TEDxUCSD | 2017 | daniel-wen
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Daniel Wen ’17

Bioengineering: Bioinformatics

Speaker Relations

Tell us about yourself!
I am currently a fifth year pursuing a degree in Bioengineering and I am the Speakers Team Lead for this year’s TEDxUCSD team. My hobbies include cooking, reading non-fiction books, catching up on sleep, and traveling to new places. Fun fact about myself — I was born in LA, grew up in Brazil, and went to high school in Virginia.
What is your favorite TED talk and why?

This talk really inspired me to dream big and never give up. Randy was Carnegie Mellon professor diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, but rather than accepting his fate and giving up, he uses this opportunity to teach and inspire others through his “Last Lecture”. In his talk, he taught me how to fight back and not accept defeat, how to look at problems as an opportunity to learn and grow, and how to become a true leader.

“Most of us would slip into a deep depression, but Randy used the experience as teaching material.” — Katie Couric

What enticed you to choose your major(s) and/or minor(s)?
I chose my major on a whim. I wanted to pursue an engineering degree, but I also wanted to go into medical school. That’s when I figured out that Bioengineering could be a great fit for me, since I could pursue both at the same time. As I focused more into my major, I realized there were many different opportunities in Bioengineering. The science and research field really drew me in since it is always growing and evolving and there’s always so many things that you can learn from it, as well as do with it.
What is your interpretation of this years TEDxUCSD theme, Madness and Miracles?
My interpretation of Madness and Miracles is that one’s madness can be another’s miracle, and one’s miracle can be another’s madness. However, whatever your madness or miracle may be, if you really believe in it, you should disregard other’s opinion about it and share it because those are the ideas that can bring us a new perspective and help us think.
Who/What inspires you?
The idea of constantly growing inspires me to always work harder and never settle. I think that personal development is a process that should be always pursued because it helps us better understand ourselves. This process can be difficult since it requires us to constantly re-evaluate our values and beliefs, but I do believe that this process is what ultimately allow us to find happiness and get us closer to becoming the ideal-self that we want to become.
If you could have a super power what would it be and why?
Being able to manipulate time. I always feel like I would like to have more time to have fun, study, work, sleep, etc… Being able to control time would be pretty handy in this situation. Also, how cool would it be to travel to the past and the future?
What's one thing you can't live without?
Sleep — the one thing that keeps me sane and going.
What is one life goal that you have?
I want to have a family that I can grow old and be happy with, but I would also like to have the freedom to keep pursuing my passions without avoiding my responsabilities.
Choose a song to describe you and explain why you chose this song.
Big Sean – One Man Can Change The World ft. Kanye West, John Legend

This song doesn’t necessarily describe me, but it describes someone that I aspire to become. This song’s main message is to show that one person have the power to influence and change the life of another, but it also have other lessons such as not to judge others, to persevere in difficult times, and to always keep working towards your dreams.