What were your interests as a high school student and how did you come to choose Course 6 when you came to MIT?
I’m always very interested in math, computer science and arts. I’m originally from China. I was in a special math- and science-focus classes during middle and high school, and did Olympiad in Informatics back then. Going into Course 6 seemed to be a very natural choice for me.
Once you decided to major in Course 6, what led you to choose 6-3?
I was at first in 6-2. In sophomore year, I took 6.01 and 6.02. The electrical and signal processing parts in those classes were very interesting; however, not as attracting as the computer science part to me. At that time, I was also doing UROPs in robotics and computer science theory. At the end of the that year, I decided to switch to 6-3.
What are the aspects of 6-x and the MEng. Program you liked the best and how have you found your interests grow or change as you've gone on?
When I switched to 6-3, I had more freedom to take classes. I was done with most of my undergrad requirements by the end of fall in my junior year; so I decided to try some Media Lab classes and cross-reged some Harvard classes. I also tried several different UROPs, and got to understand better where my interests lied. I took Computer Graphics in my senior fall, and soon recognized that was the field I wanted to be in. So I scheduled a meeting with Prof. Matusik, who was one of the instructors of the class. He explained his 3D printing research project to me, and introduced me his team members. I immediately decided to work with him starting as a UROP in the spring semester. Since I couldn’t decide at that moment whether I should do a PhD or work in industry, and I really liked the research project I was working on and my team members, I made the decision of doing MEng. I could give myself more time to learn about computer graphics and 3D printing, while thinking about what is my next step after graduation.
Where do you envision yourself headed next and how do you think 6-3 and the MEng Program has prepared you?
I started my MEng in summer, and became more interested in the research I am doing. There are many opportunities out there in industry. I wish I could keep working on projects related to computer graphics, user interface, and fabrication. The 6-3 program definitely prepared me well for most software engineering related jobs. Due to the flexibility of 6-3, the classes and projects that I got to take outside of 6-3 help me be better grounded and be able to approach and solve problems from multiple perspectives.