updating my resume: now with icons! (free inkscape template)

i realized i hadn’t updated my resume since before I graduated from MIT ^^;

also it was butt-ugly

so i updated it

i’m not super-happy with it (still too little whitespace), but going to call it a day


 librewrite ODT

as mentioned in older blog posts, the old one was an openoffice / librewriter template, which I am re-posting below:

the newer one I made in inkscape, with a lot of work done by hand :/ (namely, I really hate that I manually indented some of the lines)

inkscape SVG

oh well. here’s the inkscape source files

(all the icons are from openclipart, so they are public domain. Well, I made the “man at work” icon into a “woman at work” icon, which I hereby release into public domain if you really care).

!!! the bad part: inkscape doesn’t let you create links out of individual words, and also (I think) has issues exporting those links to the PDF form, so take it as you wish.

also, when you’re copy-pasting text to move it around (e.g. when ordering things chronologically) inkscape loses the formatting

also, I recommend writing your text up first, because editing text in inkscape can be very slow.

next, updating my portfolio? meh, so much work. maybe I will just make a jquery bootstrap-esque carousel, haha

design principles

alright, the main updates were

  1. I’ve now seen people react to and judge resumes, including my own, and also I’ve grown old and jaded and have a shorter attention-span, so I’m way more decisive about cutting stuff out when it eats up my whitespace. Goodbye, high-school internships and all my MIT undergraduate “research” (UROPs), which weren’t that productive. Oh, you don’t fit on one line? Goodbye, keyword “skills”
  2. I decided I liked icons
  3. I realized that press / prizes / grants matter to people
  4. I added a personal statement and the “keyword roles” (both blocked out in grey), since people at bigger companies (hi Apple) get confused when trying to pigeonhole me into an Employee Role.
  5. Shifting from an openoffice table-based layout to Inkscape allowed me a lot more flexibility in laying things out
  6. Use a google voice number instead of my actual number, it’s just sensible to do so.

Aside from that, some simple design principles

  1.  Try to keep margins even
  2. Keep formatting similar for logically related things (e.g. all the dates are in italics)
  3. Limit myself to three different font sizes, max
  4. Three colors, max (black, 60% grey, and blue)
  5. A single font
  6. Use all the variations in text at my disposal — dotted lines, CAPITAL Letters, grey/black text, bold italics
  7. More whitespace! All hail whitespace!
  8. Write just enough to be interesting / spark a conversation about my project. buzzword buzzword buzzword. (as opposed to delineating everything I did)
  9. As a recent graduate, definitely one-page resume max

MAJOR Caveat: I’ve yet to get a job based on my resume or portfolio. ^^; At this point, I sink time into them as “information design” / “graphic design” exercises, for fun. I am interviewed for and accepted for jobs (contract, full-time, or internship) the normal way: networks (the MIT network is pretty strong) and through projects / work I’ve done.



After talking to a few people, everyone agrees the new version looks better.

  • “You like … look like a person rather than a piece of paper”
  • “The left one gets my attention”

Ways I could improve:

  • probably my new version is not very OCR / machine-readable due to its weird structure (esp. with the personal statement)
  • “Last thing: when someone looks at your resume, they don’t want to know your history; rather, they want to know your potential. They want to know how you would fit in any of a variety of positions that they have in mind.”

Also, I loved this description of MITERS / being president of MITERS:

For instance, when I think of MITers, “student-run shop” is pretty much the blandest possible description of the place. When I think of MITers, I think of people voiding warranties to make things that are amazing. I think of people throwing caution to the wind and making cool things because they can. And as the president of MITers, I envision you as a bull-rider with a gentle touch — you have to let the crazy happen, because that’s the magic of the place, but you still have to keep things under control.

Oh, and some more info about inkscape pdf export:

“also a couple more things you might want to be aware of with inkscape PDF exports:
0. it cannot embed fonts, only outline them, and causes the PDF to no longer be machine-readable. this may impact your ability to gain visibility by the unfortunate robo
t screening systems many US companies use (then again, personal opinion is that i don’t care to work at most of those companies that do this anyway … you’re good if you think the same way, but if you’re planning to throw your resume into a career fair website you might want to be careful)
1. i think Inkscape’s outlining isn’t very optimized — in PS/PDF language it’s possible to outline one glyph and then reference it multiple times, which Scribus does, but i think Inkscape just outlines a separate copy of each appearance of each glyph, which makes the resulting PDF larger than it really should be
… not deal-breakers but just to be aware of”

AP Engineering proposal, ala AP Studio Art: with portfolios (quick note)

just a quick note — Prof. Frey’s idea from a few years ago, which I hope to get more people thinking about:

AP engineering class, portfolio-based

Advance Placement

to encourage schools to teach engineering skills & give teachers a structure and the professional education to adopt engineering into the school curriculum, we could try to implement an AP Engineering class.


to give it relevance to larger numbers of students, this wouldn’t be purely an abstract class, like AP Physics A/B (which I really liked!), with a theoretical test at the end

but instead, like AP Studio Art, you submit a portfolio of projects you built.

Here are some samples: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/exam/exam_information/220194.html

or the more engaging 2014 version: http://studioartportfolios.collegeboard.org/

(sweet oranges, this is some beautiful metalworking:

http://studioartportfolios.collegeboard.org/work/student-1-3d-concentration/ what was I doing in high school? haha )


What AP Studio Art demonstrates is that you can have people submitting & judging a subjective portfolio at scale nation-wide in a reliable-enough manner for students to receive college credit for it.

Thus, the idea of an AP Engineering class where students submit portfolio work is not so outlandish.

However, of note, number of students who took it:

  • 2012, AP Studio Art: 16,188
  • 2012, AP Physics B: 80,584

I never took AP Studio Art, so I’m not super familiar with how it’s run. Therefore, I do not know if the lower number of students taking AP Studio Art is due to less student interest (not enough student demand) or scaling problems (such as AP Studio Art being expensive to run as a class).


I suspect that an engineering portfolio should show more teamwork than an AP Studio Art portfolio.

a sign of the times

MIT recently instituted a “Maker Portfolio” section. I have a bit of bleahh feeling with all this “maker” talk (since it has been so commercialized by “maker media”), but here is a picture:

Screenshot from 2013-08-20 17-52-14



there ought to be an engineering portfolio website… as mentioned in an earlier blog post, most portfolio websites are oriented toward UX/UI/webdesign/photographers

nostalgia: computer games we played in school in the 90s in georgia

in which i spend way too much time going “what was that one game where you can either fix a pond ecosystem or a toilet?”

i’ve been taking a trip down memory lane (there’s so much future to live, not sure what the point is, but it is kind of fun :] )

Here are some of the games I remember playing (with the help of google. sweet oranges, this took Advanced Googling Skills), along with images / videos / play online / download links

1) Super Solvers: Midnight Rescue!

Super Solvers - Midnight Rescue_1

This was a fun detective game. For some reason, I remember it being in black-and-white… anyway, I remember liking the soundtrack a lot, turns out it’s this super-classy song (skip to 0:58 for the part in the game):

Here’s a video of it:

Read more about it / picture sources:

Ooh! I found another version of the game (I never played this) which you can play in your browser at the Internet Archive Software Library:

2) Number Munchers


I didn’t remember playing this game, even by the screenshots, until I played some version of it online and heard the music.

3) Oregon Trail II


I think I played II, not super sure. Here’s a song:

Here’s a full playlist:

image source: Wikipedia.

Play online: https://archive.org/details/msdos_Oregon_Trail_Deluxe_The_1992

’nuff said.

4) The Amazon Trail


Screenshot from 2015-01-28 23:26:54

 I remember this one better than Oregon Trail. Whoo! I had fun playing this.

5) O’Dell Down Under

Screenshot from 2015-01-28 23:35:13

Fishies and exploring the ocean! I realllly liked this game 😀

Image source:

(video has the original soundtrack :] )

  • Wikipedia
  • Not available online, sadly, but here’s a possible download link: http://www.old-games.com/download/3331/odell-down-under

6) Treasure MathStorm!


I have super fond memories of this too! 😀 heehee catching elves

(video has the original soundtrack :] )

7) Math Blaster



Possibly the “Episode 1: In Search of Spot” version? I don’t remember being super-entertained by this, but I do remember playing it and enjoying it. Here’s what it sounded / played like as a video:

Home / Misc.

Some games I remember playing or watching other people play were

  • myst (soundtrack) (some scenes) this game was great. I never had the patience to solve it all myself without looking up guides online, but it was a ton of fun to explore the world and mythology regardless
  • starcraft
  • red alert
  • neopets
  • megaman


Those are the main ones I remember playing! I also remember a pond ecosystem / toilet plumbing simulator (yes, one game!), but I think it is forever lost to time. Oh well, there’s more future to live!

What games do you remember playing in school?

Protip: If your game is on https://archive.org/details/software, you can often play it online right in your browser.