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The Art of Go

Haosen Fan,

Haosen Fan ’18

In China, Go is much more than a board game. It’s an art form, more than 2,500 years old, that tests players’ wits and tactical skill. As a Go competitor, Chinese native Haosen Fan ’18 achieved a 4d (master amateur) and National Level II player status when he was just 11 years old. Today, he applies that strategic prowess as a math major and pre-engineering student. Learn more about this multifaceted student and the extracurricular activity that allows him to help others while sharpening his leadership skills.

Mathematics (French minor, engineering 3-2 program).

Clubs and organizations:

Math & Computer Science Club and service trips.


Dean’s List, John Montgomery Scholarship and Hugh B. & Helen K. Woodward Scholarship.

Favorite book:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Favorite movie:

My Fair Lady.

On choosing Dickinson:

I like math and computer science, and I also like humanities subjects, such as French. Dickinson provides me with an open and free environment in which I may study all the fields that I love, from women’s & gender studies to mathematics, and from French to computer science. It really opens my mind and enriches my experience.

Favorite place on campus:

Britton Plaza.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Bacon cheeseburger.

Most important thing I’ve learned (so far):

I’ve learned to have self-control in every aspect of my life. There are so many distractions in society, which may drive me to different directions, either positive or negative. It’s important to remain in control.

Little-known hobby/accomplishment:

I have been playing the game of Go since I was in the first grade. It is a strategic board game that originated in China 2,500 years ago, and it is considered one of the four essential arts of Chinese culture. Although it has simple rules, Go is too complex for a computer to play. I achieved title of 4d and National Level II Player in China when I was 11 years old.

Post-Dickinson plans:

Attend Columbia University to study Operation Research as part of my 3-2 engineering program. Then, when I have the time, I want to travel all over the world to experience different cultures and, eventually, join the Travelers’ Century Club.

About my service trips:

I participated in the service trip to Alabama with a group of excellent students from Dickinson. This fabulous experience deepened my understanding of [what it means to be an American] “Southerner” [as well as] the diversity of American society. During the service trip, we got a chance to help other people and to share our personal experiences with other members in the team, which led to a bunch of deep conversations. It has become one of the biggest highlights of my Dickinson experience.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… the first emperor of the Qin dynasty.

Proudest accomplishment (so far):

To achieve independence. After five years of living in a different country, I am able to take good care of myself and not let my parents be worried about me when I am away from home.

Learn more


Published February 26, 2016