Senior David Ching Has Been Accepted at Stanford University

David Ching, an Outstanding Senior, was accepted at Stanford University.

David Ching, an NJIT senior, has been accepted into the mechanical engineering master's program at Stanford University.

He is still waiting on an application to Carnegie Mellon, after which he’ll decide which master's program to attend.

David’s academic career at NJIT was stellar and it’s unsurprising that he was accepted into Stanford.  He’s a student in the Albert Dorman Honors College with a 3.97 GPA and a minor in applied math.  He’s also already taken several graduate classes.

The Newark College of Engineering recently named him its Outstanding Senior in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Last year, that department also gave him the Schank Scholarship.

Under the direction of Professor Pushpendra Singh, he has done fluid dynamics research, studying how particles disperse on liquid surfaces. The research is funded by the National Science Foundation. He also now interning at Valcor Engineering Corporation in Springfield, NJ.

He is President of Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering society, as well as being a member of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

What’s different about David is that he didn’t attend high school, or at least not a public or private one: He was homeschooled. He also has two older brothers who graduated from the Honors College, and he has a younger brother who is now a senior.

In this interview, David talks about his interests and his future plans for graduate school.

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Why did you major in mechanical engineering (ME)?

I did because it’s the broadest engineering discipline, and you can choose from many subfields of ME.  ME’s essentially use using math skills to design products or things and ensure that products will work well.  ME’s design anything that moves, such as cars, airplanes, fluid interactions with parts, which is the field I like, known as fluid dynamics.  

For you, the Honors College is a family affair. What are your brothers doing now?

Nathaniel is working with Electroid, a company that designs and manufactures brakes and clutches for the aerospace industry.  He received the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Outstanding Senior Award in 2011. Nolan, who graduated in 2013 with an Information System’s degree, works for RDE Systems, a company that designs healthcare information systems. Geoffrey, a senior who majors in business with a concentration in finance, recently competed for NJIT in a management competition and helped bring NJIT to the finalist for the first time. I have one younger brother who might come to the Honors College in the fall.

All of you were homeschooled through high school. What was that like?

My mother was my teacher, and she got me the best curriculums, the best textbooks.  What is nice about homeschooling is that you can move ahead in subjects you like, so I went ahead in math. I finished Calc 2 and came my first math at NJIT was Calc 3.  

Did you learn to motivate yourself?

Yes, that was the most important thing I learned: self-motivation. In home schooling, your parents are nominally in charge, but it’s really up to you to push yourself academically.  That translated well for me at NJIT, because when I started here I knew now to push myself and make myself study when I didn’t feel like it.

What is your internship like at Valcor Engineering?

Valcor makes specialized valves, pumps and actuators for aerospace, nuclear and scientific applications.  I work in the scientific department, mostly doing 3D modeling, drafting, and releasing engineering changes. It is a great place to work; everyone is friendly and willing to help.

How did you get the internship?

Valcor recruiters came to the NJIT Career Fair last spring.  I met them there, they emailed me and interviewed me and offered me the job. When the summer was over, they asked me to stay on part time during the year, so I’m still there.

Is it helpful to work an internship?

You get to use the engineering skills you learned in class, and see them applied on designs. It really just puts a useful perspective on the time you spend in college.

Are you looking forward to grad school, wherever you end up?

I am excited to go to graduate school. I know there is still a lot I can learn, and I want to do more research in graduate school.

Do you think NJIT prepared you well for grad school?

I hope so. I am really grateful to the many faculty who helped me get to where I am, as well as the Honors College. NJIT has given me a foundation in mechanical engineering, which I can build on in graduate school.

What were the highlights of your years at NJIT and what will you miss about it?

Leading Pi Tau Sigma was a great experience for me, and I was able to get other students involved in events. Being in the Honors College was also great. I will miss the Mechanical Engineering faculty and all the friends I made at NJIT

By Robert Florida