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Tian-Yi (Damien) Jiang
Room Mountain View, CA
Year 2014
Course Mathematics

Hi guys. I'm Damien Jiang. I'm now a software engineer at Addepar. I was a mommy for the 2012-2013 school year. I'm also apparently a famous professor, but don't believe that. (A shirt with the former picture exists as well.)

About me

I am obsessive and compulsive, in the sense that I compulsively obsess over stupid things like editing wikis, reading wikis, writing forum posts, reading forum posts, giving bad advice, heeding bad advice, playing games, watching games, etc. Basically, my self-control is lacking. Moreover, I'm easily distracted while working, and my procrastination skills are well-honed; this commonly forces problem-set all-nighters and sometimes causes poor academic performance. I'm also simultaneously elitist and naive, loud in public and shy with strangers, competitive and lazy.

Despite all this, I'm relatively friendly, and my door is almost always open, so feel free to talk to me!

Things I do, except for video games

Don't be fooled; I actually spend all my time gaming/interneting (on Teamliquid, facebook, Art of Problem Solving)/IMing/eating. Sigh. Recently I became unhealthily obsessed with Avatar: The Last Airbender.


I need a work ethic and some sort of anti-distraction mechanism.

  • Major: Course 18C (Mathematics with Computer Science)
  • Subjects of interest:
    • Math: I like algebraic topology. I sort of like combinatorics. I don't really like analysis.
    • (Theoretical) computer science: Though my coding skill isn't amazing, and my tricky-combinatorics skill is lacking, I find TCS pretty cool.
    • Linguistics: I did linguistics olympiad, which is really a puzzle contest... but I've taken a few linguistics classes and done a linguistics UROP, so hopefully I'm not totally clueless.
    • Physics: I am terrible at physics.
    • Econ: I guess I'm concentrating in this. I don't know why (math? money?)

Classes Taken

  • 2010 - 2011
    • Fall 2010: 3.091, 8.022, 18.701, 12.A32 (Cellular Automata Seminar), 24.906
    • IAP 2011: Battlecode team T-Spin (with Josh, Vlad, and Alex Zhai), placing top 16. 6.096 (Introduction to C++)
    • Spring 2011 : 14.01, 18.312, 18.702, 8.04, 21M.302, 18.03
  • 2011 - 2012
    • Fall 2011: 18.100C, 6.046J, 24.902, 14.12, 8.05
    • IAP 2012: Battlecode team Colonial Line Warriors (with Josh and Tim, and Jon as a consultant), placing top 8.
    • Spring 2012: 18.901, 6.004, 6.005, 6.875J, ES.S61 (Introduction to Trading)
  • 2012 - 2013
    • Fall 2012: 18.905, 15.411, 18.404, 21F.043, 18.112.
    • IAP 2013: Battlecode team Enclave of the Bear (with Josh, Vlad, and Tim), placing top 32.
    • Spring 2013: 18.906, 18.433, 18.445, 6.857, 14.16.
  • 2013-2014
    • Fall 2013: 18.821, 6.170, 21.W755, 7.012.
    • IAP 2014: Battlecode team Armada (with Josh, Nathan, and Vlad), placing 3rd.
    • Spring 2014: I'm done!!!


I'm fat and unathletic, and with my sedentary lifestyle and voracious appetite, have been getting progressively more so.

  • Swimming: Horribly, horribly out of shape. My turns still seem pretty reasonable though.
  • Ultimate: Can't run; hopefully improving at throwing while being defended?
  • Ping-pong: Bad, but improving backhand. Inconsistent forehand. Poor slicing, terrible footwork.
  • Badminton, Squash: Took a PE class! Woo!
  • Basketball: Can knock down Brandon while defending him; having mass is useful!


I like harmonizing a lot, and fancy myself a musician... though the list of pieces/songs I know is horrendously short. Please introduce more music to me (except maybe death metal.)

  • Singing: Formerly part of XLinked, a summer version of the Christian a capella group XProducts. Sang in the MIT Concert Choir for four semesters.
  • Piano: Stopped taking lessons in 9th grade (after 12 years), at which point my skill rivaled that of my friend who had played for two years. Now, I improvise, heavily overusing left-hand arpeggios and pedal.
  • Clarinet: Was first chair in high school, playing in Wind Ensemble/Orchestra/Pit Orchestra; now I sound like a 6th grader.

Other activities

Things that I wouldn't terribly mind for an interviewer to know.

  • (Now retired) grading captain and teaching assistant for AoPS; in particular, I work mostly with the Worldwide Online Olympiad Training (WOOT) program. We also grade for the USA Mathematical Talent Search.
  • Somewhat-active writer (and sometimes translator/Liquipedia editor) for I am a Brood War elitist, despite my lack of skills at the game. I'm also a (mostly non-contributing) member of MIT Starleague. Now I cover Super Smash Bros. Melee.
  • I usually teach a class for ESP's Splash and Spark programs. In the past, I've taught:
    • Splash 2010:
      1. Maxwell's Equations for Dummies (with Josh): self-explanatory, though Josh took 1.5 of our 2 hours teaching multivariable calculus, resulting in disaster.
      2. Intermediate Olympiad Geometry (with Vlad): turned out to be more like AIME-level geometry.
      3. Canada, and why you shouldn't live there (with Josh and Jon): a horrible but amusing class.
    • Splash 2011:
      1. My Little Set: Compactness is Magic (with Josh): it turns out that explaining Dedekind cuts really sucks.
      2. ZT Stacking and T-Spinning: stole (with permission) my former roommate flamewheel's guide.
      3. Extreme Math (with Jon): Kids came up to the board and solved problems on the spot! Jon did most of the work, but it was entertaining!
    • Spark 2012:
      1. Coloring (with Josh): checkerboard and graph coloring.
      2. Extreme Math (with Josh and Jon): Again, Jon did most of the work. Again, it was amusing.
    • Splash 2012:
      1. Extreme Math (with Jon): people didn't do quite as well this time :(
    • Splash 2013:
      1. Extreme Math (with Josh).
      2. Ask Anything About Math (with many, many people.)

Stupid Catchphrases

I mindlessly repeat stupid lots of stupid catchphrases, including, but not limited to:

Other interests

Other things I'm probably willing to talk about:


Video/Computer games I've been playing for a while

Usually I play these sporadically, but in huge (and devastating, to my health and grades) bursts.

Video/Computer games played on hall

  • Super Smash Bros. Melee, again.
  • Mario Kart. Haven't really tried Double Dash, though I've played Wii a fair bit.
  • Rock Band. Can do the singing part, expert bass, and medium drums. Urgh.

Other video/computer games I found fun at some point

Puzzles/Word games

  • I participate on the hall Mystery Hunt team each year.
  • Ian has lured me into doing puzzles such as Slitherlink, Nurikabe, and Shikaku. I hate Sudoku. More recently, I signed up for Nikoli, where I do Slitherlink, Nurikabe, Heyawake, Akari, Masyu, Shikaku, Yajilin, Satogaeri, Ripple Effect, Shakashaka, and Hashiwokakero.
  • Scrabble, Boggle (Scramble with Friends), Contact.
  • 24 (and its cousin 161, with 6 cards).

Board/Card games

I hate card-counting games because I'm too dumb (or maybe just lazy) to play them.

  • Chess: relic of an age gone by. Also Bughouse.
  • Go: impossible :(
  • Chinese Chess, Chinese Checkers, Jun Qi (Army Chess), Ma Jiang/Mahjong, Tractor: Chinese games that I play once in a blue moon.
  • Dominion (RIP Isotropic).
  • Race for the Galaxy, Galaxy Trucker, Ricochet Robots.

Evil games I once played

  • League of Legends (no link because it's evil).