International student founds Dance Club
January 25, 2018 | KL Community

Technology Student Founds Dance Club for Relaxation & Rejuvenation

Yichen Zheng is a typical science and technology student. With great scores in math, he excels at data programming, assembling machines, and designing model aircrafts. He is also founder and president of the Ningbo School Dance Club. A master of hip-hop, and a Latin dance competition champion in his province, Yichen shined in his recent college interview thanks to his well-rounded interests.

Recently accepted into the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Yichen impressed admissions officers with both his academic performance and his extra-curricular interests. “I think math is the way to understand the world,” he told them. In his personal statement, he wrote about his experience during a factory internship, where he learned electrical circuits during the day while doing IT data programming at night. Through this combined practical training, he assembled a race-level machine. We sat down with this talented young man to learn more about his plans for the future.

Can you tell us why you think that math is the way to understand the world?

Math is a very practical tool in my mind. It helps develop my logical ability and cultivate my sense of innovation. Our world is full of high technology, and high technology needs mathematical algorithms to program. So math should be a path to success in the future. Although the advanced mathematics that we learn in school is not widely used in our daily life, it is a foundation, a tool, and a professional skill of my career development.

International student founds Dance Club

We heard that it took you three steps to solve a math problem that supposedly required eight steps. How did you do that?

That was a special case where I just happened to solve the problem in a simpler way. As the old saying goes, “All roads lead to Rome.” In fact, I think that solving problems and finding destinations are the same. For example, the 8-step method is a normal road, while the 3-step method is just a shortcut. If you want to find an easier way, you need to know what the requirements are, understand how many steps you need to take to achieve these requirements, and then streamline, optimize, or calculate the best way. Not everyone has to find the best way to solve a math problem. For some students who are not particularly interested in mathematics, they only need to master the 8-step solution and they can flexibly apply it.

How have your Barstow Ningbo teachers helped you along the way?

My English teachers really helped my English proficiency. All of my foreign teachers are very professional and responsible. For example, Mr. Payani always explains concepts very carefully and then gives us three examples to help us understand. He also leaves us some reasonable and helpful homework to practice every point of knowledge. Mr.Tuite, our history teacher, has a very unique teaching method which helped me discover an interest and confidence in learning history. American education has shown me the importance of the problem-solving process. Foreign teachers pay more attention to the process of thinking than the specific answers. And our grades are consistent with this teaching philosophy. I have cultivated a rigorous attitude to learning and thinking, one that allows me to quickly calm down and engage myself into learning in any environment.

In your mind, what advantage helped you gain admission to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology?

I think it is my attitude of challenging myself. I gain a sense of achievement if I challenge myself and make a breakthrough. I can better face learning and life. Even if I fail, I recognize myself, understand my shortcomings, and make myself better through the whole experience. My offer of admission from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology proved my attitude of self-challenge. I think the admissions officers considered that this character trait matched the attitude of science subjects which need people who can continuously innovate, experiment, face failures, and keep challenging themselves.

Tell us why you founded a Dance Club at school?

My mom began sending me to dance classes when I was a child. After much persistence, dancing slowly became part of my life and I realized that I loved it. When I arrived at the Barstow Ningbo School, I had the opportunity to found our Dance Club, and I served as president for three years. I taught my classmates all different kinds of dance, and showed them how dance can help them lose weight, relax after school, and stay healthy. My club became more and more popular in school, and reached 30 members. I am a science and technology man, and I need an active hobby to refresh my life. I am glad that my dance club also helps other students.

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