A Conversation with Minerva Graduate Student Haishuo Lee

Sep 29, 2022

This is part of a series of profiles introducing students from Minerva’s incoming Fall 2022 graduate class. If you would like to learn more about our programs, please visit our website.

"My job is very simple. I help my team make things happen."

Originally from Taiwan, Haishuo Lee completed his undergraduate degree in Foreign Languages and Literature at the National Chiao Tung University. As an undergraduate student, he became heavily involved in a variety of extracurricular activities, spending most of his free time actively engaging in, and eventually becoming the president of, his local chapter of AIESEC—an international non-profit for youth leadership and cultural development. While leading and organizing a number of events, alongside studying languages, Haishuo discovered a passion for interpretation and began working as a conference interpreter for AIESEC, as well as for organizations such as the National Hsinchu University of Education, British Council, and Shinkong Life Foundation. However, due to the growth of the AI field at the time, manual interpretation was becoming increasingly digitalized, so he decided to redirect his career path to the field of digital education instead.

Later, Haishuo went on to complete a Master's degree in Digital Learning at the National Chiao Tung University, and as part of his coursework, he wrote a thesis on the topic of digital education. Working on the project deepened his passion for spreading awareness of open courseware and providing quality education to students around the world for free. Now, after fifteen years of serving in the education industry, Haishuo has realized that there are many things he would like to change about education in Taiwan.

Given his passion for digital learning, Haishuo became intrigued by Minerva's pedagogy as soon as he heard about it at the beginning of this year. After reading a book written by three Taiwanese alumni of Minerva’s Master of Science in Decision Analysis (MDA), describing their experience with the degree, Haishuo’s interest in Minerva's mission grew and he decided to apply to the program.

"It is not about teaching knowledge. It is not about teaching information. It is about teaching a framework of thinking and decision making."

Haishuo admires Minerva's innovative approach to education that does not just require memorization of content but instead focuses on critical thinking and building a set of skills to make the best use of presented information. He shares that in his current position as the Superintendent of the Wagor International School in Taiwan, he has to make decisions of great importance on a daily basis, and it is crucial for him to possess a toolkit that allows him to make well-informed, evidence-based, and unbiased choices.

"When we need to make decisions, they cannot be based on our personal experience or what we believe in. We need numbers. We need evidence."

Haishuo’s lifelong fascination with public speaking and spreading important messages to the world inspired the idea to bring back learnings to his community. Since the early years of his childhood, speech contests were an inherent part of Haishuo’s life as he participated in numerous championships year by year. However, after winning his first trophy during college, he began to care less about winning and more about the messages that he was able to bring to the world. With this in mind, he aspires to become a bridge between Minerva’s educational model and his local educational system.

Haishuo highlights that concepts taught at Minerva are especially needed in the era of artificial intelligence, where most information is easily accessible on the internet, making it easy to fall into biases and make faulty inferences. He wants to apply what he learns through the MDA to contribute to redirecting the emphasis in his society to learning a skill set to interpret data, evaluate it, and reach rational conclusions instead of memorization.

"I want to become a bridge. I want to become a path that helps people to do this. I believe this is the real idea of education and I want to bring the frameworks I will learn at Minerva to my world and my people to make this world a better place."