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Additional Information Essay Applicant: LI, Hao


Pronounced [ Lǐ] [ Hào]


Hi, there! My name is Li. Pleasure to E-meet you! You may be wondering about the “mismatch” between my name on the application forms and how I just introduced myself. Well, “Li” is in fact my last name. In China, last name goes first and first name goes last, so everyone called me “Li Hao.” When I came to the U.S., I decided to keep it that way. While “Li Hao” is only two syllables and five letters long, when written out in Chinese, it is indeed quite complex—the two characters together consist of six sub-characters, each carrying an individual meaning. To illustrate this, let me break it up for you, and I will show you how each of the six sub-character unfolded into an interesting anecdote in my life.


“子”, Pronounced [ Zǐ] As in “Lao-Zi”, the founder of Taoism.


“Zi”, and My Taosim Upbringing I was raised by my late grandparents. A former Chinese language teacher and a devoured Taosit, my grandfather trained me to write calligraphy, read to me Taoism fables, and imbued me with the many virtues of “Lao-Zi”, such as calmness, humility and optimism. From him, I also picked up meditation, which has helped me stay focused and productive despite busy school and work schedules. At Sloan, I will show my classmates how to exactly do that with just 5 minutes a day. If there is enough interest, we can even start a Sloan Meditation & Yoga Club!


“水”, Pronounced [ Shuǐ] “Shui” stands for water. It gives my name “hao” its primary meaning of flood.


“Shui”, and Why I studied Architecture The year before my birth, a flood on the Yangtze River swept away thousands of homes in my hometown Wuhan. To commemorate the lost lives, my grandfather named me “Hao,” or flood. After the flood, the city rebuilt its waterfront, creating a new downtown that gave many people a place to live, work and thrive. Witnessing the powerful impact of this multi-year urban development plan inspired me to study architecture in college. Unfortunately, the unprecedented scale of Chinese urbanization also took a hefty toll on the environment, making clean air and blue skies a distant memory. Experiencing this first-hand, I decided to focus my study and career on sustainable design.


“京”, Pronounced [ Jīng] “Jing” stands for a country’s capital and is short for Beijing.


“Jing�, and a Place of Transformation Beijing is a city that will always have a special place in my heart. It is where, at the age of 17, I said goodbye to friends and family and boarded a transpacific flight to become a college student in the U.S. It is also where I became a volunteer with China Rainbow Network, a nonprofit LGBTQ organization, where I mentored gay youth struggling with self-identity in a largely conservative society. In this role, I shared with my mentees my own journey of coming out, and how resilience and patience helped me win the support of my friends and family.


“日”, Pronounced [ R ì] “Ri” means for the sun.


“Ri”, and My “Love-Hate” Relationship with the Sun I love the sun because as an avid kayaker and cyclist, I enjoy the sunny outdoors. In fact, on a beautiful day like this, if you do not see me in E62, I am probably out on a bench by Charles River with abook. I also “hate” the sun because at Mimohaus, an architecture studio I co-founded, it has often presented the toughest challenges in our energy efficient design. For instance, while working on a zero-emission house in China, we spent days refining our work to mitigate unwanted solar heat gain. In addition, in our energy model, the sun was the most difficult variable in the algorithm that constantly crashed our simulation. In the past two years, Mimohaus has grown from just my partner and me to a team of talented architects and engineers. We have won a few regional design awards and are currently working on a competition for an sustainable urban park in Balikesir, Turkey.


“木”, Pronounced [ Mù] “Mu” means wood and timber.


“Mu�, and My Passion for the Classroom In 2015, I joined Philadelphia University as an adjunct professor. My teaching focuses on sustainable building constructions, where my students and I examine how heavy timber, a renewable material with a production process that absorbs carbon rather than emits it, can lead to healthier indoor air quality. With this research, we represented the university in winning an idea competition for future housing design, besting more than 200 teams nationally.


“页”, Pronounced [ Yè] “Ye” is the sixth and last sub-character. It stands for books.


“Ye”, & the Journey Forward While I have made the switch to “Kindle” a while back, there is still a book that I carry with me all the time. It is my sketchbook that I use to jot down a sparking idea for a new phone app, an interesting concept I learned while reading the Economist, and a friend’s recommendation for a movie I haven’t heard of. My sketchbook is a place for me to record discoveries, dissect problems, test solutions, and hypothesize the future. Over the years, I have filled a small library of them. I hope I get to continue to record my journey of discovery as I begin the next chapter of my life at Sloan. Thanks for reading! I hope to see you on campus soon!

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