Albert Yang is a wonderful young man who contributed to the www.petajakarta.org project led by Tomas Holderness and Etienne Turpin. Albert was supervised by Tomas, Etienne and myself and his work was showcased by various emergency management organisations in Indonesia during monsoon periods.
Albert's work away from his studies have taken him into Virtual Reality and Location-Based Services Content Management. Most recently he has received two rounds of Angel Investment and is working consistently towards the creation of a VR specialist company.
Clover, the reporter who wrote the article in Mandarin above, asked me some questions about Albert. Here is our correspondence:
>>What’s the first impression he gave you?
Albert and I had been communicating via LinkedIn for about 6 months before we met in person in Wollongong, Australia. Initially Albert wanted to do research on radiofrequency identification (RFID). And then as we considered the most suitable project for him, we teamed up with researchers from the SMART Infrastructure Facility https://smart.uow.edu.au/index.html at UOW and started him working on the http://www.petajakarta.org project.
Albert was always respectful, intelligent, and full of energy, eager to start working on a real project. He is a very likable young man with many wonderful traits.
>>Do you think he was crazy to drop out? Have you persuaded him to stay?
Albert has not dropped out of his degree but is on leave of absence following significant business opportunities which have taken priority. I have persuaded him to finish his Masters by Research degree in the School of Computing and Information Technology at the University of Wollongong, as he has done so much work on his thesis, written over 100 pages of his thesis, conducted all the analysis to the experiments, and has been an important member of the PetaJakarta team. But at the same time we have held many meetings about following one's dreams. We kept talking about what I had learnt from my mentors and felt happy to be passing on the learnings. In all things in life, we are confronted with many options and which to choose is sometimes very difficult to determine. Having worked for a telecommunications company myself before I began in academia, I advised Albert that timing is everything and the concept of first-mover advantage in this industry is paramount in different markets for different reasons. He saw an opportunity, worked very hard for a long period of time after hours to bring it to fruition, and now deserves to reap the benefits from it.
>>He said he is a self-centered guy, do you think so?
No, Albert always thinks about everyone else but himself. He really is a team player. He'd always mention to me, "my work friends and I want to do this or that", it was never "I" or "me". That is when I knew for certain his heart was in the right place. He has the genuine qualities of a leader. I look forward to continue seeing him grow. Before every step of his research or work life, he would say: "Katina, I want to show you where we are up to now"... sometimes it takes just one person to believe in what you are doing, and the rest takes its own momentum.
>>Is he a talented student or a diligent one? Could you give me some example?
Albert is talented and diligent. Within a few weeks Albert was programming in Python and within 6 months his visualisation work was being used by emergency service organisations and government agencies in Jakarta, Indonesia to confirm flood reports. Albert taught himself a lot of key programming and database concepts while enrolled in several other subjects, and works so hard toward fulfilling goals. He never gives up and validates his outcomes, for example comparing the implementation of two formulas that should give the same result but do not.
>>What character do you think he is? His merits and faults are ?
Albert is dynamic, a lifetime learner, he has a great sense of humour and is human to the core. I've never heard Albert say a bad word about anyone, and just wants to make his parents proud and give back to them. He is friendly, and so respectful. And most of all he is a thinker and analyser. He enjoyed much the challenge of reconciling both Chinese and Australian cultures, and in a short period of time, was able to call Australia home. I hope we have him back for good at some time in the future with the full knowledge however that China mainland has a wealth of opportunity given the population, and homegrown talent pool.
>>Would you like to share one thing that impressed you most?
Oh where do I begin? A myriad of examples, and each week I was fortunate to meet with Albert over 18 months, I was impressed by different things. What impressed me most? Albert is a mature young entrepreneur and innovator who loves learning and loves life and always strives for excellence in anything he does. We are all so proud of him at UOW!
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