I spent most of my childhood immersed in the world of music and performance. I started playing the piano at the age of four and the violin soon after. During high school, I attended a music conservatory, where I studied with virtuoso Albert Markov. He ingrained in me a meticulous attention to detail. At 18, I had the opportunity to perform the Butterfly Lovers’ Concerto accompanied by a full symphony orchestra. This made my Chinese mother very proud.
Designing for people
In college, I traded my violin for a MacBook and formally majored in human-computer interaction. I took my first job as an intern at Boeing, where I was the first designer and originator of a tool to track crises and natural disasters in the company; the project later received a national award.
Hacking and starting something
I spent many weekends at hackathons. Hackathons were my safe place to dream up ideas and realize them as quickly as possible; what more could you want? In the middle of my senior year, one of these weekend hacks evolved into a startup. Inc. Magazine named it one of America’s Coolest College Startups.
If there’s one thing I learned at school, it’s that it’s okay to play at the intersection of a lot of disciplines. That’s where the most fun is happening anyway.
I often steal from the magic that happens on stage to breathe life and a sense of humanity into technology. I’m currently an interaction designer at Google in New York City.