Mt. Fuji, 2011 | Andrew Fleury

I want challenges.

I want knowledge.

I want to make an impact.

I love technology.

Out of high school I initially aimed to become an aerospace engineer and join the ranks of spacecraft designers at the likes of Lockheed Martin, or perhaps more appropriately these days, SpaceX or Virgin Galactic. I ultimately chose differently. However, I am still excited by the "futuristic" technological developments demonstrated by those and other companies. Whether it be the SpaceX Dragon, Google Glasses, or LightSail's 70%-effecient energy storage units, I see technology leading humanity into the future, for better or for worse - there's potential for both.

I have an eye for identifying problems and their solutions.

Inefficiency is a disruptor. The inefficiencies of my previous places of employment led me to identify the motivations behind our processes and then to improve upon them while complying with administrative, legal, and financial requirements. When presented with an idea, I think of the variables that could affect the outcome in the present and in the future.

I am passionate about education.

While my experiences thus far may speak to its pedagogical side, I am even more driven when it comes to expanding my own knowledge. In life and in work I seek new experiences, new information with which to engage my mind and to utilize in the workplace. I teach myself new languages - programming and linguistic - experiment with model creation in Excel, and attempt to grasp the science behind technological advancements. If I am interested in but unknowledgeable about an industry, I will do the requisite work to learn more about the field. I do not shy away from obstacles.

  • Graduated 2010
  • M.A. East Asian Studies
  • Thesis (PDF): Making the Comfort Women Issue Uncomfortable

  • I enrolled in Stanford's Center for East Asian Studies to complete my M.A. as I was unsure where I wanted my academic future to lead. I originally planned to research style-shifting in Japanese - the use of distal and direct forms of speech to indicate levels of politeness and awareness. However, after an initial foray into linguistics, I decided that it was not the field for me. Thus, I switched my focus to modern Japanese history, particularly Japanese actions during WW2 and their effects on present day international relations and national memory. I ultimately pursued the issue of comfort women and redefined the term in an attempt to bridge its usage gap between the Japanese government and the victims and their supporters.

Stanford University

  • Graduated 2008
  • Advanced Japanese Language
  • Thesis (PDF): Distal-Direct Use Among Japanese Youth

  • At the end of my first year as a Master's student at Stanford, I received a government FLAS scholarship to attend the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama, a program adminisrated by Stanford. With forty other graduate students and professionals, I studied aspects of advanced Japanese, including business Japanese and interviewing practices for research, and conducted a study, consulting Japanese-language academic sources in the process, on the use of distal and direct speech forms amongst members of a youth soccer club. I discovered that unlike the usage pattern described by most textbooks, the use of distal/direct forms not only prescribed the politeness level, but also the emphasis and awareness levels of interlocutors.

IUC - Yokohama

  • Graduated 2007
  • B.A. Asian Studies, Economics
  • Completed degree in three years

  • I entered Cornell's engineering school in autumn 2004, planning to complete a degree in mechanical engineering. However, the rigid engineering curriculum prevented me from exploring my other nascent interests - Japanese culture and language and astronomy. Although I initially intended to later pursue aerospace engineering as a master's student, I ultimately decided to forgo that dream and transfer to the college of Arts & Sciences at the end of my freshman year to - as I saw it at the time - make the most of my education and chase my other dreams. At Cornell, I was very active in a variety of clubs, including Operation D.E.E.P., which I co-founded and oversaw.

Cornell University

As opener of Capstone's Beijing office, I had the opportunity to greatly influence the education provider's growth and presence in the city. While the information I was given suggested to expect similar patterns Capstone saw in Hong Kong, I soon realized this was not the case in the least. School breaks in Hong Kong were our busiest periods; those in Beijing were our dullest. In Hong Kong, time wasn't an issue - only education. In Beijing, the student's interests came first - balance was core. Faced with this clientele mindset, I altered our focus to ensure future and continued enrollment stemming from our current clientele. With positive word-of-mouth solidfying Capstone as a trusted provider in a sea of sometimes dubious enterprises, I found clients were more willing to rearrange schedules to make time for Capstone.

In addition to growth strategy, I have worked on marketing and PR content for Capstone, Japanese mobile gaming and e-commerce company DeNA, and a student-founded NGO. I spearheaded the creation of DeNA's English recruiting website and corporate site redesign as the company emerged as a mobile social gaming leader. At Capstone, I acted as copyeditor for all marketing material produced in Hong Kong and subsequently Beijing, supervised outreach through social media, and designed tag lines for market sub-sections. I also developed the name and identity for an education NGO while at Cornell University. I have also been on a tram.

I supervised the outsourced development of a CRM system that was built from the ground up to meet the needs of Capstone Prep Education Center. I engaged each of Capstone's departments and, when possible, streamlined their processes by eliminating unnecessary intermediary steps. I then presented these findings to the developers and worked with them to design a user friendly interface for completing tasks effeciently and requiring fewer interactions by the end user.

Capstone CRM System - In-Development

I initiated and spearheaded a complete redesign of DeNA's English language web site. I coordinated with multiple departments in the company, including its overseas subsidiaries, while engaging an external development firm.

DeNA's Website: Before & After

Using Excel, I modelled an example sustainable business as my education center looked to expand. I developed a series of logic expressions that took into account the number of teachers hired, their capabilities to teach a variety of subjects, and the growth rate of student attendance among other variables. I then wrote a series of Excel sheets that predicted revenue growth and that could be adjusted for any number of starting criteria.

Excel Model Sample

I directed teams of students to build the charity Operation D.E.E.P. from the ground up. I developed a program to train teachers in advanced English in China, coordinating with university faculty and administration to provide training for the students heading abroad. As Chairman, I oversaw all of DEEP's activities, including marketing, fundraising, training, and networking. By treating DEEP as a business wherein donations were profits, I was able to successfully grow DEEP into what is still a prosperous student-run charity at Cornell University.

Operation D.E.E.P. Jin-Ni Elementary School

I made this website not only to supplement my resume, but also to exercise my HTML/CSS abilities while exploring my new knowledge in Javascript. I have long been able to adjust Javascript code to get the result I want, but I could never write it from the ground up. As of now, I have run through Codecademy courses and read half of O'Reily's Javascript: The Definitive Guide. I realize I have much more to learn, but I look forward to attempting to build some web applications to display on my site.

My aesthetic preference is perhaps best described by the Japanese term shibusa, which refers to unobtrusive, austere beauty that may also include a sense of imperfection or asymmetry. A persimmon with its smooth orange skin and wrinkled brown leaves often exemplifies the concept. My web site reflects my aesthetical view - clean, unobtrusive, and, hopefully to you as well, beautiful.

I often dabble, sometimes deeply, into various art forms. Starting in high school, I began writing a fantasty story under the working title A New Beginning, a world that I continue to develop to this day. More recently, I have taken to brainstorming for a science fiction story that explores the meaning of humanity. Most of the characters, history, and plot has been solidified, but I am still working on the details.

Also at this time, I began to experiment with electronic music using Fruityloops, now known as FL Studio. These days, my DAC of choice is Ableton Live. I have created one original downbeat song in which I incorporated recordings I took while walking in Yokohama, but I have mostly produced remixes of existing songs. I have also put together several hour-long mixes of my favorite tracks.

Lastly, in the latter half of college I cultivated a deeper interest in photography, which had begun just as I finished high school. I primarily engage in landscape and night photography, but I thoroughly enjoy experimenting with light and long shutter settings. I also enjoy using my zoom lens to get up close to textures.

Samples of my work can be found at each of the menu links above.

Let me begin by saying that I have never been a fan of literary analysis. I feel that if an author wants to make a point, they should not hide it behind verbosity, superfluous language, and nebulous references. I can recall one particular incident when my English teacher attempted to explain that the word "snakes" in John Milton's Paradise Lost was emblemeatic of the use of consonance to convey the evil of the snake through the onomatopoeaic "ss" sound that is reminiscent of a snake's "hiss". I thought it was just proper grammar, for if there were more than one snake, "snake" would be incorrect. But that's just me.

As much as I (and apparently others) poke fun at such antics, I do appreciate literature as a story-telling medium. I grew up reading predominatly fantasy stories, and they still hold my attention today, but I have attempted to catch up with the so-called Classics and other books that are potentially seen as monuments to a particular way of thinking or culture. Ayn Rand, John Steinbeck, Haruki Murakami, Plato, Voltaire - apparently, I still have a long way to go.

In high school, I tried my hand at story telling. I wrote seven-or-so chapters over several months, basing the plot off of Aladdin and The Lord of the Rings. How original. And thus, my still unfinished story under the working title A New Beginning was born. I have since, however, gone back to the story to improve diction, syntax, and the plot itself. I feel that I will abandon the initial goal of the plot but keep the characters and the world I had created.

You can read my current iteration of A New Beginning here.

I love stories that take me away from reality. I also love technology and futurology. My latest work in planning, which I work on alternately with A New Beginning, is science fiction in nature. As a part of this endeavor, I have been researching scientifically feasible technologies so that my work is grounded in reality as much as possible. Unlike before, I am spending much, much more time planning. I haven't written a single word for the story yet, but I have developed an intricate web of character relationships and developments. I have several distinct scenes in my head that I really hope I can put down on paper, but I am more of a visual person. I almost wish I could take whatever I write and turn it into a film or graphic novel. Big plans for hardly any work done, but we all have to start somewhere.

I began to remix music in high school using FL Studio (then called Fruityloops). The first "successful" remix I did was of Darren Tate's "Fall From Grace" in 2005. I loved the build up in the track, but the breakdown afterwards left me disappointed, so I wanted to try to make it the track I was hoping to hear. Alas, I have lost the original files I used to create the remix in a harddrive crash, so this sole MP3 is all that remains. Perhaps I will try to do another remix sometime in the future to bring it up to speed with my own tastes, skills, and technology.

In 2005, I met another student at Cornell University who shared a similar interest in electronic music - Diego. In the fall of that year, we decided to try our own production with Fabel's "Nightshift", but as our studies and the summer break got in the way, the project was eventually dropped. After I graduated from Cornell and entered Stanford University for my Master's degree, Diego and I decided to try a remix of Shiny Toy Guns' "Don't Cry Out" to which he was recently introduced by a friend. Many e-mails, IM sessions, and Skype conversations later, we came to our somewhat-final version of our remix.

After spending more than a year working on "Don't Cry Out", I began to feel the need to move on and apply my newly acquired skills to another production. At this time, my music tastes had also become more discerning and I had grown a stronger interest in progressive house, shoegaze, and other more sober (relative to uplifting trance) productions (e.g. Mango, Ulrich Schnauss, Myon and Shane54). I loved the French group M83's "Teen Angst" and had further developed an interest in their music, so I took "Gone" - a relatively ambient piece until the latter half where it becomes an atmospheric mixture of edgier pads, cymbals, and snares - and gave it a beat and a few more elements to increase that atmospheric feeling.

Though I am not a huge fan of Japanese pop, I came across an instrumental version of Utada Hikaru's Passion ~after the battle~. I really wanted to create my own synth line for the track and incorporate the vocals and driving percussion. I still haven't been able to master it quite the way I like, but here is my more-or-less final product.

I finally decided to put my production skills to the test and produce my own oiginal track. During one of my recent Tokyo visits, I recorded a walk I took from my former residence to Yokohama Bay. I decided to sample the recording and incorporate it into the track, creating a downbeat soundscape. I first got the idea after hearing tracks by Japanese acoustic artist paniyolo in which he uses the sound of children playing to augment a chill atmosphere.

Disclaimer: These tracks are bootlegs and were not created with explicit permission from the artists. If you are an artist or a representative of an artist on this page and you would like the removal of these mixes, please email me.

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I have many interests beyond Japan and technology. One of my favorite pastimes is watching movies, especially long ones. I know that many people lament the increasing duration of movies these days; however, for me the increased duration only amplifies the sense of immersion I get from the film. I am always a bit sad when the credit roll starts and I'm jerked back into reality. Some of my favorite films are The Fountain, Cloud Atlas, Swallowtail Butterfly, Spirited Away, Bounce ko-Gals, and Amélie.

I also love listening to music, particularly music that washes over me in a giant wall of sound, cacophonous yet harmonic. It gives me a dopamine (or is it seratonin?) rush and chills down my spine. As a result, I predominantly listen to various genres of electronic music: trance, progressive trance, progressive house, and downbeat. However, I also like listening to post-rock or alternate rock. Still, as Hong Kong is rather chaotic, I perpetually feel the need to relax when I get home, so lately I have been listening to much more classical music, usually piano or film scores. You can listen to a sampling of my favorite songs here.

One of the most fascinating concepts to me is that whenever we look at the stars, we are in effect looking into history - traveling through time. I also find the possibility of other intelligent life, no matter how improbable according to the likes of Drake and Fermi, captivating. To that end, I love learning about discoveries made in physics and astronomy and the new possibilties they bestow upon humanity. This also spurs my interest in science fiction movies and television shows, for despite the little acclaim they receive, they do often share nuggets of insight into where humanity might or perhaps should develop.

DeNA's Website: Before & After
Capstone CRM System - In-Development
Excel Model Sample
Andrew on a Tram