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Jia Wan CC’18, SEAS’20 named Rhodes China Scholar

Monday, December 21, 2020

Jia Wan CC’18, SEAS’20, who is from Jiangsu, China, has received the prestigious Rhodes China Scholarship. Wan will pursue a masters in economics at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Established in 1903, the Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest international scholarship program in the world. Administered by the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, the program offers 100 fully-funded scholarships each year for postgraduate study.

Rhodes Scholarships are for young leaders of outstanding intellect and character who are motivated to engage with global challenges, committed to the service of others and show promise of becoming value-driven, principled leaders for the world’s future.

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Jia Wan CC’18, SEAS’20

“I am truly honored, humbled and grateful to be awarded the Rhodes Scholarship,” said Wan. “At Oxford, I plan to pursue a graduate degree in Economics, which will enable me to integrate my knowledge of computer science with economics to better commit to policy-related research.”

Wan graduated from summa cum laude from the College with a degree in applied mathematics, followed by a M.S. in computer science from Columbia Engineering.

“Getting a well-rounded education through the Core Curriculum, especially through classes like LitHum and Contemporary Civilization, allowed me to cultivate an interdisciplinary view toward real-world problems,” said Wan. In furthering her Columbia education at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, she gained more advanced trainings in algorithms and data science techniques.

As an applied mathematics major in the College, and with an M.S. in computer science from Columbia Engineering, Jia has shown herself to be both an outstanding student and an imaginative researcher,” said Ariella Lang, associate dean of Academic Affairs and director of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.

Wan was a Phi Beta Kappa inductee. She is grateful to the mentorship from multiple professors at Columbia, including her thesis advisors, Yuri Faenza, assistant professor of industrial engineering and operations research, and Clifford Stein, professor of industrial engineering and operations research and research professor of computer science, and attributes the beginnings of her interests in economics to her economic analysis class with Geoffrey Heal, Donald C. Waite III Professor of Social Enterprise.

She is currently a research professional at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she is assisting in market design research as well as modeling coronavirus mitigation policies

Current students can learn more about the Rhodes and other fellowship offerings through the Undergraduate Research and Fellowships office.

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