Before I shifted gear to social sciences, I majored in Chemical Engineering at National Taiwan University (my building was the picture in the left). I studied at Dr. Hsyue-Jen Hsieh's lab in my junior and senior year, and was lucky enough to participate in a biomedical material research project which later on published as an article. My senior lab mates became successful entrepreneurs in the cosmetic & beauty products industry. To this day, I still look back fondly at these experiences.
I was a participant and close observer of the Wisconsin Labor Protest in 2011. During the protests, I have taken thousands of photos and written a series of personal narratives in my now mostly dormant Chinese-language blog. I believe they are the most comprehensive accounts ever written in Chinese on what happened during the Wisconsin capitol occupation.
see: 麥迪遜之役 - 威斯康辛工會抗爭現場報導
see: Inside the Wisconsin Occupation (my photos are in the pages)
I strive to, in Aldo Leopold's words, "think like a mountain" when I relate to our natural world, and visit them whenever possible. In Taiwan, I have climbed 12 out of the "100 peaks", including Mt. Jade—the highest in the West pacific (see the photo on the left). I have also been to Volcán Tajumulco—the highest in central America. I have peak-bagged 6 New England's 4000-footers.
This effort is taking a slower and easier pace due to parenting. My recent goal is to complete the Taipei Grand Trail and collect Taiwan's "Little Hundred Peaks" with my kids.
I started to play the game of Go (weiqi/baduk/圍棋) since I was six years old, and I am still fascinated by the infinity of the black and white stones on a board. I am 6d on Tygem. My ID is "gobagder." Shoot me an email if you are a fellow Go player!
In Fall 2018, I started to teach the course "The Game of Go and Society" in which I lead students to examine the game from perspectives such as sports, gender, nationalism, strategy, and artificial intelligence.
I have helped digitally preserved Taiwan's remaining "Lennon Walls" which support Hong Kong's democratic struggle. I am not sure how long they will stay in the public spaces. See here to visit the largest Lennon Walls in the Taichung Kuang San SOGO underpass 台中廣三地下道, as well as the wall in NCCU General Building 政大綜合院館. More details in my Twitter Thread about this project.
I have the pleasure to be a member of the North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA) since 2010. During 2017 to 2020, I served on the board of directors. NATSA organizes an annual conference to facilitate intellectual dialogues pertaining to Taiwan in North America. I contributed to the Taiwan Syllabus Project to examine Taiwan Studies courses in North America, and it later turns into a short publication "Lessons from the Taiwan Syllabus Project: Findings and New Directions."
Feel free to contact me if you want to learn more about this organization or get involved.
Finally, let me brag a little bit. I have completed my 50-state collection in Alaska in July 2019. Now I officialy have visited all states of the United States. My criteria is to at least have a meal in the target state (excluding airport transit). It has been quite a entertaining, eye-opening, and humbling experience!
Snapshots from Fieldwork
In 2010, I spent one-month in Northwest Yunnan in China doing fieldwork on household biogas. The project did not take off—partly because of my laptop was stolen in the very end of the trip. Yet the trip was unforgettable. I learned so much by staying in the rural ethnic minority communities of Yi and Naxi.
In Spring 2019, I worked with two Oxy students to conduct a study on how boba/bubble tea arised as an identity symbol for Asian Americans. This project led me to visit more than 40 boba cafes in Southern California. Here are some of the highlights!
I received the Social Science Research Council's (SSRC) International Dissertation Research Fellowship to conduct fieldwork in the world of carbon markets. During 2012 and 2013, I traveled to 12 countries in 3 continents to follow where carbon credits are constructed and exchanged. Despite the high carbon footprints, it has been an incredible journey!