Welcome! Reply by Joseph
- The first fond memory I have that is related to sciences and engineering is a road trip when I was seven. Instead of looking out at the scenery, I decided I would go a different route: create a printer and throw up 🤢. I took two sheets of paper drew the thing I wanted to "print" in crayon and tried really hard to press the two sheets of paper together. Needless to say, there was a lot more throwing up than printing on this road trip.
- Fast-forward a year and we have little Joseph trying to teach himself how to program. I wanted to create my own games instead of playing, so I started programming for fun. I didn't realize it at the time, but I made a big mistake: I chose Java. This is where we enter the dark ages of Joseph's Computer Science Journey. Imagine trying to read code code literally written by an eight year old. I didn't follow any consistent style (unless you count inconsistency as a style), I didn't use comments for anything except as a bookmark to see where I left things off, I don't think I ever even considered efficiency for anything, and so much more. If eight-year-old Joseph represents the dark ages, then 13 year-old Joseph represents the start of the enlightenment period (I think that's a metaphor, but what do I know? It's not like I'm studying English or History). I started to move from small projects to larger ones, but then I realized that I literally could not understand code that I had written a week ago. That's when I started adding in comments; I told myself that I had to add a comment for every method and class (except main()), and that I had to limit methods to 25 lines (unless it was a major switch/case or if/else if/else block).
- Studying AP Computer Science as a freshman in high school, I started making my own projects, teaching myself various branches of artificial intelligence to fuel my efforts. For example, I programmed and built a lock that unlocks—given a certain sequence of knocks, and I built a chess AI that could win against my friend—a FIDE officially rated chess master (he recently won the California Chess Championship as well!). In the mean time, I also started to worry about efficiency and, you know, not sucking at computer science (this part is still a work in progress).
- I interned at Stanford for two summers with Professors Zhi-Xun Shen and Li Jiang. These professors needed quantum spin predictions and super-resolution for momentum-energy distributions. I started writing larger systems, from machine learning frameworks to parallel processing, and was given access to Sherlock, one of Stanford’s computing clusters with over a petaflop of computing power. This was the first time my interest in physics intersected with my love of computer science. I was outright euphoric to have created the codebase and first working prototype of a machine learning algorithm that reduces noise and experimental inaccuracies in data that contributes to our understanding of materials related to basic energy sciences.
- And now here we are! I chose King's because (in no particular order): I want an English accent, I like computer science and business, I really want an English accent so badly, it's a great program, it's three years long.
- ... Oh! Interesting facts: I got my pilot's license before my driver's license; I love learning languages; I can juggle; I made it my goal to be certified in a ton of things when I turned 18 (so far I have a: racing license, American Red Cross Instructor certification, martial arts instructor, hunting license, fishing license, etc.).
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