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This University is the 'perfect size'


Akihiro Minami says his participation on the varsity basketaball time "really keeps me disciplined" -- as a student as well as an athlete.

Akihiro Minami ’18 says he learns best in small to medium class settings. So he did not want to attend a large state college.

Instead, he found the University of Rochester.

“It’s a perfect size,” says Minami, who grew up in Japan and now resides in Shanghai, China. “The campus is small enough that you will always run into someone you know, but big enough you always get to meet new people.”

At the University’s Hajim School of Engineering he has also found the flexibility to explore different options. For example, he initially contemplated majoring in mechanical engineering; now he’s considering a combination of computer science and applied math.

“I took a logic class in philosophy my freshman year and really enjoyed it,” Minami explained. “I talked to some upper classmen who were taking the same class; they said computer science involves similar ways of thinking about things.”

He has taken computer science courses that teach MATLAB and java. “I really enjoy it.”

He tutors other students in math through the University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.  “It has been a very good experience,” Minami said. “I get paid for it and when I teach people what I’ve learned, I relearn the same material in the process; it’s very beneficial.”

Minami’s passion for basketball began when he took up the sport during middle school in Japan. That’s another reason he chose Rochester.  “I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to play at a Division I school; a D3 school like Rochester seemed like my best shot at making a team.” He’s now a point guard for the Yellowjackets.

He’s glad to be at Rochester. The basketball program is more rigorous and intense than any others he’s participated in. “ It really keeps me disciplined. It’s helping me not just in basketball but in my studies.”

“The classes are also challenging, and are helpful in making me a better learner overall. And the friends I’ve made here are already some of the closest friends in my life.”