Yan’s Personal Page

My favorite hobby is talking to people I don’t know about things I don’t understand, so email me at yanzhang (snail thing) post.harvard.edu, or meet up with me around San Francisco.

If you are looking for my academic page, please go here.

Recent Updates

  • I’m back from EuroSPARC and SPARC. Whew!
  • I finished a short stint of trying to improve public transportation with Remix. They’re a good group and I hope them luck!
  • Boris Alexeev and I got third place on this contest for March Madness predictions. We learned some interesting math and “street fighting statistics” along the way.


I write / have written on 3 public blogs:

  • Blue Slate, personal blog. Sadly, these days, much of the content is protected for a circle of trusted friends. If you are a trusted friend who wants access, ask me for the password.
  • Concrete Nonsense, a group math blog. Very rarely updated.
  • Necessary Games, Jordan Magnusson’s blog about videogames, with an indie bent. I haven’t written there for a while.


42 random heroes (not necessarily my role models!), including fictional characters. It does not contain (alive) people in my academic field.

  1. Allan Adams
  2. Boris Alexeev
  3. Charles Barkley
  4. Joshua Batson
  5. Russell “Stringer” Bell
  6. Cao Cao (historical or fictional)
  7. Italo Calvino
  8. Gerolamo Cardano
  9. Gabriel Carroll
  10. G.J.K. Chesterton
  11. cly5m
  12. Adam D’Angelo
  13. Richard Feynman
  14. Edgar Figaro
  15. Benjamin Franklin
  16. Hideyuki Fujisawa
  17. Phil Galfond
  18. Vincent van Gogh
  19. Alpha Hatsuseno
  20. Cady Heron
  21. E. T. Jaynes
  22. Zhuge Liang (historical only)
  23. Jordan Magnusson
  24. Sanjoy Mahajan
  25. Emmy Noether
  26. Pham Nuwen
  27. PSY
  28. Alec Resnick
  29. Laura Roslin
  30. Gian-Carlo Rota
  31. Jacob Steinhardt
  32. Terry Tao
  33. Yang Wen-Li
  34. Zoe Washburne
  35. Tabitha-Ruth “Turtle” Wexler
  36. John Wooden
  37. Ying Xin (my mother)
  38. Lu Xun
  39. Phoenix Wright
  40. Kiyoharu Yashiro
  41. Zhao Ziyang
  42. Michael Zhang