This post is part of a weekly series in which we get to know Sifties.
Janice Lan is a Software Engineer who has been with Sift Science for two years. If she could only eat one cuisine for every meal for the rest of her life, it would be Chinese food – because that’s what she grew up eating and it has the most variety.
If you could pick only five words to describe your life, what would they be?
That’s too limiting. I’m indecisive!
What superpower would you want to have and why?
I’d like to have a way to get extra time — whether it’d be a time turner (like in Harry Potter), or the ability to freeze time. There are so many things that I want to do, but just not enough time to do it (it makes me think of this Calvin and Hobbes comic). Plus, the logistics of time travel or time control would be so interesting to explore.
Who do you admire the most?
Elon Musk. He’s not perfect, but I really admire how he picks out the world’s biggest problems and actually does something about them.
How did you get interested in engineering?
I’ve always been interested! Having an older brother who was into engineering really inspired and influenced me. As a kid, I always chose Legos over dolls and was the most excited about math team in middle school. Later on, I had really good teachers in math and science in school that when I was going to college, it felt like the most natural thing to study engineering.
I hear that you play table tennis competitively. Tell me more about that!
I started playing table tennis when I was 10 years old, and it was my main activity growing up. I played a lot through middle school and high school, but stopped playing as much once I went to college. But after I discovered that Alameda Table Tennis Club has a great coach and a great training program, I’ve started practicing and competing in tournaments again.
I love table tennis because I think it’s an amazingly well-rounded sport — it’s a great physical and mental workout, and you get to travel and meet lots of people.