About

I’m Zizai, a sophomore at Duke university.  “Zizai” means Liberty.

I’m curious!  My personal goal is to be a Renaissance man.  I want to understand the ideas and forces shaping the contemporary society. 

I have stopped worrying about building a list of activities to impress LinkedIn users.  I spend my time on meaningful and fun things and I am currently having a great time.

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2020.

I find prediction making very interesting.  I have, however, made many wrong predictions.

I love math!  Clean Maths are really pieces of art. 

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In 2019, I read a few books.  I also did some internships in Legal, Educational, and Financial industries, which were very boring.  In September, I started college.  During my first semester at Duke, I was involved in the production of As You Like It.  I played Duke Frederick and Duke Senior.

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In 2017 and 2018, I was fortunate to study in the Humanities Programme, Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore.  HP is a truly magnificent place, a major manufacturer of the intelligenstia and ruling elite in the country.  It is the place I call home.  Recently, though, there are forces from the Ministry of Education at dismentaling the best educational programmes (instead of uplifting the worst ones) for more equality.

At Hwa Chong, my friends and I built the Hwa Chong Invitational Philosophy Olympiad.  I represented Singapore in International Philosophy Olympiad 2018 in Montenegro and presented in 2017 Australasia Postgraduate Philosophy Conference.  My interests include the Gettier Problem.

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In 2015 and 2016, I studied in the Science and Math Talent Programme, Centre for Scholastic Excellence, Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore.  I enjoyed doing the Olympiads.  Unfortunately, I could not compete at the international level.

Before that, I mostly lived in Hangzhou, China.  The more cities I travel to, the more I find Hangzhou an impressive place.  I was briefly in the Class 13 (the “experimental” Sciences Olympiads Programme) of the Hangzhou No.2 High School.  Between 2012 and 2013, I was the president of Hangzhou Jianlan Middle School Students’ Council.

During my free time, I enjoy music and sports. I have performed in many school concerts.  As a sprinter, I ranked 12th nationally in 400 metres.  I am also a second Title National Athlete.

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The list of classes I’ve taken at Duke follows.

LIT 690 Modern French Theory Fredric Jameson
PHIL 552S Metaphysics Peter van Inwagen
POLSCI 522S Comparative Party Politics Herbert Kitschelt
POLSCI 291 Independent Study in Political Theory: How to Predict the Future? Michael Munger
HIST 390S Civil Rights Movement William Chafe
THEATRST 350 Main Stage Production: As You Like It Jules Odendahl-James
ENGLISH 390S Bob Dylan Taylor Black
ENGLISH 271 Classics of American Literature Victor Strandberg
LINGUIST 207 Psychology of Language Michael Tomasello
PHYEDU 167 Aikido: Japanese Sword & Staff Steven Kaufmann
WRITING 101 Congress Jacob Smith
MUSIC 101 Introductory Guitar Randy Reed
MATH 631 Measure and Integration Lu Jianfeng
MATH 531 Real Analysis Tau Shean Lim
MATH 501 Abstract Algebra Robert Calderbank
MATH 421 Differential Geometry Robert Bryant
MATH 403/703 Advanced Linear Algebra Paul Aspinwall
MATH 393 Independent Study: Modelling the Mind Ingrid Daubechies
MATH 333/733 Complex Analysis Paul Aspinwall
MATH 240 Intro to Applied Maths Ingrid Daubechies

I was the Teaching Assistant for MATH501 in Fall 2020.  I am the Teaching Assistant for MATH240 in Spring 2021.

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You can reach me at cui.zizai@gmail.com

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