My Name Is

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

Jeff Taylor-Chang

Who Am I?

It started when I was 10

I am a Senior in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Over the past several years, I have explored many areas of Computer Science but I keep coming back to mobile and web development. I love creating things that people can see, interact with, and enjoy.

My fascination with CS started at a young age, however the school district I grew up in didn't offer programming classes so I taught myself, waking up early to read textbooks before school and staying up late after finishing my homework scouring the internet. By 10, I started writing code for robots in RobotC. By 13, I developed an FPS in Java, doing my own 3D modeling, graphics, and music. By 15, I had released my first mobile app. By 17, my second mobile app was used hundreds of thousands of times and would be a staple of my high school for over 4 years and counting. By 18, I had my first software engineering internship straight out of high school. My freshmen year, I won 2nd place at and in junior year we won 2nd place at HackIllinois. My sophomore summer, I worked at a Series E startup called 128 Technology designing their new mobile app as well as helping rebuild their desktop interface. The next summer I interned at Amazon on the Kiva Picking Optimization team which manages work assignment for Amazon Robotic Fulfillment Centers worldwide, developing the new Zone Labor Distribution service for giving staffing recommendations.

Jeff (center left)

Actually Colab - Real Time Collaborative Jupyter Editor

During my Senior year of college, I worked with my old roommate Bailey Tincher to build a real-time collaborative jupyter editor that is cloud based and free. We adopted a different architecture than the existing tools on the market by creating a distributed network of kernels rather than a centralized server. This allows us to have very low overhead and costs. We worked on it during Hack Illinois 2021, you can read our devpost for more.


Kappa - Reinventing fraternity management

During my Junior and Senior years of college, I was the Web Chair of the Kappa chapter of Theta Tau. During my time on exec, I noticed how difficult it was to keep track of all the brothers, events, and attendance. I decided to change that. I created a system called Kappa which is an iOS and Android app and a desktop site which automatically tracks events and allows users to check in or request excuses. Furthermore it is capable of running voting sessions and allows us to select our pledge classes straight from the app.


MMM - 2nd place at HackIllinois 2020

My roommate Bailey told me he had a great idea: we would write code for 36 hours straight to develop a service that would read a student's resume and automatically match them with events each week happening on campus they would be most interested in. He would handle the backend architecture with the help of another member, our friend Jackie would handle the machine learning side for matching members to meetings, and I would develop an interface to manage events and make the various requests to match them with users. We entered HackIllinois 2020 as one of 250 teams and worked all night until just an hour before judging. After the judging had ended, one of the staff pulled us aside and said to head to the front of the audience at the award ceremony. We had won 2nd place.


Building a Trivia Bot

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 OCR in Java and was able to beat it in 4 hours while laying in bed. I moved on to using MITM techniques to intercept HQ's web socket. 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. The bot was written in C++, C#, and Swift with the ability to connect to the original Java OCR method.


Building an SFA-proof encryption

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). This is fully open-sourced and available on my GitHub account but it represents some of my earliest work in college.


CurbSpot - 2nd place at 2017

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.


OneDay - Schedules are hard to remember

In the beginning of my senior year of high school, I created OneDay to solve the issue of students not knowing their schedule. It was used by thousands of students, parents, and teachers, and grew to be far more than a schedule app in the 4 years it was the defacto scheduling tool. The app has been downloaded over 4,000 times and used over 300,000 times since late 2018.


Skyscraper - My first mobile app

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 now has nearly 3,000 downloads.


My Passions:
the list goes on

Despite seeming like all I do is write code, 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 starting in pre-school. 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.