Apple offices
Apple offices
Apple Offices

Engineers like to believe that they’re like scientists, what they do is something that is pure, and they’re just trying to get the rocket up. Where the rocket comes down is not their department. ~Edward Snowden, 2020

You don’t stop by the coffee shop on your way to work. There’s one in the building anyways, and it’s far better than any Starbucks. Also it’s free. You have the best job. You make $200K working at a $5 billion office for a $2 trillion company. The work you do is impactful—you are an engineer of the future.

The glass door to…


Young Americans are skeptical of democracy since [we] have yet to experience it.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Before the 2016 U.S. election I liked to say that I found politics boring. It seemed like banter, and everything would turn out fine anyways. Not anymore. People know me as one who is hard to faze, yet so this 2020 election has caused fear in me.

For the sake of being polite, political discussion is often sugarcoated. But I don’t sugarcoat. When Trump contracted COVID himself, I cringed at the kind words from his political opponents. Why do we owe sympathy to him? Donald Trump is…


This essay is a response to a YouTube video by exurb1a, a comedy channel about the philosophy of science and human life.

The hard problem of consciousness is about how things we consider “conscious,” like most humans, are able to experience the world vividly rather than though mere detection of chemical events and response according to physical laws. Although interesting, it was not after much thought that I’ve stopped considering it a “problem.”

When I was five years old, I convinced myself of many ridiculous things. I thought that airplanes simply flew up above the clouds, traveling no more…


A common theme I write about is on the hopelessness of making ethical choices as a modern day consumer. Here is a case study on cat litter.

What is the most environmentally-friendly solution to disposing of cat waste? To commit genocide against all cats. They are an invasive species after all. But that is unethical — cats are here, they are in need of our shelter and care, and we love our pets. The entire cat population as an invasive species and the very practice of raising pets are two larger issues which portray how human activity is fundamentally destructive…


I am at odds with my roommates, whom care about recycling superficially. They do at least try to respect my effort to create a sustainable household. My roommate bought a Keurig k-cup coffee machine. Out of concern for me, he choose a pricier model with dual function accepting either disposable k-cups or ordinary coffee grounds, ”in case you ever want to use it too!”

It was a genuine gesture of consideration, but also an offensively shallow one. It is of no condolence to be making coffee from grounds. My gripe is about the 20-pounds of creamer singles (all is now…


Photo by Holger Link on Unsplash

Computational science is a pillar of our world. There are programs such as BOINC and Folding@home (FAH) where ordinary people donate their idle CPU time to research. Just by doing nothing, you can help world famous universities fight cancer, understand high-energy physics, or even search for extraterrestrial life.

At work we were discussing ways to help FAH by integrating it with our tools to run it on Mass Open Cloud. Today I (spent 6 hours screwing with Nvidia drivers on Linux to) set up Folding@home on my gaming laptop. In doing so I was keen about trying to understand how…


Photo by Adrien Converse on Unsplash

Personal

It is currently 4:00 AM. Yesterday afternoon, my mentor from last summer’s research internship texted me asking for me to review her proof for submission for publication. That’s how I spent my evening and night. Admittedly, I was distracted for a good chunk to spend an hour arguing about political theory with my roommates, and after that I took a quick nap while still reading the manuscript at my desk. I am a bit sleep deprived from having to write 10 emails the day before related to co-op interviews. There is a lot on my plate — at any moment…


No sugar, no ice.

I am not your everyday boba consumer. I am a critic, a connoisseur. I come from the flashy suburbs of Maryland. The central road through town, Rockville Pike, is dubbed “台湾一条街” meaning “a street out of Taiwan.” There are more than ten competing shops on this one street, with more opening every season. Around the world I’ve had boba in Beijing, Liyang, Los Angeles, New York, Rhode Island, Montréal — more than 30 unique shops in total.

What is Bubble Tea?

Bubble Tea in NYC

Bubble tea, also known as boba or boba tea, is a Taiwanese dessert that usually contains black tea, milk…


Though I’m not (too) sad about it.

Second year of undergrad, first semester. “No more hackathons,” I told myself. Not like I need more free t-shirts, of which I might have 20… But of course that didn’t stick. During October I went to both HackNY and HackHarvard. Along with other high-commitment extracirriculars, being so busy came at quantifiable expenses: my bedtime was pushed to 5 AM, and my GPA dropped by more than 0.2.

Looking at grades alone, last semester was a disastrous upset for a previously straight-A student. It is not unusual for us to fret over grades, I…


Time management, go to office hours, start assignments early…

Okay, we get it. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again.

College is different. There will be many doors, some open and some closed… Literally, because you now live on campus. Needless to say, a lot is about to change. While I have much to say about academics, that is not the topic of this article (instead you can DM me for that b.s.). We’re here to talk about how to live, no — how to thrive.

Money.

Do not buy t-shirts.

You get free t-shirts from miscellaneous events that happen near campus…

Jennings Zhang

Computer Science/Biology student

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