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Ziqian Tao: 'Cornell offers courses in every discipline I could think of'

April 30, 2018

Ziqian Tao

Economics & Philosophy

Beijing, China

Why did you choose Cornell?

I chose Cornell for several reasons: I participated in a summer debate camp organized by the Cornell Speech & Debate society back in summer 2012. I was impressed by the student volunteer's passion and responsibility toward what they were doing, as well as their academic excellence. I also had the chance to talk to some professors in seminars and felt that Cornell faculty consisted not only of good researchers but also good instructors. Cornell is also beautiful during the summer and I enjoyed living on campus during the debate camp. Thirdly, I've always been passionate about interdisciplinary studies. Cornell offers courses in every discipline I could think of, and the College of Arts & Sciences offers a flexible curriculum that would help me explore multiple disciplines and observe how they interact with each other.

What do you value about your liberal arts education?

No words could express how important liberal arts education is. It encourages students to step outside of their majors and learn what types of problems other disciplines are dealing with and what tools they employ. Only in this way can they figure out ways to combine methodologies in different fields to solve complicated problems that we face in the real world. Also, for students who don't know their academic interests yet, a liberal arts education provides the shortest path to locate them. A liberal arts education also teaches students how to form and evaluate arguments. This is important for discussions and other forms of commutation in any field. The liberal arts education I received at Cornell made me realize its importance, which motivated me to co-found a non-profit organization (Veritas China) to promote liberal arts education among high school students and college students in China through an annual summer program.

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