Splash Biography



KAI XU, Yale Sophomore, Computer Science & Applied Math




Major: Computer Science & Applied Math

College/Employer: Yale

Year of Graduation: 2024

Picture of Kai Xu

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I consider myself an "armchair mountaineer." That is to say, climbing mountains seems a bit too dangerous for me, so I look at pictures of mountains on my computer instead. After getting to know hundreds of mountains on Earth, I started looking towards mountains on other planets. This pursuit eventually led to my independent research project in planetary topography, where I invented a way to scientifically represent the height of a physical feature on any planet without a sea level. I am excited to be sharing with you my journeys and discoveries as an armchair mountaineer.



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S4556: Measuring Mountains on Earth, Mars, and Beyond in Splash Spring 2022 (Apr. 16, 2022)
On Earth, the height of mountains and other physical features is represented by elevation, or distance above sea level. But what about a physical feature on a planet without a sea level—how should you represent its height? Last summer, I tackled this problem and invented a solution—designed to be physically meaningful, conceptually intuitive, and universally applicable to any planetary body. This new approach is currently known to less than 100 people in the world, so by taking this course, you will be embarking on the forefront of scientific research. Get ready to travel to many fascinating places, including a volcano on Earth taller than Mt. Everest, the Apollo 15 Moon landing site, and a Martian valley five times deeper than the Grand Canyon. Along the way, you will find yourself learning more about creative problem-solving, mathematical modeling, and scientific principles of measurement.


E4531: Digitally Change the Gender, Age, and Pitch of Your Voice in Sprout Spring 2022 (Feb. 19 - Mar. 05, 2022)
Ever wondered what you would sound like as an adult? As someone of a different gender? Want to sound like Batman or SpongeBob? I will be showing you how to set up the world's most realistic voice changer. You will be using the REAPER digital audio workstation, a software used by professional audio engineers and music producers. Along the way, you will learn the fascinating science behind the human voice. Once your voice changer is set up, you can use it in future Zoom meetings.