My Name Is

A Computer Science major at UIUC, hoping to have an impact.

Jeff Taylor-Chang

Who Am I?

If majors were forms of government; Computer Science would be democracy.

Love at first sight may very well sound cliche, but from the moment that I laid eyes on code, staring back at me in monospace font, I knew what I wanted to do. In 5th grade, I told my parents I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: I was going to change the world through Computer Science.

But what makes Computer Science democracy? As Americans we strongly tie democracy with our patriotism, and so I know my statement will need a defense. CS is democracy because it is freedom. I'm not talking freedom of information, I'm not trying to Open Source government. I mean freedom to make anything, be anyone, change the world. At our fingertips, we have access to vast amounts of information, more information than even the smartest person a hundred years ago never knew.

I knew that college would teach me everything I'd need to know, but I wasn't willing to wait around for almost a decade for a professor to tell me how to write code. With the internet as my textbook, I decided to start teaching myself. A few years later, I'd take classes offered by a nearby college as well as courses taught by professors across the country, and begin my journey. But before I left for Illinois, I decided to spread CS to as many people as I could.

Jeff (center)

My Work:
OneDay - Nashoba

In the beginning of my senior year of high school, I created OneDay to solve the issue of students not knowing their schedule. It is now used by thousands of students, parents, and teachers, and has grown to be far more than a schedule app, including its own social network and homework tracking. The app has been downloaded nearly 4,000 times and used over 200,000 times since late 2016.


My Work:

In my sophomore year of high school, I was given a project to create something, anything, with CS in a few short weeks. This was the birth of Skyscraper, as I debuted the 3D isometric game letting the class play it on phones. It was a huge success, and in my senior year I released it on the app stores. It now has nearly 3,000 downloads.


My Work:

Nearing the end of high school to the present, I interned at Cognition Corporation working on a mobile app prototype. Most details about the project aren't disclosable but I led their mobile strategy, bringing a company that specialized in computer applications to the mobile sphere. I am continuing my work at Cognition, branching out into more areas.


My Work:

In my few couple months at UIUC, I applied and was accepted to the 54hr Startup Competition. I spent the entire weekend working with my team CurbSpot and I developed the functional CurbSpot prototype in 3 straight days of work. We demoed the app to the judges from companies like Capital One, and walked away with 2nd place in the finals and a grant to continue our work. We later were invited to present at ThinkChicago.


My Work:

As the final part of a CS course in my freshman year of college, we had the option to create whatever project we would like. I developed an encryption that was not only locked by a private key, but also immune to Statistical Frequency Analysis (or as I like to call it, The Scrabble Method, trademark pending). Unlike the majority of my other work, this is fully open-sourced and available on my GitHub account.


My Work:

At the beginning of my 2nd semester at University of Illinois, I was introduced to the trivia game HQ. A few days later I had built an application that used Optical Character Recognition in Java and was able to beat it. I moved on to using MITM techniques to intercept HQ's content. The first version of HolmesQ was built in a single day as an experiment, eventually becoming a full-fledged bot capable of detecting live games and crawling the internet to calculate the probability of each answer. The bot has won nearly 50 trivia games. No, I do not endorse cheating.


My Passions:
the list goes on

Despite seeming like all I do is CS, I have a lot more up my sleeve. In High School, I was a Varsity sprinter, and trained all the way to a 3rd degree blackbelt in Uechi-Ryu. I was also an accomplished pianist of over 10 years, and a modestly talented 3D artist, doing all my own art for my apps and games. Other things about me include that I love to watch movies, especially from the horror genre, and, in case it wasn't clear, I love making mobile apps.