Aston Yong


San Marino, CA

Academic Interests

Computer Science BS, Economics Minor

Fun Fact

I have a patch of gray hair on the back of my head.

My gray hairs always garnered inquiry, yet they also kickstarted my dive into computer science. I first explored biology and environmental engineering for the cause of my graying. But while researching biofuels at University of Southern California, I was introduced to Arduino microcontrollers, C++, and computer aided design programs. I realized that my graying’s origins lay in technologies like artificial intelligence, not pipettes. Afterwards, I taught myself Python and HTML with Codecademy. Selected for the Caltech STEM Research Course, I was soon immersed in machine learning concepts, but it was Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute that cemented my passion for computer science with its inclusivity and its interactive projects. 

At Duke, I am working on the Art of the Americas Project as a Wired! Lab Fellow. Our project is to re-imagine the Nasher Museum’s Art of the Americas’ exhibit with 3D modeling and interactive screen technologies.  I am also First-Year Representative for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and part of Duke Machine Learning. My passion for the field stems from computers’ interdisciplinary applications, and my future goals are developing technologies that support sustainability, smart cities, or space exploration. Another goal is to bring a multicultural perspective and promote inclusivity in the STEM landscape. 

Outside of school, I enjoy hiking and racing in triathlons (though I prefer cycling and running). I love trying new experiences and especially new foods. I also do a tiny bit of dancing in my free time. Some important experiences have been becoming an Eagle Scout, speech and debate, and my leadership opportunities. My multicultural upbringing has also been a defining characteristic of my life, and I speak English, Spanish, and Cantonese at home. My other interests include urban development and international politics.

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

I enjoy the diversity of people's experiences and cultures and our common drive to learn and broaden our skill sets.

Yong headshot.
Aston Yong