About Me

I am a mechanical engineering grad student working at Prof.Kanso's Biodynamics Lab at USC. This semester I will be the TA for AME 310 Thermodynamics. Previously I studied pure mathematics and astronautical engineering at UT Austin. I also worked as an undergraduate research assistant at Center for Space Research for two years.

My interests mostly lie inside the boundaries of geometry, topology, algebra, and their applications. I get easily excited by algebraic/differential geometry and topology techniques used in 'real' life (e.g. for finite element analysis and geometry processing in general, or persistent homology, or sheaf cohomology (!) for signal processing), stochastic dynamics and estimations (GN&C, sensor fusion, computer vision, robotics, and UAVs), fluid mechanics, rocks and geology, space and cosmology (which makes the upcoming Insight mission a perfect combination), as well as the broad discipline of scientific computing, data analysis, and machine learning (like this) ......

Click here to check out what I am up to right now. (08/22/2016)

And here is my most up-to-date CV. (04/12/2016)

Click for more details if you are not tired of me yet :)

Background photo

The cutie on the right is my adopted sister 多多, who is still living at my hometown, the breathtakingly magnificent 黄山.

Reading

Among my favourite books are the Princeton Companion to Mathematics, Counterexamples in Topology, the Variational Principles of Mechanics, many more Dover (re)publications and other classic texts, such as things listed here and at the end of May's A Concise Course in Algebraic Topology. Just go buy (me) something from my Amazon wishlist :P

Behold another good collection of fun math expositions.

Maths aside, I find the Cloud Collector's Handbook, the Road to Serfdom, the Seventies, and the Massacre at El Mozote to be good reads. I also love lots of Chinese classics from 说文解字, an ancient treatise documenting Chinese Etymology, to 金庸的武侠小说, famous 20th century martial art fantasies... Speaking of which, I should really start reading more of 林语堂.

And now an essay about programming.

Music

I play the piano (but now a bit out of practice) and recently picked up some guitar action. Soundslice seems like a good way to learn.

Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Bach are probably my most cherished composers. My favourite pieces from them are Rhapsodie Espagnole, Liebestraum No.3, Consolation No.3, Hungarian Rhapsodies No. 2 and 6, and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No.1,2,3 Prelude op.23 No.5, and the rhapsody. (It's pretty hard to pick favorites from Bach so I'm just gonna say Violin Partita No.2 as well as his fugues and inventions.) Beethoven's Symphony No.7 2nd mov., Etudes 'Revolutionary' of Chopin, Prokofiev's Piano Concerto op.26 No.3 1st mov., Bartok's Piano Concerto No.2 3rd mov., and Albinoni's famous Adagio in G minor are also on my permanent playlist. My old flatmate also forever made an impression of House/Techno/EDM vibe into my musical tastes.

There's one time, at band camp......

Other Stuff

I enjoy lifting weights and this is a great resource. And my old TA's business is here.

You can also read all about my opinions on selected motion pictures for the past few years or so under the "Other/Film Reviews" tab above.

There is some amateur photography under the "Other/Photos" tab.

Here's one way to get some intuition about 1D "quantum dynamics."

If you have never heard of Oskar van Deventer, you should certainly check out his YouTube channel of puzzles.

Speaking of YouTubers, I think it would be a sin to not link to Brady's NumberPhile and Objectivity channel. I also appreciate many explanations done by 3blue1brown.The Pulitzer Center also has some videos that deserve more viewership.

Tinkering, manufacturing (the engineering guy has an awesome video on injection molding), and rapid prototyping (additive mfg., laser techs, and good ol' CNC) have always fascinated me.

I also love open source anything, from SageMath to openSCAD to farming (open source ecology).

I've been using (and occasionally contributing to) Forvo for awhile now.

This Google calendar hours calculator comes in handy at times. So has this scheduling tool if you are a fellow Google calendar junkie like me.

I have also been learning French and German for more than 2 years now, mostly through Duolingo. ielanguages also have some pretty cool lessons (esp. on French pronunciation for me).

And why does paper warp dried after getting wet? Reddit comes to the rescue.

Tune find, IMSDb, CoInflation, and PHD stipends are some cool online databases.

Ig-noble prizes! This is still my fav. What about hunger?.

Finally a few quotes I liked.