About Me


Hi, I'm Brian.

Hi, welcome!

My name is Brian Chen and I am a sophomore undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science.

I've been coding since I first took a computer science class in Grade 10, and I haven't looked back. I've done Web Development, Software Engineering, Android Development, and Game Development. Some of the projects and other things that I've worked on are avaliable on my GitHub, and on the Projects page of this website.

I'm absolutely in love with video games. I'm a die hard StarCraft player, both games. I've invested countless hours into League of Legends, too. Now, most of my time is going to Overwatch. My passion of games doesn't just end there though - I both like and want to develop games too. I'm currently learning Unity to familiarize myself with the program, and I'm also looking to get into Unreal Engine, too. It's a challenge, but it's a fun one.

I'm a TV show watcher, too. Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Wire, Game of Thrones. If you meet me in real life and start a conversation - I probably won't be able to shut up for the next few hours. Fan theories, speculation, and hype -- I'm kind of an addict.




Awards


Toronto Operations Research Challenge
1st Place (2015), 4th Place (2014)

Tackled various optimization questions that are applicable to real-life to find the best and most efficient solutions to each question. Contest encouraged heavy use of algorithmic thinking and mathematical analysis.

American Computer Science League
Top Individual Score, All-Star (2015)

Tackled problems regarding Assembly Language, Data Structures, Binary, Finite State Machines, LISP, Computer Number Systems, and other theoretical computer science concepts. Also solved numerous challenge problems by using shortest path, tree traversal, binary search, and other algorithms.

Canadian Computing Competition
Top 25% (2015, 2014, 2013)

A challenge for secondary school students with intermediate to advanced programming skills. Contest included challenging programming problems regarding the efficient and creative usage of data structures and algorithms such as shortest path, max flow. Most problems were solved with a combination of recursion, dynamic programming, and ad hoc approaches. Renown contest hosted by the University of Waterloo.

Ryerson SportsHack
Coach’s Pick (2015), Honorable Mention (2014)

The Ryserson SportsHack is a Hackathon hosted by the Ryerson University that brings together teams of hackers in Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax to compete in developing innovative sports-related software solutions.

(2015) Created a scalable fantasy application called Fuudi (Fantasy Buddy) for the CFL that organizes player data from Big Data University and analyzes performance to help fantasy owners succeed.
(2014) Combined the technologies of a Myo motion-activated wristband and an Oculus Rift to create RiftWalker, a workout machine that placed the user in a virtual world, essentially gamifying the workout experience.

UofTHacks
Outstanding Idea Award (2015)

UofTHacks is a Hackathon hosted by the University of Toronto St. George Campus that brings programmers from all over the world together to bring new and creative ideas to life.

(2015) Created a crowd-sourced lost and found Android app to reunite people with their belongings. When an user loses an item, they send out an alert. Anyone within a close enough geographical area (located by GPS) will get a notification about the lost item. Anyone who finds the item can contact the original poster to return the item to them. Incorporated the Twilio and Twitter APIs and cooperated with a team member to build the backend web portion of the project using PHP and MySQL

EdAppHack
2nd Overall (2014)

Supported by the MaRS Discovery District (MaRS DD), #EdAppHack is a 2-day Education-focused Hackathon that aims to unite Students, Teachers and Community App Developers through the theme of STEM.

Created an android application - OneMark - for congregating and summarizing grades pulled from internet sources (e.g. Blackboard, Desire to Learn). Instead of Students checking many websites to find out marks, OneMark offers students a program that once given credentials and URLs to websites, will collect and consolidate all marks into one application. This app offers ease-of-use, and offers diagnostic breakdowns of marks over time, marks needed to achieve goal grade, and other quality of life features.




Leadership


» [AMACSS] Association of Mathematical and Computer Science Students
Computer Science Representative (2016), Programming Club Lead (2016)

The Association of Mathematical and Computer Science Students (AMACSS) is a Departmental Student Association - a student led organization with a specific academic focus. AMACSS works with students in the Computer and Mathematical Sciences stream to help explain key concepts, review for exams, host seminars, and organize networking and gaming events.

As a Computer Science Representative, I served as liaison with the executives for all students in the Computer Science Stream at the University of Toronto at Scarborough. I identified concerns from Computer Science students and brought them to the attention of appropriate figures within the association. I also organized and hosted several review seminars for midterms. In these review seminars, we covered past midterms, key concepts, as well as potential exam questions.

As the Programming Club lead, I managed all relations between AMACSS and the Programming Club (Computer Science Enrichment Club). I ran, organized, promoted, and did all the administrative work to make the two clubs work in sync, whether it be hosting joint socials or sharing opportunities.

» [CSEC] Computer Science Enrichment Club
President (2016), Founder

The Computer Science Enrichment Club is a student-run club located at the University of Toronto at Scarborough. Our goal is to help Computer Science enthusiasts take the next step in their development as problem solvers and creative innovators. We want to develop student’s analytical, algorithmic, and creative thinking skills and help students to learn about applications of computer science outside of university, in events such as hackathons or endeavours like personal projects.

As the President, I am responsible for all events, logistics, and operations of the club. I manage the finances, plan out the events, communicate with AMACSS, professors, and the Department of Student Life and the Scarborough Campus Student's Union to make our club thrive. I also acted as a primary lecturer that created and delivered the content of the organization to its individual members, as well as co-ordinating the other executive members. I also wrote the syllabus, constitution, and organized the cirriculum to be covered every semester.

» UTSC Crimson Tide Dragon Boat Club
Web Designer (2016), Member

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My Hobbies

Reading:
I like to read a lot. I usually end up gravitating towards the Fantasy and SciFi genre, though (original, right?) Some of my favorite books include the A Song of Ice and Fire series (please release The Winds of Winter already, George), and the Kingkiller Chronicles (same with you Patrick, please give me Doors of Stone). I've read a lot of the classics, and if you have a good book suggestion, please feel free to tell me via the Google Form in my Contact section.

Gaming:
I mean, what Computer Science student doesn't appreciate a good video game? I've been all over the place these past years, jumping from StarCraft II (got Platinum as my highest rank), to League of Legends (currently Platinum). I've played many RPGs, some of my favorites being Mass Effect, the Witcher trilogy, and Bioshock Infinite. I've met new friends and explored new worlds in MMORPGs such as RuneScape and Guild Wars (1 & 2). Now, I'm addicted to playing Overwatch, because, as you know, the world needs heroes!

Dragon Boating:
At the beginning of my first year, someone approached me and energetically invited me to join the newly restarted Dragon Boat team at UTSC. I hesitantly accepted, I guess I was curious to see what it was about. Now, I love it! I've found that Dragon Boating is a very fun and intense sport that really pushes each individual to realize the importance of sync and teamwork. I've met great friends through my first year with UTSC's Crimson Tide, and I can't wait for what lies ahead.

Basketball:
Go Raptors Go!
Need I say more? We're living in the Golden Age of Toronto basketball. As I write this, the Raptors have just been eliminated from the Eastern Conference Finals by the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-2. Even though they've been eliminated, this is the furthest we've ever gotten in Raptors history. Things are looking up, and it's a great time to be a basketball fan in Toronto.
I play a lot of pickup basketball at the Toronto Pan American Sports Center, as well as following the NBA almost religiously. I'm also in a fantasy basketball league with some of my buddies, which I'm also very passionate about.