No Name Shame
Mingze, 铭泽, is my official given name translated from Mandarin. I know that it’s hard to pronounce for native English speakers and it’s honestly nobody’s fault – you’ve to admit that there is simply no such syllable in English that correspond to its correct pronunciation in Mandarin. Though I cannot make it right for a lot of names as well, I dislike as much as everyone else does when people say my name in a strange way. So I got myself an English first name, Adrian, just to save the hassle in the first place.
But lately I’ve realized that there’s nothing wrong with using my hard-to-pronounce official name. If people get it wrong, correct them if needed. And to my surprise, quite a lot of people are in fact very happy to learn how to speak others’ names correctly in their own language. As a grown-up you can tell if it’s due to purely political correctness or out of their heart.
My site is my brand
One of the numerous suggestions on job market preparation is that every PhD student should have his or her own personal site with preferably own name as the domain. It’s almost a standard practice to promote oneself as much as you can. A personal site is one great tool to showcase a lot of things from writing and programming skilles, reading and research appetite, to interests and hobbies and everything that shapes the personal brand.
I’ve been writing posts occasionally since undergraduate. Back then, I was using the domain name afr67.com that is Adrian’s Financial Review. In early 2018, I started adrian-gao.com, a WordPress-powered blog. It was great. My posts on Bloomberg BQuant have occupied the top 3 places on the Google front page and have been included in the Jupyter Notebook documentation for enterprise usage demo. I’ve also written some on using SAS in finance empirical studies, which received some traffic as well.
However, when I went to Fordham University in New York for a conference this April, I suddenly realized that people cannot find me via my name Mingze Gao. I’m known as Adrian to most people around me and on internet, but not my official name. This is ridiculous. So even if I’m going to lose all accumulated stats for this switch, I’m still doing it.
I’ll be writing on this site and move, hopefully, everything to here as well. Though still no guarantee, I hope I can maintain a stable frequency of updating, say at least one post per week.