Recently, I was interviewed by the CS&E department about my Google CSRMP experience, and the article was posted on:
Accompanying with the 4th annual First Gen Week of UMN, I’d like to share my first gen story.
My dad never attended high school, and my mom started but never finished. Thus, I’m the first in my immediate family who made it this far in college with a plan to pursue a Ph.D. degree and stay in academia afterward. Since I was little, my parents have always told me I needed to go to college as neither of them had opportunities back then in the 1990s in rural China. As a first-generation college student, flying across the globe alone to study abroad in the United States felt like a gamble. But my parents have always been very supportive and proud of me.
Besides not having the resources to tackle the challenges that my peers could navigate easily, I didn’t even know what I wanted to study in college. So, I started as a math student with a plan to study something else once I figured it out. You know, Asian parents think Math is important everywhere, and it indeed is. My pivotal turn from Math to Computer Science research owes to a series of workshops sponsored by Google research and held by Prof. Maria Gini and Prof. Shana Watters at my college. They recently just co-wrote a educational blog for Google.
These workshops motivated me to pursue a career in research and strengthened my desire to stay in academia as a long-term goal. More importantly, they helped me connect with my current faculty mentor, with whom I have been closely working on AI for healthcare. I think access to healthcare is a basic human right, just like education. But how to properly handle machine learning fairness remains an open question still. And that’s where I want to have an impact to support the underrepresented groups.