Photo of me smiling at camera.

Hi, I’m Shixie. I am a system thinker and I enjoy challenges.

As a kid I was quite curious and easily obsessed. But among my numerous hobbies, I loved drawing the most. I think it was through drawing that I really learned to observe. Most things I do now start with observation. I like looking for patterns and deriving a system.

I was fortunate to be accepted into the first batch of Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program in 2018, where I studied Physics and Film/Animation over five years. My graduation project “Why do I study physics?” inquires whether it makes sense to understand a complex world through the knowledge system of one discipline.

After graduation, I freelanced for studios and agencies in New York City making motion graphics. While I loved storytelling and motion design, I found myself drawn towards a more abstract, programmatic approach of animation by scripting in AfterEffects expressions, even though the time investment doesn’t always justify the end result. But I loved the challenge.

During grad school at Art Center College of Design, I explored speculative design and future dystopias under the sheltered leisure of academic conjectures. I got to imagine space exploration turning into occupation, and privacy laws being misinterpreted. Joining the feverish maker community has been the closest I’ve got to becoming a developer.

Then all of a sudden, a dream came true.

I interned for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Caltech to design and prototype various data visualization tools. I got to swim in astrophysics and design visual solutions, a perfect way to combine some of my far-apart skills. In those surreal days, I drove up the hill to JPL campus, walking past lovely, demure deers foraging for lettuce at Starbucks, and talk to people working on extraterrestrial things.

I’m still looking around — for emerging tech, for new realities, for hard problems – for the next opportunity to learn new things.

Now that you’ve heard from me, won't you say hi?