MINERVA VOICES

My Adventure in Multimodal Communications: A Linguistic Tale at Minerva

by Mohammad Mahean, Class of 2027

January 11, 2024

Ever found yourself on a whirlwind journey, unearthing layers of understanding in just a few weeks? Well, that's exactly what happened in my Multimodal Communications class at Minerva. Picture this: a classroom full of diverse minds, languages from every corner of the world, and a topic that ties it all together – the non-linear nature of language, inspired by none other than the Heptapod language from "The Story of Your Life" by Chiang T.

I remember diving into the pre-class readings, my eyes scanning through the opening chapters of "The Story of Your Life" by Chiang T. The same book that inspired the fascinating movie, "Arrival." I was hooked. The weekends blurred into a whirlwind of words as I devoured one-third of the book and rewatched the movie, lost in the beauty of the Heptapod language.

Now, I'm not new to the world of languages, from delving into the depths of Latin, exploring the complex world of Elvish from The Lord of the Rings, and even entertaining the idea of crafting my very own functional language. Yet, the Heptapod language was different; it was like stepping into a realm where time ceased to exist, where the past, present, and future intertwined in an intricate dance of meaning.

The class itself was a thrilling adventure. A collective of 20 individuals from 15 distinct countries, communicating in 16 diverse languages, were thrust into a cauldron of thought and perspective. We discussed, debated, and delved deep into the sociological and philosophical implications of our languages in context with Heptapod. It was like painting on a blank canvas, where every stroke was a word, and every color was an emotion.

Post-class, with my thoughts racing, I reached out to a friend from Minerva's Class of 2023, eager to share my experience. And bam! She dropped a knowledge bomb about Alan Chan, her friend, who had recently raised $1.7 million in seed funding for "Heptabase," his visual note-taking startup. Inspired by "The Story of Your Life," Heptabase was his ode to the Heptapod language, a visual tool connecting the past, present, and future. I was floored. The connections were uncanny.

Reflecting on these moments, I couldn't help but feel a sense of awe at the journey I embarked upon at Minerva. Here I am, an aspiring entrepreneur with dreams of revolutionizing augmented reality, finding myself in classrooms that challenge my perspectives. Minerva is not just a university; it is a crucible, molding me for the real world, teaching me that language is not just a tool for communication, but a bridge between minds, cultures, and epochs.

So here I am, sharing my Minerva story so far, a tale of languages, perspectives, and life-altering moments. Because in the end, it's about making meaning, breaking out of loops, and embracing the journey, one linguistic adventure at a time.

Quick Facts

Name
Country
Class
Major

Social Sciences & Business

Business & Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Computational Sciences & Social Sciences

Computer Science & Arts and Humanities

Business and Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Arts and Humanities

Business, Social Sciences

Business & Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

Data Science, Statistics

Computational Sciences

Business

Computational Sciences, Data Science

Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Business, Natural Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Science

Social Sciences, Business

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Science

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Science, Statistic Natural Sciences

Business & Social Sciences

Computational Science, Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Business

Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Arts and Humanities

Computational Science

Minor

Computational Science & Business

Economics

Social Sciences

Concentration

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence & Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Designing Societies & New Ventures

Strategic Finance & Data Science and Statistics

Brand Management and Designing Societies

Data Science & Economics

Machine Learning

Cells, Organisms, Data Science, Statistics

Arts & Literature and Historical Forces

Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science

Cells and Organisms, Mind and Emotion

Economics, Physics

Managing Operational Complexity and Strategic Finance

Global Development Studies and Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Scalable Growth, Designing Societies

Business

Drug Discovery Research, Designing and Implementing Policies

Historical Forces, Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Artificial Intelligence, Psychology

Designing Solutions, Data Science and Statistics

Data Science and Statistic, Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science

Strategic Finance, Politics, Government, and Society

Data Analysis, Cognition

Brand Management

Data Science and Statistics & Economics

Cognitive Science & Economics

Data Science and Statistics and Contemporary Knowledge Discovery

Internship
Higia Technologies
Project Development and Marketing Analyst Intern at VIVITA, a Mistletoe company
Business Development Intern, DoSomething.org
Business Analyst, Clean Energy Associates (CEA)

Conversation

Ever found yourself on a whirlwind journey, unearthing layers of understanding in just a few weeks? Well, that's exactly what happened in my Multimodal Communications class at Minerva. Picture this: a classroom full of diverse minds, languages from every corner of the world, and a topic that ties it all together – the non-linear nature of language, inspired by none other than the Heptapod language from "The Story of Your Life" by Chiang T.

I remember diving into the pre-class readings, my eyes scanning through the opening chapters of "The Story of Your Life" by Chiang T. The same book that inspired the fascinating movie, "Arrival." I was hooked. The weekends blurred into a whirlwind of words as I devoured one-third of the book and rewatched the movie, lost in the beauty of the Heptapod language.

Now, I'm not new to the world of languages, from delving into the depths of Latin, exploring the complex world of Elvish from The Lord of the Rings, and even entertaining the idea of crafting my very own functional language. Yet, the Heptapod language was different; it was like stepping into a realm where time ceased to exist, where the past, present, and future intertwined in an intricate dance of meaning.

The class itself was a thrilling adventure. A collective of 20 individuals from 15 distinct countries, communicating in 16 diverse languages, were thrust into a cauldron of thought and perspective. We discussed, debated, and delved deep into the sociological and philosophical implications of our languages in context with Heptapod. It was like painting on a blank canvas, where every stroke was a word, and every color was an emotion.

Post-class, with my thoughts racing, I reached out to a friend from Minerva's Class of 2023, eager to share my experience. And bam! She dropped a knowledge bomb about Alan Chan, her friend, who had recently raised $1.7 million in seed funding for "Heptabase," his visual note-taking startup. Inspired by "The Story of Your Life," Heptabase was his ode to the Heptapod language, a visual tool connecting the past, present, and future. I was floored. The connections were uncanny.

Reflecting on these moments, I couldn't help but feel a sense of awe at the journey I embarked upon at Minerva. Here I am, an aspiring entrepreneur with dreams of revolutionizing augmented reality, finding myself in classrooms that challenge my perspectives. Minerva is not just a university; it is a crucible, molding me for the real world, teaching me that language is not just a tool for communication, but a bridge between minds, cultures, and epochs.

So here I am, sharing my Minerva story so far, a tale of languages, perspectives, and life-altering moments. Because in the end, it's about making meaning, breaking out of loops, and embracing the journey, one linguistic adventure at a time.