn't have the patience, nor the discipline, to practice excessively when I was young. Nowadays I've decided to try and pick up guitar, since it's a portable instrument, and I don't have a piano in my apartment. Hopefully one of these days I'll be able to play and sing at the same time, a truly amazing feat, I think, and definitely a joy to watch one strum a guitar and sing along at the same time.
I've noticed a correlation between mathematicians and jugglers. Has anyone else seen this? In any case, juggling is another of one my hobbies. I don't practice much anymore, and I don't do juggle anything other than balls or beanbags, but way back I used to be able to juggle five items at once. I wonder how many I can do now...
Another one of those tricks (no pun intended) useful when there is a lull in the conversation. I work mostly with cards and coins. Ask me sometime, I'll show you a trick or two...
I like pool, even though I am not that good at it. I was first introduced to it in high school, and even though my dad and uncles are pretty good at it, I am not. Usually I play at the arcade at Berkeley. Some time before I graduate, I suppose I should pick up some more pointers, like tips with spin and stuff. My preferred game is 8-ball, although once in a while I play 9-ball (not that I'm anywhere close to those professionals on TV). Email me if you want to play some time. Hustlers need not apply. =)
Another one of those 'armchair' sports. I'm better at bowling than at pool, but not by much. I can pretty consistently just barely break 100, but that's about it. It's still a lot of fun though.
Science fiction and fantasy fiction
I was interested in science fiction and fantasy fiction long before the release of the Lord of the Rings movie (which I have not yet seen... email me if you want to watch it too). My favorite series was the Dragonlance series, of which the original classic trilogy was the Chronicles, followed by the Legends trilogy. Now expanded to over a hundred books, the series was based on the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game (which I never played). Another classic science fiction book is Dune, the story of rival houses in a futuristic game (and on which a game is now based).
Bet you thought I played video games huh? Nope, normally I play board games instead in my spare time. Among the games I play are classic games such as Chess, Chinese Chess, Go, and Scrabble, as well as newer games such as Axis and Allies and Advanced Civilization. Of course, I prefer playing these in person, as it gives it that personal touch, but I also play a lot on Yahoo games.
I suppose it's only natural that math would make it here, since I am a computer science major and all. Before all the groans and moans, however, I must say that it's not stuff like algebra and calculus that floats my boat. Instead, I am more interested in discrete type mathematics, of which there are many more interesting problems. Some of you may never believe me, but for those with an open mind, come by some time and I will show you some interesting mathematical tidbits, some of which may eventually make it to my math pages. In addition, I tutor freshman calculus at Unit 3; see the math pages for more information.
I picked this up a long time ago for a short while, and revisited it as I needed some more ideas to entertain the elementary and middle school students I tutor in Oakland. Besides the classic paper crane, I know a few other random shapes.