Joe Tien graduated from UCI in 1993, part of the second graduating class of CHP students. Joe grew up in Irvine and had already taken some courses at UCI while in high school. According to Joe, “It seemed natural for me to continue my studies at UCI after graduation. The faculty and staff were very friendly, and I just enjoyed my time there.”
Joe had a unique experience at UCI, as he was much younger than his peers. “I think it would have been a more challenging period if I had been only slightly younger than my classmates. Being several years younger meant my classmates and I existed in different worlds, and it was simply difficult for us to relate socially. It probably didn’t help that I was a bit of a cocky teenager.” Despite the age gap, Joe recalls fond memories of his experience with the CHP and specifically remembers playing Chess with fellow CHPer Chris Chardon (‘92) during Coffee Hours.
Joe majored in Math & Physics at UCI and graduated from Harvard in 1998 with a Ph.D. in Physics. Since 2002, he has been an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. Joe acknowledges the difference between his current field and what he studied at UCI and says that, “being in the Honors Program helped by exposing me to works I would never have examined otherwise (e.g., in linguistics) and by making me more confident in taking on different areas of research.”
As a professor, Joe is committed to his research and devotes nearly all his waking hours to this work. He says, “I view what I do now–figuring out ways to enhance human health–as my service to society.” To relax, Joe enjoys rock-climbing or playing a game of chess or as he puts it—”Nothing formal, just pleasant ways to recharge.” A personal message Joe wanted to leave to fellow CHPers is, “I think it’s great fun to dream and build lasting things.”