Campus Life student spotlight

A freshman who does it all

A peek into the life of Nathan Liang ’21

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Nathan Liang ’21 is involved in The Tech, DynaMIT, Concourse, and RAK Week, and wants to start a Taiko Dojo Club at MIT.
Mahi Shafiullah–The Tech

Welcome to our new weekly feature on a random MIT student! To start off this exciting new series we delve deeper into the life of a freshman who does it all: Nathan Liang.


Name & Class: Nathan Liang, Class of 2021

Major: Course 20 (Bioengineering), Minor in Course 4 (Art History)

Living group: Burton Connor

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

Activities: Brand Manager and Associate Arts Editor of the Tech, Board Member of dynaMIT, Concourse, MIT Lion Dance, RAK Week, Treasurer of his BC floor and interested in creating an MIT Taiko Dojo Club (Traditional Japanese Drumming)


Why Course 20?

I was considering architecture from middle school up until sophomore year of high school, as I was always really artsy. During freshman and sophomore year in high school I took a drafting class that I really enjoyed, which involved creating blueprints and drawing house models, although we started off with cubes! It was taught by a really great teacher. However in sophomore year I also took AP Bio, and realized that I really liked it. My love for design, biology (and some money…) eventually combined into an interest in bioengineering. I’m interested in the research surrounding the synthetic creation of organs e.g. via 3D printing!


What do you do at The Tech?

As Brand Manager I try to make the presence of The Tech better known around campus — PR person. My main job as Associate Arts Editor is choosing which Arts events The Tech can cover, making reservations, and occasionally I’ll also go and review movies, plays or operas. My favorite event was watching a Japanese Taiko drumming group called Drum Tao. I did some Taiko drumming in Orlando, so I’m pretty interested in it!


Tell us more about your MIT Taiko Dojo Club!

I had a lot of different ideas for it in the fall, but after being involved with the Association of Student Activities in the fall, I realized the challenges associated with starting something new — money is limited! At this point I’m planning on organizing an open house to gauge some interest, maybe borrow a few drums from MIT Lion Dance.


What was being involved with RAK week like?

It was fun! It was a little bit stressful, as we planned it all in a month, and it was sometimes hard to understand the scope of what we were doing. It started off slow, but then the rest of the week, it slowly started taking off, which was great. If anyone saw me around, I was the one with a different onesie every day!


Why were you interested in dynaMIT?

My initial interest was because dynaMIT targets low-income middle schoolers, and as I became interested in STEM around this time, I felt it would be nice to give back in a way. I wanted to make the same impact on other middle schoolers that STEM had on me at that age. It’s been good, again kind of stressful sometimes, like trying to make sure we had enough mentors and then sifting through applications!


Why did you decide to join Concourse?

I was afraid of how people came into MIT to only do STEM because I was also very arts-heavy, so I wanted to take part in something humanities driven. I joined Concourse because it was a humanities-focused freshman seminar. It’s really fun — I’m super close with a lot of the people.


How do you manage doing all these activities alongside MIT classes?

That’s a good question! I kind of take it day-by-day, but also I was a really bad procrastinator in high school, shirking my work and then staying up until 5 a.m. to get it done. I finally forced myself to stop during junior year. I got myself into the habit of getting all the work I needed to do out of the way and then giving myself some time to have fun!


What do you like best and least about MIT?

I’m salty right now because I don’t need 8.02 for my major, and so I wish the GIR classes were more balanced. The part of MIT I like best is that we have such an open community with such a wide array of people. I love meeting, talking and hanging out with all them!


What one value do you prize above all others?



What one thing would you want to have with you on a desert island?

A reliable dog.


Would you rather always have to say everything on your mind or never be able to speak again?

Hmmm, probably always say what is on my mind. Never speaking again is terrible!


Would you rather be itchy for the rest of your life or be sticky for the rest of your life?

I feel like I could ignore itchiness but I hate being sticky —I would feel like I needed a shower all the time.


Would you rather have hiccups for the rest of your life or always feel like you have to sneeze but never be able to?

Both suck. I don’t know…I guess the sneezing.