Sihao Chen (Benny)

UC Berkeley EECS MEng 21'


About Me

Updated Mar 10, 2021

Born into a working-class family in China, I grew up during a time of rapid economic development in my hometown of Nanjing. I observed firsthand many of the social inequalities that plague developing countries: the income gap is growing. A deteriorating environment accompanies industrialization. Marginalized groups, such as girls in rural areas, face discrimination in education and job markets. I appreciate the potential impact that computer science could have in reducing issues of inequality. I believe that the development of information technology can and should improve the overall welfare of human society by helping to build more fair systems and eliminate the inequity among different social groups.

I have been fascinated by robots described in fiction as they can accomplish the difficult or repetitive tasks that humans cannot or are unwilling to do. In my undergrauate years at Northeastern University, I developed a humanoid robot that imitates human movements. After I entered UC Berkeley, I continued to learn about machine learning, robotics, and data science. In the hope of improving the lives of people born with disadvantages, I joined Professor Brian A. Barsky's Assistive Technology project, using computer vision to help disabled people control cursors without a physical mouse.

I do not doubt that computer science will help to build a more diverse community in schools and companies. Personally, IT products such as Coursera and Duolingo helped me improve my communicational and professional skills when I was in China. In the summer of 2018, I worked in a startup company that made educational applications for English learners. During my master's program at Berkeley, I worked part-time as a full-stack software engineer on the Teaming by Design Platform. Our mission was to help students form diverse teams in class projects and learn how to collaborate. I enjoy working on such projects that bring equality and unity to our society.