Department Representatives 2019-2020

Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I am interested in advocacy and learning more about the dynamics between the university and graduate student body. I enjoy talking, although I am not very good at it, and I enjoy listening, which I am much better at. I think serving as an interface between my department and the broader engineering community would make me better attuned to potential improvements in my department as well as fruitful philosophical discourse. Since I am a first year student I don’t have very specifically-oriented goals; I am more interested in learning and communicating with other students.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

In undergrad I was president of the Cornell Telluride Association, which is an experimental community living project. We managed a large budget for hosting lecture series and seminars as well as for social events, and administered a summer program for high schoolers. I also served on their Academic Affairs committee which was responsible for inviting speakers, public outreach, and coordinating student presentations on their academic interests.

List two goals you have in mind for the top committees of your choice :

I am equally interested in physics and Sanskrit/Tamil literature

Sid

Biomedical Engineering

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

EGSC is an organization that was created to represent, help, and serve the graduate engineering students of Columbia. I value having a vibrant community founded on connections we develop with our colleagues and trying to help one another succeed on a personal and professional level. I have benefited so much already from the supportive environment Columbia has fostered and I was touched to see that the EGSC was focused on helping students like me. That is why I wish to be a DR, in order to support my peers and make a positive impact in this helpful environment.

Please describe any relevant past experience :

As an undergrad BME student, I served as the Class of 2019 Student Representative of CCNY's Chapter of BMES. My main responsibility was serving as liason between my peers and the e-board such as voicing concerns or making announcements. I have also made flyers for BMES events and have attended nearly every meeting to help the President and Vice-President. I have leadership experience from founding CCNY's first a capella club. As its first president, i reached out to musically experienced students and planned several performances and social events.

Share a fun fact about yourself :

I flew into a tree stump while skiing.

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

Having been part of Engineering Student Council for all four years of undergrad I am really passionate about being part of a board that can make changes for students so that we can have the best graduate experience possible. I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of EGSC and represent my department's graduate student concerns in a position where we can make positive changes. I am also very excited about bringing more student programming and planning more events that benefit the students.

Please describe any relevant past experience :

Having served as the president of Engineering Student Council at the University of Miami for two years I have led initiatives to create: an engineer’s week with over 15 events, a homecoming car smash fundraiser, student socials, lunches with the dean and volunteer efforts to get middle and high school students in our local area involved in STEM. I also served as the student representative in departmental leadership meetings and have experience bringing student concerns to the administration and getting results. I also served as UM’s Engineers Without Borders president which taught me amazing communication and efficient planning skills.

Share a fun fact about yourself :

I'm a huge foodie and love to cook.

Divya

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

For a lot of people, they have some misunderstandings of the biomedical engineering department. For instance, some people may regard biomedical engineers as doctors, etc. I would like to get a chance to introduce my department to others and exchange ideas with other departments. Because BME is interdisciplinary, some innovative ideas may be inspired after sharing ideas with different majors.

Please describe any relevant past experience

When I was an undergraduate student, I received new students and gave international freshman suggestions on studying in the US on behalf of my school. I have also joined an organization to help international students to adapt to the new environment. Besides that, I had the experience of doing long-term volunteer in the hospital.

Share a fun fact about yourself​​​​

Last year, I had my graduation trip to a cenote in Mexico. The water in the cenote is super clear and pure. There is a cliff that people can jump off. Obviously, I would never say no to that adventurous and exciting amusement. Awkwardly, however, I began to feel fear until I was at the apex of the cliff. It would be embarrassing if I give up at this time. Therefore, I may take at least five minutes to encourage myself to be brave. Suddenly, all the people below applauded for me. At that moment, there was no way that I could quit. I felt all the eyes on me! I had no choice but jump off. Actually, it took longer to fall into the water than I thought.

Kuan

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

As part of Columbia Engineering community, I want to know more about the environment that I’m living in, because I think part of the education isn’t just in the classroom, it’s interacting with people and understanding from their perspective. Being a department representative will provide me opportunities to better serve the student body through various ways such as improving the current policies, helping students identify campus resources, and promoting a positive relationship among students, faculty, staff and administrators.

Please describe any relevant past experience

As a core member of the AED(Alpha Epsilon Delta) pre-health honor society at Boston University, I was passionately devoted to organizing and participating in events that aimed to encourage the excellence in preprofessional health scholarship. From organizing the guest lectures, medical student panels, weekly volunteer events such as Volunteering at the Greater Boston Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and various social events, I learned how to reach out to other people, and to be sympathetic of all people.

Share a fun fact about yourself​​​​

I can't breathe without oxygen!

Motao

Computer Science

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I want to connect the whole department and make it more bonded as a whole to facilitate communication among students and different labs. This is my last chance to celebrate real academic culture and campus social before jumping back into the industry in the future. I hope to know more interesting people and create activities to contribute to the department.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I was the former president of chinese club at my undergraduate and high school. I have past experiences in organizing different non-profit organizations for helping teaching children programming and people with with visual impairments.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I once had kept eating baby food yogurt from amazon for a month without notice until my friends called it out.....

Wang

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

As a science lover, I would love to participate in events that foster the love of discrete mathematics and computer science in the surrounding community; as a female scientist, I would love to encourage female students to embrace science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I served as the president at Hopkins Undergraduate Society for the Applied Mathematics during my last two undergraduate years at the JHU. It is the only student group under applied mathematics & statistics department. With five other officers, I devoted myself to organizing events that inspire the love of science in others. We not only invited speakers to give talks, but also arranged networking dinners for faculty members and students. Most of the events we organized were open to both college students and high school students, and it is not unusual that a single event would attract hundreds of people.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I named my teddy bear with a word that contains my parents' last name initials, and my first research advisor's last initial.

Zhang

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I would like to help bring students in my department closer to the rest of the engineering community here at Columbia and make sure their voices are heard. This is also an amazing way to meet other people both within my discipline and outside of it. Working for a few years after undergrad, I realized how much more fun it was to be in school (as long as you make the most of it). So even though this is my first semester here, I wanted to dive right in.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

A few roles back in college: president of eXchange Support (dedicated to guide exchange students through their semester in the US), events chair of Marketers of Baruch (helping marketing students prepare to enter the industry), marketing chair of Colleges Against Cancer (a chapter of the network run by the American Cancer Society)

Share a fun fact about yourself:

Not really a fun fact if you already know me, but I was born and raised in Hungary.

Linh

Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I like to meet people with different background and work with them! Being a representative means that I would be able to get in touch with more resources, bring what benefits to students in our major back, and share with the others!

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I used to be a director of artistic design and publicity committee in pop dance club during my sophomore year. I developed the publicity strategy for members recruitment and defined the scope of yearly production

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I DANCE

Wang

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I believe it is important to have a representative from the incoming class whom is committed to understanding the needs of department, and whom will be actively responsive, where appropriate, to support such objectives. I believe that my personal characteristics, when combined with past experience, would enable me to fill the current vacancy admirably.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I have been working for the past 14 years with various types of organizations (i.e. foreign/domestic, public/private, big/small). Thus, I have engaged with a myriad of personalities and cultures. Most recently, I led the Asset Management Department as a Director for a Real Estate Fund, based in NYC. Overall, I have learned the clear/reactive communication is essential to get things done. Further, I believe that I have developed psychological skills, enabling me communicate/lead more effectively through these unique professional experiences.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I am certified tennis instructor. In addition to playing USTA tennis tournaments (for leisure), I am currently working with Columbia's Women's Tennis Team

Kraus

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I think this is the great way to contribute towards the departments and your peers as I have 7 years of work experience in construction industry. Plus, I like to work with and work for people.

Please describe any relevant past experience:


I was selected as University Representative during my undergrads. I have headed Training and placement department of my college and we achieved 100 % placement rate.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I love reading novels, writing poems. I am fond of travelling and elocution competitions. As a social responsibility I have trained 4000 plus construction workers. I also train farmers for side business like goat farming etc

Yamgar

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

It would be an honor to serve as the CEEM department representative. As the department representative, I would work with the students and EGSC to achieve greater engineering community engagement and offer more opportunities for professional development. My goal is to make the students feel like Columbia is their home. I would like to serve as the connector between the students, EGSC, and the university. Columbia can be an overwhelming place. There are so many events going on and masters students are only here for a short period of time. While we can’t go to every event, I believe we should be made aware of all the interesting activities, presentations, and sporting events that are going on on campus. As an undergraduate at Columbia, I learned that the best way to know what is happening around campus would be to foster relationships with different councils, clubs, and sports and bring that information back to the students. I would do just that as your department representative. Furthermore, I would work with EGSC, the Alumni Office, and professional organizations to offer more opportunities for professional development. I would like to host trainings on specific engineering software that the major companies use, provide assistance with getting professional certifications, and make students aware of any industry conferences to attend. Finally, I would like to be your voice to the EGSC and the engineering school. I speak from experience when I say the school does care and they do listen. Any questions, comments or concerns would be greatly appreciated. Let’s work together to improve our Columbia experience!

Please describe any relevant past experience

As an undergraduate at Columbia University, I served on the engineering student council. I started as the freshman class vice-president and ended as the VP Student Life. As VP Student Life, I ran the student life committee and planned some of the biggest events on campus (Tree Lighting Ceremony, Engineering Week etc). I was also heavily involved in policy matters. I worked on the engineering school’s pass/fail policy which gave undergraduate students the opportunity to take a class pass/fail. I also advocated for more student study space particularly during midterms and final seasons. I am also active in professional organizations. I served as a senator for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and as the finance chair for the Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group. Furthermore, I have worked with the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association (CEAA) on many events including CEAA-NY-a series of student-alumni bonding events at various locations and activities in New York City.

Share a fun fact about yourself​​​​

I enjoy baking homemade bread and butter

Sheila

Earth and Environmental Engineering

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I communicate well with both Chinese student and American students. In my department, more 80% of students are Chinese. Due to the fact that the president of Chinese Students and Scholars Association(CUCSSA) is also in our department, most of the concern and social opportunities from the Chinese students will be directed to and provided by CUCSSA. I want to make a bridge between Chinese students and other students so that the Chinese student can find help from both CUCSSA and EGSC and also provide more opportunities for them to enjoy the American college life at Columbia.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I was the class monitor(student leader) in my elementary school, secondary school, and high school in China. I was also the member of student council in my high school.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I have three cats and they are all super cute.

Huang

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I love my department and everyone I met here is wonderful. By joining the EGSC, I would like to deliver thoughts of my department-mates to the school and also help EGSC improve the school environment for everyone.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I was an officer of the Chinese Union and an active member of both the Ecology Club and the Multi-Asian Student Association in my undergraduate school.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I love snow and Labradors, and so my favorite Labrador's name was Snow.

Denise

Electrical Engineering

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

The main reason will be I don't want to just earn the degree in Columbia. I spent so many effort to get into Columbia and I would like to gain some leadership experience and expand my social networks during this 1.5 year. In EGSC I will not only connect with peers but alumni, faculty and students from other schools. This is exactly what I want to do during my graduate studies years. Therefore, I would like to be a DR and engage in EGSC.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I was a Vice President of the Computer Science Student Council in my home university. I organized all student club in CS and consorted between CS departments and students. I also organized the First CS exhibition , which over 200 high school students visited our department.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I ate burgers almost every two days before I came to US, but I ate Chinese food almost everyday and never tried burger since I arrived in New York.

Lin

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I want to represent my department as a DR, because I feel like it will be a fun way to become quickly connected to the school and the graduate student body. I believe I will be able to accurately voice the concerns of students in my department, as I generally enjoy befriending others and complaining about unfair things.

Please describe any relevant past experience

During undergrad at the University of Maryland, I was treasurer of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, and I was the undergraduate representative on the general academic affairs committee and the undergraduate affairs committee, in the electrical engineering department.

Share a fun fact about yourself​​​​

I can sing two notes at once (if you're confused by that look up overtone singing) and in my spare time, I like to make free chai and help out at the NYDosas food cart

Vaishnavi

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

As GEEC President I believe I am in a unique position to represent my peers in EE and our unique interests. I am passionate about fortifying the sense of community within EE and among the other departments in the school of engineering.

Please describe any relevant past experience

I am currently GEEC president and was previously GEEC social chair for 2018 and 2019.

Share a fun fact about yourself​​​​

I love live music and have been to over 100 concerts in my life!

 

Jimmy

Mechanical Engineering

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

As a department representative, I believe I can communicate the needs of mechanical engineering graduate students in an effective manner, ensuring that their voices are heard. I also want to garner interaction among students and faculty to generate feedback that improves the department as a whole. Through such communication, students can create a meaningful impact that can improve their overall experience at Columbia. In addition, having been a mechanical engineering undergraduate at Columbia, I can guide new graduate students to various resources that they might not be aware of.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I was on the executive advisory board for the Academic Success Program at Columbia as an undergraduate. As a member of the board, I helped organize alumni networking events that were prepared throughout each semester. This was accomplished by establishing a web presence and developing outreach programs to encourage alumni to speak to the undergraduate student body. In addition, I aided in establishing a mentorship program where seniors would mentor incoming freshmen to help them navigate their Columbia undergraduate experience.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I am an avid gamer and used to play competitively (I will destroy anyone in Injustice). It would be awesome to have Super Smash Bros. tournaments for graduate students organized!

Adeel

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR? 

I want to be a DR because I think it is important for graduate students to be involved in things outside of their research in order to have a good work-life balance, and improve future job prospects. That can be as easy as going to a social in Mudd, or an alumni event somewhere else in the city. I have been involved in engineering organizations before and I enjoyed helping to plan events and bring people’s ideas for how to improve student life to fruition. I also want to learn more about how SEAS works.

Please describe any relevant past experience 

During undergrad I was involved in a professional engineering fraternity, where I served as academic chair, fundraising chair, and president. I was also the treasurer for ASME for one year.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

Last summer I worked on a Vietnamese food truck, but then quit my job to go backpacking in Croatia.

Kim

Data Science

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

Over the two years of professional experience of working in Financial Analytics domain, I have learnt a whole lot of things on project management and team handling and grown my network in the Finance and Data Science industry. As a DR I want to use that for my fellow batchmates and incoming juniors to address different issues faced by them starting from housing, academia, subject choice to finding summer internships and jobs. This also gives me the opportunity to connect DSI with rest of the Columbia community and bring in more opportunities for DSI students.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I worked in corporate firm as well as start-ups in the past two years. I learnt to work in team and co-ordinate with others to handle project as well as how to take initiatives on my own to manage something end to end. I led a team in my organisation to supervise three projects with global clients based in HK, IN, US. During my undergraduate, I have been an active member of the departmental society responsible for organising various events. Also, exploring larger variety of career options than most others I have learnt about different sectors pertaining to data science.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I want to travel to Greenland in winter!

Samrat

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I want to represent my department as a DR because: - I love meeting new people and making people meet, so it'll be great to contribute to the council's effort to organize events that serve this purpose. - The EGSC meetings will be a great platform for me to put forth my ideas and suggestions as well as listen to those given by other EGSC members regarding my department or events involving the Engineering college as a whole. - It'll give me exposure on what goes around in the college apart from my department. - I find the duties of a DR to be interesting and it'll be fun to do something different apart from studies.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

Most recently, a few friends and I organised a "Mixer" for DSI students. (Since DSI only had one "Mixer").I have always been a part of of committees and councils right from high school to Undergrad. In high school, I was the Marketing Head for the cultural festival. During undergrad, I was a part of the Alumni Committee and also the Marketing head for the Technical and Cultural fests

Share a fun fact about yourself:

It takes me 7 lame jokes to come up with an amazing one. Please be patient with me!

Shreyas

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

Being a department representative will help me hone my leadership skills in addition to leveraging the committee to network with other student leaders. I have always loved working in and for communities that consistently try to push the envelope for the greater good.

Please describe any relevant past experience

I believe that the following relevant past experiences that I have will make me a good fit for the role : 1. IEEE Computer Society Regional Student Ambassador for Asia Pacific Region 2. Organizer, TEDxThiruvananthapuram (2016-2018) 3.Secretary, IEEE SCT SB, 4. Secretary, Lanscape Computer Association 5. Organized 30+ technical and managerial events engaging 400+ student members in professional societies including IEEE, Computer Society of India, Google Women Techmakers, Lanscape Computer Association

Share a fun fact about yourself​​​​

I love writing poetry (most of which is inspired by William Wordsworth), reading novels, thinking about the course of the world and how it will be disrupted by AI, ML and Data Science.

Hima

Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I'd like to get more involved with graduate student affairs and make our department presence meaningful.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I was a member of the Chinese student association and a co-founder of a student organization at Carnegie Mellon. I felt need to have a meaningful presence of our student groups on campus.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I am a Chinese but with 1/8 Russian blood.

Zhang

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

During the EGSC info session, I noticed that only one of last year’s six IEOR DR representatives come from China, and this is an unusual thing given that Chinese students constitute more than a half international students in IEOR. Then I “interviewed” last year’s international students, most of whom said that due to language and cultural barrier, they are not fully prepared for a role like this. I strongly believe that everyone’s voice need to be heard and if I got selected, although my English is not as fluent as native speaker, I will try my best to help people deliver their message to the EGSC committee.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I used to be a peer mentor at my undergraduate institution NYU where I made a difference in the life of my mentees, two first-generation college students from East Asia. To explore their’ interests, I connected them to academic professionals, including 6 academic advisors and professors in 4 different schools and even more students, who have taken related courses. To help them integrate into the NYU community, I invited them to school social activities and encouraged them to talk to more students. I am happy to see that both of them, after a year’s mentorship, found what they were truly interested in and made many friends. Moreover, through this mentorship experience, I improve my community-building skill and would like to leverage that in my graduate program as well.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

In the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games, the USA skater Vincent Zhou competed perfectly but didn’t receive a high score. Doubting that there might be some unfairness among the judging panel, I decided to use statistic tools to verify the fairness in the competition. After setting up my hypothesis, I used R to build a regression model, the coefficient of which was insignificant which indicates that there is no obvious unfairness among the judge panel.

Feng

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I want to speak up for our department and dedicate myself to make the students' academic life and individual life better.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I have served as the president of volunteering department and the vice president of public relations in Fudan University. I am good at organizing events and communicating with people from different schools and alumni working in big companies. For example, I have organized the Thanksgiving Candy delivery event which involves 5000+ people in Fudan University. Also, I was once a coordinator on Norway Day and helped receive the Prime minister of Norway. Therefore I believe I am capable to add value to the Columbia Engineering Student Council and do something for our community.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I love the smell of gas station. lol

Shan

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I am interested in advocating for the wants and needs of the graduate students in the IEOR department, and in particular making sure the voices of all PhD students are heard

Please describe any relevant past experience:

I served in various leadership roles while an undergraduate at Berkeley, including President of the UC Choral Ensembles and Debates Manager for the Berkeley Forum.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I sing bass in A Cappella groups

Jacob

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I have always enjoyed taking up leadership roles and want to actively contribute the student welfare in the department. I have previous experience being a student Senate member and has thoroughly enjoyed carrying out my responsibilities during my tenure. I hope to make significant contributions to the department the coming year (if elected :P ) through constructive engagements.

Please describe any relevant past experience

I was an elected student Senate member during my undergraduate years, representing an electorate of 600 students. As a student counselor, my most notable achievement was to propose a GPA waiver for students for participation in co-curricular activities and succeeding in amending the constitution. Being an active participant in the activities of CCASH (Complaint Committee against Sexual Harassment) standing committee, I was able to look into and address some sensitive issues faced by the student community. I have also worked closely with the Cultural Club Committee and reviewed and audited a budget worth ~125K$

Share a fun fact about yourself​​​​

I am an engineer by day and artist by night :D

Sherin

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR?

I met a lot of wonderful people at Columbia during fall semester and hope to be more engaged by joining EGSC as a DR. I wish to help facilitating exchanges between departments, promote cultural diversity and contribute to the improvement of graduate student life. What’s more, it’s a great opportunity to get to know engineers with diverse backgrounds.

Please describe any relevant past experience:

During my studies in France at Ecole Centrale de Lyon, I held leadership roles in various student associations, including vice president of the international student association, partnership manager of the student run consulting firm and organizer of student dance club. I really enjoyed planning and hosting events as well as having long discussions with people from all over the world.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

Currently one of my biggest passions is Swing, a hilarious social dance born in Harlem. We even have a club at Columbia. Let me know if you are interested!

Ruoyi

Chemical Engineering

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR? 

I am the ChEGO social chair, and hope to represent the student group and students in the department.

Please describe any relevant past experience 

ChEGO Social Chair

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I enjoy indoor and outdoor bouldering, and am always interested in introducing people to the sport!

Denny

Why do you want to represent your department as a DR? 

EGSC being a university-wide organization with an impact on the entire grad student community, I'd get to understand the issues important to the grad student community, understand the dynamics involved in managing large-scale events, and be a part of the student organization working continuously towards improving the graduate student experience at Columbia. I also see this as an opportunity to contribute to my department by bridging the gap between our own department-level organization and increase its outreach, especially to the incoming students. 

Please describe any relevant past experience 

During my undergrad years at IIT Madras, I was part of various teams and have experience leading some of them. As a part of the institute placements team, I was responsible for managing the recruitment activities for the entire graduating batch of over 1000 students which involved organizing professional development workshops, reaching out to the industry, and managing recruitment drives that take place over a 5-day period. I have also led the institute water polo and swimming teams to finish second among 16 participating institutes during the 51st inter-IIT sports meet, a national level event that sees participation from institutions across the country.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I start-off conversations frivolously which gravitate towards serious discussions in split seconds. Wait, I think that's true for most of the things that I do, including my research.

Vipul