Yixiao Xiao: What a Character!

17, 2023

Email: zhangchi@westlake.edu.cn
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A three-time gold-winning athlete, expert chef, and social butterfly. Each of these titles could describe Westlake University freshman Yixiao Xiao.

He loves to cook, so he prepared the New Year's Eve dinner at home this year.

He loves social events, so he coordinates various activities across the university, inviting teachers from inside and outside Westlake to deliver lectures.

He also loves sports, winning three gold medals, namely in the 100-meter sprint, the relay and the long jump, at the Westlake Games in fall 2022.

Most would agree that Xiao, an undergraduate student at Gamma College, is quite the character. Every undergraduate student at Westlake University has access to the laboratory from their first year. By the second half of the first semester, Xiao had started to do some basic experiments under the guidance of a doctoral student.

Xiao’s academic advisor is Prof. Chengchen Guo of the Laboratory of Functional Biomaterials. Xiao likes biology and originally aimed to have Prof. Shang Cai from the School of Life Sciences as a mentor. But fate had other plans. One day during a casual conversation, Xiao and Guo discovered that they shared many similar interests, especially in basketball. The conversation with Guo left a lasting impression on him. He also learned that while Guo was with the School of Engineering, his research was closely related to biology. This was enough of a sign for Xiao, who then asked Guo to be his academic advisor.

Xiao was very excited to move from books to the laboratory. Doing experiments requires a high degree of concentration, and the repetitive process can be boring, but Xiao feels that the sense of accomplishment when the experiment succeeds is unparalleled, and even greater than when he masters a new dish.

With so many competing interests, has Xiao now found something to focus all his energy? Of course not. As a young adult, he is still actively exploring. Young and lively, calm and firm, at Westlake University Xiao is actively exploring his multifaceted life, while not being restricted by any given label.