ESP Biography

IVAN ZHANG, A fervent problem-solver from Stanford.

Major: Mathematics

College/Employer: Stanford

Year of Graduation: 2013

Picture of Ivan Zhang

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I was born and raised in Beijing, China, where all people ever cared about is how good are you at math. So I started participating in math competitions during 4th grade and found myself drawn completely into the problem-solving.

I've always believed that problem-solving skills are applicable in many areas outside math and science: they help me write an argumentative essay, give a presentation, think of best ways to interact with friends, and many many more things. And knowing lots of good problems or brainteasers just make you sound super smart and look nerdy cool among your friends; few things can beat that, right?

Besides doing cool math and CS problems I really love to sing. I'm a member of the Stanford Mendicants, the oldest a cappella group on campus, so you guys should come check out our shows.

I'm also a casual gamer as suggested by my profile picture.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

M1018: A Crash Course in Brainteasers in Splash! Fall 2010 (Nov. 13 - 14, 2010)
Nowadays information is cheap: just type stuff into google/wikipedia search bar and in seconds you can find any kind of information you want. Problem-solving skills, however, remain valuable as ever before. Problem-solving does involve creativity, but I do believe one can train him or herself to be a better problem-solver by working many problems and finding patterns in them. In this class I will share with you some of my favorite brainteasers and demonstrate how problem-solving is involved.