Tech is all the rage and these students are on their way to becoming total pros in the industry. Here we highlight some of Shanghai's most tech-obsessed students to find out what it is they love so much about the subject.
What area of the technology field do you concentrate on?
Mainly just computer science, even though during hackathon, I’m always forced to be the hardware hacker in the group. Currently I’m learning website development because of my internship and the art of computer programming under influence of my hackathon teammates.
What do you love most about technology?
I think technology makes solutions available to people. It might not be omnipotent, but it’s an incredibly powerful tool in achieving and customizing what I desire. As well, the combination between technology and other traditional subjects often results in very creative innovations –I find that fascinating.
What project are you currently working on?
I am planning one of the largest hackathons in China. We want this to target both high school students and college freshmen. Hackathons are innovation carnivals and feasts of rapid learning. So far, I believe it is one of the best platforms for anyone who wants to bounce ideas off other people while making them come true in a short 24 to 48 hours.
What are your favorite technology product?
My favorite is an APP called Sky Guide. Well, I am an astronomy/physics student so it shouldn’t be so surprising. This APP has the entire sky in my phone and reminds me of my favorite phenomenon Iridium Flare, which happens once or twice a night. It is kind of hard to spot it in China, but sometimes I get lucky when the clouds aren’t in my way.
Who do you admire in the technology field?
Not particularly anyone, but if you would agree with me that physics is also essential to technology, then I would say Mr. Richard P. Feynman (a theoretical physicist). I do admire him A LOT.
Do you find technology to be team-oriented or more of a solo endeavor?
I think it takes teamwork even though it has to be discussed case-by-case. I probably can’t complete a hackathon alone, and most of the projects should be most effective if I work well with my team. Just think about, when you are facing a whole screen of bugs and errors, it would just be depressing if no one is around to help.
Have you won any awards?
I won first place in 2013 and 2014 at the National History Day China for the Senior Group Website Entry. Though this is a history competition, it was what got me into computer science. Before this, I was reluctant to touch programming as I just got my computer back then and was very intimidated by codes. However, building a website somehow forced me into learning about the world of programming. Last year at HACKxFDU, my team won the DJI Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation for our project in detecting forest fire with drones.
Would you like to pursue a career in technology in the future? Why or why not?
Yes, at least partially. I categorize myself as a physics researcher, but in fact I am on my way to pursuing technology already since I just got my internship for website development and machine learning.
How do you think an interest in technology is viewed by most students?
I think technology, especially making technology, might seem quite intimidating sometimes, and that’s exactly why I am trying to get more people familiar with hackathon and rapid learning.
Yiluo Li is in grade 12 at Concordia International School Shanghai.