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Qiaochu Y. '12

Biography

Hi! I'm Qiaochu Yuan. That's "chow-chew," as in food and a thing you do with food. You'll probably never need to pronounce my last name. I only know one other person with the same first name as me, and she has the same last name too, so that wouldn't even help. Isn't that weird?

I'm a Course 18 (math) major, and I write a math blog, Annoying Precision. I'm interested in a lot of things besides math, but I feel weird saying that. When most people say they're interested in something, it seems to imply that they know a lot about it, too. I'm interested in physics, cognitive science and musical theater, for example, but I know very little about all three. Mostly what I know a lot about is math.

I almost wrote one of my MIT essays about throwing myself into a waterfall, but decided MIT didn't need to know I could make decisions that dumb. (I couldn't swim at the time, you see.)

I get the feeling that it isn't completely typical for people to apply to be bloggers as seniors, so I should explain. The short story here is that Rachel F. '12 (as you know her) convinced me that it would be a good idea. The slightly longer story is that, after an amazing first two years at MIT, I decided to spend my junior year abroad at the University of Cambridge for a change of pace. Now that I'm back, I want to rekindle the flames of my romance with MIT, and blogging for MIT seems like a pretty good way to do it. If I can convince any of you that MIT is as great a place as I think it is, then I'll have done my job.