About Alexander J. Yee

(Last updated: October 11, 2012)




Grand Geyser, Yellowstone National Park (August 2010)

After running this site for some years, I've been asked a lot of questions about myself. So I thought I'd finally add an "about me" page here.



As of June 2011, I am a 23-year-old first year graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I did my undergraduate at Northwestern Universiy (2006 - 2010) and graduated with a double major in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

My areas of focus are in High Performance Computing, Signal Processing, and VLSI.


I was born and raised in the Bay Area (California). I attended and graduated from Bowditch Middle School and Palo Alto High School.


I am a second generation immigrant of Chinese descent. My Chinese name is 余智恒 (pronounced "yu-jee-hung" in Cantonese and "yu-zhi-heng" in Mandarin) My mother is from Hong Kong and my father is from Taishan (台山), a region in the Guangdong province of China. I can speak English, Cantonese, and a bit of Mandarin.



Thoughout my Middle and High School years, I've always been ahead in Math. I finished Calculus in 9th grade and Advanced Linear Algebra in 12th. I also did decently well in competitions like the AMC/AIME, and Science Olympiad. I've always qualified for the AIME, but never for the USAMO.

In various Science Olympiad events, I've placed 1st at states 3 times and placed top 5 countless times.


However, ever since grade school, I've always sucked in terms of grades and standardized tests. I graduated from Palo Alto High School in the bottom quartile among all the college-bound students. My GPA was barely a 3.0 at graduation, so it was somewhat miraculous that I got accepted into Northwestern University at all.










Dormroom Shelf: No textbooks. All computer boxes...
Hard Drives:
The 2 to the right are just offline backups of my Anime.
The 3 to the left are a gift from Shigeru Kondo - 5 trillion digits of Pi!!!



I discovered Stack Overflow in August 2011... And now I find myself spending bit a more time there than I should... It's become a hobby to seek out and answer interesting questions.


profile for Mysticial at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers


You will see me trawling around the C and C++ tags. And especially in questions involving performance and optimization.


The best questions I've answered on Stack Overflow are:



I started bowling in 10th grade with a bunch of friends from school. Since then I've taught myself all the basics as well as how to hook a bowling ball.


Currently, I use a 16 pound ball with a heavy to extreme crank. For spares, I use a 14 pound ball with no hook. However, overall I'm not particularly skilled.


My best game is only 241 - set with a (very lucky) 7-bagger.




I have played the piano since 2nd grade. I started not because of pressure from my parents, but because I actually wanted to. (surprising isn't it?)


The stuff I play is entirely classical - mostly works of Beethoven and Chopin. For the most part, if I like a piece, I will play it. I really don't care if it's easy or hard.


Some of the things I've played include:

The Easy: Beethoven's Moonlight (1st mov.) and Pathetique (2nd mov.) Sonatas.

The Not-so-Easy: Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata (1st mov.) and Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu.


There have been a handful of pieces that were to difficult for me to handle (either because my hands were too small or because of its pure speed insanity...): Chopin's Scherzo #1 and Beethoven's Hammerklavier... :(


However, due to my lack of time and inability to access a piano of decent quality over my college years, my piano skills have mostly fallen down to a beginner's...



Japanese Anime:

Okay... I'm not gonna go out and start calling myself an Otaku yet. But I'm afraid I'm getting there... lolz

Anyway, I'm not gonna get too detailed here since I can easily go on forever about Anime. However, bashing (or liking) the wrong Anime is like asking for a duel from someone avid in the other direction... :)


Currently, my favorite Anime of all time is a tie between Valkyria Chronicles (戦場のヴァルキュリア) and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ).




Of course... I game... Computers, Xbox, Nintendo DS... Some of the games I've played in the past are, Starcraft, Warcraft DOTA, Red Alert, Age of Empires, Sim City, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, Halo, Pokemon, Neopets, etc...


I don't play too many games now. It's mostly Anime now. The only notable game I play on computer now is Left 4 Dead and Crysis (the latter mainly to test my framerates)...


As far as handhelds go, I still play pokemon - even after all these years...










My Workspace:

And this is my current dormroom and workspace...


Being a CS and EE major with an enthusiasm for computers, I need my elaborate setup of 4 monitor setup. :) (3 x 23in. 1080p + 22 in. 1680 x 1050)

It's surprisingly productive... Code on one monitor. Compile/email/stackoverflow on a 2nd monitor. Remote desktop a 3rd. Watch anime on the 4th...


Questions or Comments?

Contact me via e-mail. I'm pretty good with responding unless it gets caught in my school's junk mail filter.