A digital special section of | Subscribe

Harvey Yu

Harvey Yu

Data scientist | GIC of Singapore | Class of 2014

An ode to the Beckman Institute from one of its regulars earlier this decade:

“Surrounded by green grass fields and plants, the red brick building at the northern side of the campus comes up beautifully. Inside the building, it is a place filled with innovation and passion for science,” two-degree UI alum Harvey Yu (MS ’14, statistics; Ph.D. ’15, biophysics) says from Singapore.

“The first time I came to Beckman Institute was to meet Professor Klaus Schulten. Klaus took me to his office, on the third floor of Beckman. He was describing to me on how chromatophores work, which is one of his favorite science puzzles.

“It was a sunny afternoon. Sunshine wafted through the blinds and covered his hair with gentle light. He just kept talking and talking, and forgot about time. He was smiling and his eyes were shining. It seemed that he was showing to me his favorite treasure. Through the years I can still remember that moment, and I can feel his love for science.

“Beckman Institute is also a place filled with fun and friendship. Every Monday afternoon, people from all around the campus come for a seminar at a center room of Beckman Institute. Before that, we gather around the kitchen area. Fruits and biscuits are laid on the kitchen counter. Everybody comes out of their office, joking about science or chit-chatting about things happened at every corner of the campus. Everyone has a big smile on their face.

“Beckman Cafe is one of the places on campus with quality breakfasts but not long queues. The oatmeal porridge is always good and the staff is always friendly. When guest speakers visit, I liked taking them here for breakfast.

“During spring, I liked breakfast in the landscape garden outside Beckman Cafe, where I’d do my planning and brainstorming. Occasionally, a rabbit would come out of the bushes and rush across the garden. It is a good place to start a day, where one can find serenity in the middle of the busy streets.”