I am Chinese-American and I hail from sunny California. I appreciate the stochastic nature of British weather, at least when it’s not uncomfortably cold, hot, windy, or excessively wet. My favorite aspects of my job primarily involve interacting with my brilliant colleagues and conducting research – working on projects myself, discussing colleagues’ work, and guiding students in approaching research themselves and interpreting the implications of their results for policy.
My interests outside of academia are very diverse. I have a keen appreciation for music and nearly ended up pursuing a career as a professional cellist; I also play piano and guitar, the latter relatively poorly. When listening to music, my tastes are rather eclectic and range from classical and jazz to grunge and prog rock. I’ve been fascinated with wine ever since being dragged to dozens of Napa Valley tasting rooms as a child, and have been offered jobs across the wine industry (my recommendations for visits, primarily off the beaten path). I’m now a doppel member of the Wine Century Club (I’ve tasted at least 200 distinct varietals) and am often mistaken for ‘being in the industry’; when I get a bit of free time, one of my goals is to obtain at least one of the WSET diplomas. I also really enjoy Scotch and Japanese whiskies, Armagnac, and an obscure aromatic herbal liqueur distilled by Tuscan monks. Those same Tuscan monks also make a pretty awesome Tuscan IGT Rosso.
I also pursue some quieter hobbies. I collect antique American and cast East Asian (primarily Chinese and Japanese) coins. I also have been indulging in my interest in art – primarily focusing on the impressionists, post-impressionists, and expressionists. These interests in visual aesthetics and design may relate to my fascination with horology (partially thanks to the TimeZone Watch School), but I’m not sure. It’s just fun trying to piece together mechanical watch movements. I also enjoy photography (primarily urban and landscape, shooting Sony and Canon – slightly dated 500px portfolio) and tropical fishkeeping. I also follow cybersecurity issues quite closely and am interested in tech more generally. Some of the services I appreciate or admire: AgileBits, Fastmail, OpenDNS, ProtonMail, Quad9, SpiderOak, Standard Notes, Sync.