How does it feel to be... not knowing your passion for 20 years?
I'm Alan Chen, aka Zenan Chen, 陈泽南. I consider myself as an atypical ECON student because I found myself different from every ECON student I know.
I study Economics; I code; I do data analysis; I founded a quite successful media and several marketing campaigns; I take photos and videos; I build websites... Even now, I can't really tell which one is my favourite -- I love em' all.
Everything should date back to my childhood since primary school, I had been interested in the computer and started to be a Linuxer since then. I thought I would be a geek.
However, as I know more about so many diverse fields, I began to try different things. I realized that I can be an atypical person of many kinds: an atypical Economics student, an atypical programmer, an atypical media planner, an atypical photographer, etc…
It doesn't feel good to be lost about yourself. Especially when you will declare your major soon: People around me started to push me about finding one ASAP so that I can choose my major. But I can't really tell. Initially, I chose Economics Science as my major. Indeed it is fun and to know how the economy machine works.
In year 1 and year 2, I participated many extracurricular activities, tried all kinds of courses and never stopped to find THE passion. Failed. One day at the end of year 2 when I suddenly looked back, I found myself in a position where all my favourites twisted together: I'm a developer at my media Atelo (浅见), a research assistant in an open-source project in machine learning, a media planner and the co-founder of the Stay magazine, co-founder of Photography Interest Club...
But not until in year 3 when I started to preview advanced microeconomics textbooks do I realise: Economics Science courses is going way too technical. It is not for me, is for ECON Ph.D. students. I started to be stressed for a while, reflecting about my track of previous 2 years and contemplating about my future. Finally one day I realised: there is no such THE passion of mine for me. There are PASSIONS, and I'm glad that I didn't kill them just to leave one out as my occupation. Without all these passions, I couldn't have done all these projects I'm proud of.
Thus, I am trying to combine my favorites, Economics and CS and maybe photography and marketing together and see how this combination can spark innovations.Download CV (Business Oriented) Download CV (Computer Science Oriented)
One of the most important things that Economics taught me is to adapt multiple mindsets: a economics model at a time. And I set to explore the world with refreshed mindsets, allowing myself to learn a brand new area as quick as possible.
Social responsibility has been one of my priorities. As a liberal, I strive to promote the spirit of diversity and freedom in whichever project I've done. For example, Atelo (浅见) was originally born to intellectually inspire CUHK students while celebrating diversity of perspectives.
→ Atelo's Mission (Chinese Only)
Open source and sharing are also parts of my beliefs. Information and knowledge are meant to be shared. I'm always happy to share my knowledge and points of views with others.
Datasets are places where interesting information is hidden, awaiting people to explore. That catches me. Besides playing with data myself, as a leader in the university's Data Interest Group, I also help my fellows to get started with data science.
Atelo (浅见), which attracted 10k page views in the first year with just 300+ students on campus, strives to bring quality-first reading back to the stage. I find it fun and fulfilling to promote what I believe to be essential to my fellow university students.
Photography has been one of the sources of my inspirations. While travelling around the world, photography helps me explore local cultures and discover the beauty of nature.
As a self-taught full stack developer, I'm always aligned with the cutting edge technologies and methodologies.
Stephen Boyd says, least-square is just a technology instead of science. Here are some of my soft-skills that I value most. And by the way, the background image is one of my works :)
September 2016 - Present
Augest 2016 - September 2016
Thinking Without Thinking is a small yet influential creativity agency based in Hong Kong. It is famous for its TV production "4Ours" featured on TVB and CCTV. I met Willde Ng for an unforgettable 2 days and was instantly grasped. I helped them with programme content, develop roadmap and strategies for entering China Mainland.
Febularary 2015 - Present
One of my best friends Amie and my co-founder at Atelo (浅见) Eric together with me co-founded a magazine called Stay （月台）. We did marketing campaigns, planned the strategies and recruited a board of editors. It issues once a year; each issue features a special topic and regular content. It is the best-seller publication in the university.
October 2014 - Forever
Atelo (浅见) is a media where every CUHK(SZ) student can share insights and their works. Students exchange their ideas, insights and comments there, bringing an atmosphere of critical thinking back on a fragmented information era.
Now, it means more than a indie-media, but also a democracy frontier for students to speak out their concerns and criticisms. In less than two years of development, Atelo (浅见) successfully reached 200k page views and 300+ articles, 400+ comments with only 312 students on the campus in the first year.
September 2014 - Present
At the beginning I chose Economics Science (intended for ECON Ph.D.) as my major and I enjoyed it. But as I start to experience more subjects with so much fun, I switched to Applied Economics stream, allowing me to take more diverse courses and develop my desired skill-set much more flexibly.
June 2016 - July 2016
This summer session at UBC broadened my horizon on finance, especially when it involves international trading.
January 2017 - May 2017
I'm working as a TA of the course Information Technology in Business in the spring semester, 2017. This course is an introductory course for business students to understand up-to-date technologies that can be applied in the business world.
This course includes:
rm-protection is a commandline tool that is designed to be a safe alternative for the "rm" command built in most of the *nix OSes. It provide a new layer to protect important files and folders from being accidentally removed while minimizing its impact on daily operations. Now it has more than 200 stars on GitHub and has been featured in several tech media like OSChina. Source code is available on Github.
Nosedive is an episode of Black Mirror. It pictures a hypothetical society where one's social rating determines the status of an individual. I'm deeply impressed by the sharp satire and spent an afternoon to created a replicate of the rating mechanism featured in the show. Now it is online at nosedive.space and its source code is available on Github.
Findmyreveiwers.com is a open-source project collaborated by CUHK(SZ) and Udel. This project aims to provide an accurate recommendation of reviewers for scholars based on academic papers. We use text mining to understand the context and the topic of the paper, then use our tailored algorithm to find the most suitable scholars in our database. Details
Atelo (浅见) is a media where CUHK students share their insights and works. During the process of exchanging ideas, insights and comments, the community brings the atmosphere of critical thinking back on a fragmented information era.
Now, it means more than a indie-media, but also a democracy frontier for students to speak out their concerns and criticisms. In less than two years of development, Atelo (浅见) successfully reached 200k page views and 300+ articles, 400+ comments with only 312 students on the campus in the first year.About Page
Stay Magazine is a magazine co-founded by Amie, Eric and me. Every year, we find a special topic and dig deep into it, trying to bring insights to our fellow students. We also collect outstanding works from our fellow students. Together with our editing team, we are making this magazine truly CUHK-Original. Home PagePurchase(Currently out of stock, shoot me an email if your really want one.)
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