My name is Maika, born in Tokyo, Japan. 1996.

Interests, Identity, and ideology

Growing up, I had a lot of variety in my life, a side-effect of being raised between two distinctly different cultures. Discipline, focus, and attention to detail from Japan. Freedom of expression, independence, and vision from America. These qualities have shaped the way I approach work and daily life. I was a curious kid, always hungry to learn more and to expand my abilities. My hobbies ranged from horseback-riding to designing web-pages, starting small businesses to performing multiple acts in a youth circus. My pursuit for achievement and growth continued throughout high school. I wanted to have an in-depth understanding about music theory and composition, so I attended an arts conservatory. There I reached a high level in both the technical and performance realms of music, but was not invigorated by the other academic courses. Desiring an intellectual challenge, I started attending the University of Minnesota full-time at the age of 15. I wanted to learn more about the world, how it worked and what we were doing here. My class schedule was filled with physics, mathematics, and astronomy.

When I first entered Stanford in 2014, my vast range of interests made it difficult to know, “what I want to do with my life.” It’s a question that’s hard for most people to answer, and I was just starting the adventure of figuring it out. My life took a sharp turn after I was offered a job to work professionally as a circus acrobat, just weeks into my freshman year, Thus began my two-and-a-half year journey around the globe, on glamorous stages, facing challenges and taking risks that I’d never fathomed. Two things became strikingly clear: (1) I do not grow in a state of stasis and comfort, and (2) the world is always changing (so I should too). A desire to know more, to learn, to understand the forces that shape the world pushes me into new disciplines and fields. I enjoy finding the relationships and connections between systems. I have a skill when it comes to the details, the ability to ensure that every component of whatever project or piece of work is of the highest quality.

I have two sides – an artistic side – and a technical side – and I am working on combining the two.

I’m now studying computer science at Stanford University because it’s a form of problem solving with endless application. As the future becomes more intertwined with new technologies, I want to have a deep understanding of what’s happening under-the-hood. I want to apply this knowledge to new places, to form new bonds, and to work towards a more interconnected world.

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