Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: October 19, 2001
Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue

Pitching In For NYC

State Grant Supports Panther Hollow Research Facility

Annual United Way Campaign Has Begun

Six Alumni Were Victims of Terrorist Attacks

Kathleen Carley Garners Lifetime Achievement Award

PSC Installs Most Powerful Computing System

Kiron Skinner Named to U.S. Defense Policy Board

Carnegie Mellon Co-Hosts Cybersecurity Brainstorming Series

Economist Robert Strauss Says Consumer Spending Will Rebound

Extraordinary Freshman Enjoys Independence

NSF Grants SCS Faculty More Than $24 Million For Research

News Briefs
-Technology Impacts
-Mile of Quarters
-Westinghouse Gift
-Honorary Degrees
-Acting Head of SDS
-Boxed Out
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Extraordinary Freshman Enjoys Independence
At 16, Jiajun Lim is the Youngest Member of the Class of 2005

Lim On the surface, Jiajun Lim, a Singapore native whose family moved to Delaware a few years ago, seems like a typical hardworking Carnegie Mellon freshman.

As a high school senior he applied to several top-notch universities including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. He says he chose Carnegie Mellon because he was attracted to the university's information systems program.

After a few weeks of class-he's taking six courses this semester- he is ambitiously working toward a double major in information systems and human computer interaction. He thinks his professors are "very friendly" and are "doing a good job," especially his economics teacher Steven Klepper who "explains things very clearly," and he's enjoying living away from home.

He said the university's food isn't great, but he likes eating at the Original Hot Dog Shop in the University Center. He plans to join the Robotics Club because of his interest in artificial intelligence.

Lim hopes someday to pursue a career in animation or become some type of "computer specialist." He said the online game industry might be an option for him to pursue.

But, take a closer look at Lim and you find he's quite atypical.

At 16 years old, he's the youngest member of the Class of 2005, having skipped 8th and 11th grades. In his free time, he likes doing math problems, listening to classical music, studying the Roman Empire and creating art by free hand and on the computer using applications such as PhotoShop and 3D Studio Max. He needs to reach age 17 and log just three hours more of flying time to obtain his pilot's license.

"All you have to do is be interested in something and you can work on it," said Lim, whose artwork was displayed as part of the freshman class' Portico 2005 art exhibit in the University Center Art Gallery. "In Singapore, like in most parts of Asia, the focus is on academics-studying, studying, studying. There's not as much focus on sports or the arts. Students tend to be too engrossed in academics because of the high value that society places on it."

Lim, who looks older than 16, said when his family moved to the U.S. he had to get used to a different, more relaxed culture.

"Here there are far more opportunities. Here I was more exposed to computers and the Internet. I saw people who had great art work on the Web and that inspired me," he said.

Lim created his own Web site ( called Thurinus Works after Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. The Web site includes a short biography, an illustrated history of the Roman Empire and many pieces of his art.

"Thurinus was the original last name of Augustus," said Lim, an avid historian of the Roman Empire. "My first name on the Web was Augustus and people shortened it to Auggie."

The Scobell Hall resident said he's making "quite a few friends" and adjusting well to life at Carnegie Mellon. He said his parents are "anxious" about him living on his own and communicate with him daily by email.

"This place is good," he said. "There's a lot of stuff to explore. The campus is great. For once I'm on my own."

Bruce Gerson

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