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The College of Arts Sciences

Ming Zhe Choong: 'Do not hesitate to take courses outside of your comfort zone'

May 17, 2018

Ming Zhe Choong

Sociology & Chemistry


Why did you choose Cornell?

I chose Cornell because I appreciated the breadth of the course catalog offered by its various colleges. Moreover, while I entered Cornell already intending to major in chemistry, I was inclined to explore the liberal arts curriculum and use the flexibility of course selection to delve into subject matters beyond STEM.

What, if any, research projects did you participate in at Cornell?

I conducted mixed-methods honors research on the impacts of textbook costs on Cornell undergraduates' academic choices and performance, as well as standard of living. I examined how the impacts vary by students' socioeconomic and demographic characteristics and sought the perspectives of stakeholders involved in affecting the prices of college textbooks. I administered a student survey, interviewed Cornell faculty and the Cornell Store managers and compared textbook costs between the Cornell Store and Amazon.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

Do not hesitate to take courses outside of your comfort zone. In fact, challenge yourself to take courses beyond the domain areas in which your interests lie. You never know what new passions you may find from so doing.