My TED Talk Experience

The TED week is behind us and we don’t know what’s ahead yet. But one thing we do know is that it won’t be as exciting as what we had last week.

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It has never been an easy work to collaborate with a bunch of “millennials” you didn’t know before, and what got more challenging for us was that we five come from different programs and share distinct fields of study and we were required to do sit down and work on a same speech.

One thing we noticed during our first meeting was that people are used to get tasks assigned early (like you do this and you do that… blah blah) before figuring out what the whole picture is. Therefore, we chose an unusual way. Before distrusting works to the members, we sat down together, did research on our topic and, most importantly, looked for similar cases online in order to verify our ideas and assumptions on the thesis. One difficulty we had was that one of our members had limited knowledge of finance, so, we had to find a mix between his academic major, computer science, with our topic finance, which turned out to be bitcoin (we still think it’s a genius idea).

There were four other groups who also made fantastic speeches. Team “How algorithms control us” used Michael Bay’s “Transformers” as an example to illustrate how our addictions to entertainment can mystify us on rational decision making (which actually ruined my movie plan for the coming weekend). And team “coding as a second language” wisely interpreted the necessity of coding as an interchange function between human language and machine language by using an instance on translating goose words “gaga” into our words “go away”.

Among all these impressive presentations given by my classmates, personally, I enjoyed “Insuring for the Future” the most, not only because of the connections between the topic and my filed of study, but also because of their enthusiasm and well-organized speech. How the price of auto insurance was determined traditionally comparing to the potential insured trend shift from drivers to automobile manufacturers have been raising a lot of doubts and uncertainties for our future life.

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Honestly, I have been dreaming of giving a TED talk on a decorated stage with the red “TED” sign at the back, as well as hundreds of audiences sitting in front of me. And this time, it was almost there, except the decorated stage, the “TED” sign and hundreds of audiences. But I have to say this was the closest one for to a real TED talk.

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