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Student Spotlight: Veteran Jixing Bian Aims to Apply Computer Science to Support Environmental Values

Originally from China, Jixing Bian moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 2012. After graduating from high school, he joined the U.S. Army and served from 2015 through 2018. After his service ended, he worked for a while as a sales consultant at a car dealership in California. In 2020, he decided to continue his education at Citrus College, where he worked as a work-study student in the Veterans Office. Bian is now a computer science major in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) and expects to graduate in 2024. As a recent transfer student, he looks forward to meeting other veteran students and staff members at UCI.

Can you tell us a bit about your service?
I joined the U.S. Army as an infantryman from 2015 to 2018. In my first two years of service, I was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia, in the Delta Company 3-7 Infantry Regiment, where I operated light combat vehicles. In my last year, I served in Fort Polk, Louisiana, Bravo Company 2-30, and became a light infantry team leader. Although I never deployed overseas, I gained a lot of valuable field-training experience.

Jixing Bian with the 4th platoon of Delta Company 3-7 at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.

What brought you to UCI?
Living near Los Angeles, my commute to Irvine is 40 miles one way per day, but I still chose UCI because of the high-quality education and plentiful work opportunities that UCI could provide. Also, as an Asian American, I could not deny the attraction of abundant dine-in choices around the city of Irvine! Most importantly, UCI’s computer science program enjoys a high reputation and ranks as one of the top programs in the country.

What are your future plans?
I plan on getting into the technology field after obtaining my bachelor’s degree. Becoming a software engineer is my current career pathway, but I realize that I could take a few courses related to statistics and data analysis as part of my options as well. My final career goal is to be employed at Tesla. As an environmentalist, Tesla’s dedication to protecting the earth by transferring fossil energy to renewable energy highly resonates with my environmentally friendly values.

How do you usually spend your Veterans Day?
While in the service, we usually had a day off so I could spend time with my fellow battle buddies, going to Savannah — a beautiful coastal city near my post in Georgia — to chill at a nice restaurant located on a historical street. Unfortunately, right before I was discharged from the military, one of my best battle buddies passed away. Ever since, Veterans Day has become more of a Memorial Day for me, honoring my best brother.

Join UCI’s Veteran Services Center (VSC), which assists military-connected students in navigating student life at UCI, in honoring our veterans on Nov. 10, 2022 at 9 a.m. at the UCI flagpole.

— Shani Murray