Home About


Joseph Smiling Formally

Hi, I'm Joseph

Joseph's Family

My name is Joseph Yu, and I am a junior at the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science at WPI (or MAMS, for short). Before MAMS, I attended Shrewsbury High School (SHS) in Shrewsbury, MA and had been in the Shrewsbury School System my entire life. I live with my mother and father, as well my sister who is starting her freshman year at SHS. Three years ago, we were also able to welcome a Cavachon named Scout into our family. Scroll down to learn more about me!


Joseph Playing the Snare Drum

As a child, I played the piano for six years starting in 1st grade, and though I may no longer take lessons, I am forever grateful to my parents for encouraging me to stick with piano during my childhood. From piano, I learned many theory concepts without even realizing it, and this centuries-old knowledge continues to fuel my passion for music theory today.

I also experimented with the flute for two years before entering my current musical umbrella, the percussion instruments. Since 7th grade, I been a percussionist and have had the privilege of participating in both the Junior and Senior District Musical Festivals for several years. I started off playing in the Select Band at my middle school, and soon thereafter joined the Wind Ensemble at my sending high school. After coming to Mass Academy, I now play in the WPI Orchestra. And finally, if you ask me for my favorite percussion instruments, they are the timpani, marimba, and snare drum.


Dana Farber Logo

I was first exposed to programming at 10 years old when I tried to code a simple website in HTML. I had absolutely no idea how writing a bunch of text could produce a webpage, but critically, the experience piqued my curiosity and I have never looked back since. As I grew older, my father was patient enough to teach me the fundamentals of JavaScript and R, and I also dabbled with Python/TensorFlow machine learning for my science fair projects in 9th and 10th grade.

This past summer, I also interned at a lab in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute headed by Dr. Jennifer Brown. Her lab specializes in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) research, and my work consisted of creating a database for lab members to input patient samples, search by text for patient information, create patient groupings, and much more. Over the course of six weeks, I created this application from scratch using ReactJS/Typescript and the Oracle Database Service. To be honest, I was not very familiar with these frameworks at the beginning of my internship, but I learned continuously as I coded and at the end, I was far more confident with web programming. I know that this experience is only the beginning, and I look to see where programming takes me next.

Boy Scouts

Joseph with some troop members

Ever since I was seven, I have been involved in the Scouting program, first as a Cub Scout and starting in 2017, a Boy Scout. I am a part of Troop 227 in Shrewsbury, MA and since the 8th grade, I have served in numerous leadership positions. I was first a Den Chief, where I helped to run the meetings for young 3rd grade Cub Scouts, teaching them skills such as woodworking, knots, and first aid. For the next two years, I then served as an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL, similar to a vice president), where I helped to run troop meetings and stepped in whenever the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) was busy.

Currently, I am a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM), taking on an advising role for the younger scouts in the troop. Also, after completing my Eagle Project in early-September, I have made it my goal to become an Eagle Scout by the end of the school year. Having spent so much time in the troop, I’m also able to call many of these scouts my close friends, and we’ll do anything from mining Herkimer Diamonds in Upstate New York to playing "broomball" on a frozen pond.

Community Service

Community Service Logos

I completed the majority of my junior year community service at two organizations, the first being workcampNE where I offered free home repairs to in-need residents all across New England. This past summer, I painted the exterior of a house, created a custom wood moudling trim, tiled a previously carpeted (and dirty) floor, and filled several gaps in the basement insulation. Each year, I'm able to meet other students similar to me and also hear the stories of residents from all walks of life whom I'm able to impact in a tangible way. Overall, by working in a community and meeting people where they stand, I find workcampNE to be a valuable opportunity that I hope to come back to soon.

In addition, I also volunteered at the Shrewsbury Public Library and worked in the teen room to provide information on summer reading, hand out prizes for reading challenges, organize bookshelves, prepare crafts, and more. Besides this, I also found the routine volunteering to be a nice way to get out of the house and meet new people during the summer. I'm glad that I was able to serve my local community through this volunteering experience, and I hope to continue in this capacity moving forward.