Fan, who is part of Harvard's incoming freshman class, was not actually named for the university. Yale is just phonetically similar to his Chinese name, he told Yale alum Mark Alden Branch.
His Chinese name is Ye, part of shiye, which means undertaking, he told the Harvard Crimson, but his parents decided it was too short, so they added al in the middle.
He told the Yale alumni blogger that he chose Harvard as a “compromise” that “combines the strong math and physics programs of Princeton with the curricular flexibility of Yale.”
And he told the Crimson that he hadn't seriously considered attending Yale.
""When I introduce myself to people, people like to ask, 'Do you want to go to Yale?'" Fan said. "I had never really seriously considered it until this year because I had only thought of [Yale] as a law school...and I only decided to apply to Harvard last year."
He is, however, a Yale fan.
“Yale is exceptional in the general quality of life and happiness of its students,” he told Yale.