Monday, March 14, 2016

#ILookLikeAnEngineer: Christopher Yin

Meet Chris, the next student of our campaign and VP Project Team for Engineering World Health. With a passion for improved global health, he hopes to impact entire populations through engineering - all while listening to The Velvet Underground and doing some creative writing. 

Name: Christopher Yin
Major: Bioengineering
Graduation Date: 2018

Why did you choose engineering at UC San Diego?
When I was applying to schools, I wasn’t even really considering UC San Diego. I was set on attending a private university, and if that didn’t work out and I had to choose a UC, then, of course, it would have to be Berkeley. The only reason I included UC San Diego was because I saw that its bioengineering program was ranked second in the nation. I attended Triton Day and  realized that it’s a great school for engineering. There are a ton of resources available for research and a number of engineering organizations on campus - those were primarily what drew me here.

What are your career goals?
I want to pursue either a Ph.D. or an M.D./Ph.D. program. I like being in school, and I like learning. Ultimately, I want to be involved in research that has an impact on global health. I love the science and I want to understand as much as I can, but I also really appreciate the part of engineering where you actually build your solutions. It’s pretty satisfying to make something tangible, and especially to have that something matter to other people. Engineering represents the opportunity to affect not just individuals, but entire populations.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
From David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest: “I do things like get in a taxi and say, ‘The library, and step on it.’”

What are three things that are unique about you?
(1) Along with being a bioengineer, I would also like to write stories and novels. (2) I love brussel sprouts. (3) I listen to old and weird music, like The Velvet Underground, King Khan and BBQ Show.

What does this campaign mean to you?
The only way I can think to answer this question is with something platitudinous like, “It’s important for people’s awareness of engineering to encompass the full breadth and diversity of the people who do the engineering.” But just because it sounds cliché doesn’t mean it’s not true. I still think there needs to be a greater push early-on in education for all students, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexuality, etc., to explore STEM fields and figure out for themselves if it’s something they want to pursue. From my experience, any demographic disparities are due not so much to a lack of ability or opportunity, but a lack of awareness of ability and opportunity. If campaigns like this could change that, then that would be pretty great.

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