Class of 2022

Nicole Lee
Hairong Deng
Lingxiao Gao
Rachel Wang
Tianyi Wang
Zhi'an Yin
Ziyu Zeng
Kai Zhang

Nicole Lee

Lee Nicole

German Swiss International School, Hong Kong
Our Lady of Perpetual Succor Global Scholar
Frank Reilly Scholar
Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar

As a former Physics major and current Computer Science major, with intended minors in Collaborative Innovation and the Glynn Family Honors Program, my journey at Notre Dame has taken me down many unexpectedly delightful paths.

Growing up in major cities around Asia exposed me to various cultures, viewpoints and experiences, as such, I speak English, German, French, Cantonese and Mandarin. In high school, I was elected Head Prefect by the faculty during my senior year. I captained the underwater robotics team and competed twice in the HK Regionals of the IET MATE International ROV Competition. Additionally, I was the Alto Section Leader of the GSIS Vocalis Chamber choir. I also played ball hockey and basketball, even coaching the junior basketball team my final three years.

At Notre Dame, I devote my time to Notre Dame’s Army ROTC Fighting Irish Battalion, where I am a part of the Colour Guard, Running Club, Sorin Rifle Team, and ATLAS service club. Through this program, I have further developed my leadership, discipline, and teamwork. Additionally, I am a Junior Physics Editor for Scientia, Notre Dame’s student-run undergraduate research journal, and work as a Basketball Official for Recsports. This spring, I will also be a part of Notre Dame’s Show Some Skin production.

Last summer, I spent eight weeks volunteering at the Naankuse Wildlife Foundation, a wildlife conservation NGO in Namibia. Whilst there, I took care of rescue animals, and assisted with Naankuse’s research on human-wildlife conflict mitigation, which aims to influence government policy. Wildlife conservation is a cause dear to my heart; therefore, upon my return to ND, I decided to partake in the C-Prize competition, where our team placed within the top ten. My idea culminated in the form of Pawprint – a carnivore tracking app that helps researchers locate these endangered animals; we are currently looking to further this project on our own.

Notre Dame is a place like none other, with a community that fosters a stimulating and balanced learning environment. I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that Notre Dame and the Greater China Scholars community has provided me with and I intend to make the most of them throughout the next two and a half years.

Hairong Deng

Hairong Deng

Affiliated High School of Peking University, Beijing

I major in Philosophy with a supplementary major in Classics and a Greek concentration.

In high school, I joined the discussion group of Plato’s works. Three years of successive reading intrigued my interests in philosophy and ancient Greek civilization, which later determined my major in college. In the spring semester of junior year I plan to study abroad in Athens. During high school, I also joined the campus newspaper club, investigated the cultural inheritance value of the gradually disappearing physical bookstores, organized lectures for students, conducted an independent investigation on the unbalanced educational resources in rural and urban areas, and founded a platform for recycling and co-sharing idle resources within campus.

In summer 2019, I joined the NGO “Da Shan Xiao Ai” as a summer camp advisor for underprivileged students in Guizhou, China. I gained first-hand knowledge about the current situation of educational NGOs and the difficulties they are facing. The amazing people I met there empowered me. In the future, I hope to learn as much as I can in ND’s philosophy department and explore how the media can bridge philosophy with our everyday life.

Lingxiao Gao

Affiliated High School of Peking University, Beijing

At Notre Dame, I major in history and minor in German. It is my utmost interest to decipher the enchanting myths of diverse human civilizations. I am fascinated by how ancient people lived their lives, how different cultures interacted and synthesized into new flourishing styles, and how human species strive to pursue happiness and truths.

In high school, I served as president of the student government and was the founder of Yuanpei academic forum. I directed and led in the play “Audience that Are Bound” and performed in Nanyang High School in Singapore. I founded the team “Bookstore Travelers” to survey the significance of bookstores and advocated for cultural preservation.

In college, I aspire to further my interests in humanities and to foster cross-cultural understanding. I benefit greatly from the courses offered by the Glynn Family Honors Program. I’ve joined the Kellogg International Scholars Program and gained new insights into international development. I am doing research with professor Liang Cai from the history department on Confucianism and the ancient Chinese legal system. In my freshman summer, supported by the GCS summer enrichment award, I participated in the German Immersion Program to study German in Berlin for 8 weeks, which is a transformative experience that provided me with not only language skills but also trans-cultural literacy. Aside from the academic growth, I work as a Chinese language tutor at the Center for Language and Cultures (CSLC) and serve as a board member at Chinese Culture Society. I served as a table leader at 2019’s AAA First Year Retreat and performed Chinese dances at Asian Allure talent show. In the past fall semester, I participated in the Study Away Locally program and studied as an exchange student at PKU.

I wish to make the best out of my four years and work hard towards my goal of becoming a historian and a humanist.

Rachel Wang

Shanghai High School International Division, Shanghai

I am currently a junior and a proud Valkyrie of Johnson Family Hall. Though I am from Watertown, Massachusetts, I spent roughly half of my life, including high school, in Shanghai, China. I am majoring in Political Science and International Economics with Japanese.

Over the past two years at Notre Dame, I have engaged in various activities and commitments in a variety of fields. Throughout my freshman year, I worked as a research assistant with Professor Katie Jarvis from the History department on her newest publication, focused on the concept of justice in the time of the French Revolution. In my freshman summer, I utilized my GCS funding to participate in an intensive language study abroad in Hakodate, Japan, improving my Japanese language skills and developing a closer relationship with Japanese culture. Choosing to take a semester off academics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I spent my sophomore summer and junior fall interning with a local nonprofit, Stepping Stones China, and law firm to discern my interests and give back to my community. Outside of academics, I serve as the current vice president and former secretary of the Notre Dame Japan Club, and I am also involved in dorm life as Johnson Family Hall’s former Gender Relations commissioner last year and one of the co-vice presidents of Johnson Family Hall this year.

In the one-and-a-half years I have left at Notre Dame, I plan on preparing for law school applications and applying for an RA position, making the most out of my remaining time at Notre Dame.

Tianyi Wang

Wang Tianyi

Nanjing Foreign Language School, Nanjing

I am Tianyi Wang from Nanjing Foreign Language School. I’m currently a student in Dunne majoring in physics and philosophy.

Throughout my freshman year, I actively explored the field of particle physics and philosophy. As a member of professor Kevin Lannon’s research group, I conducted studies and benchmarks about the efficiency of geometric corrections as part of the upgrading track finding algorithm for Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) at CERN. I also developed a strong interest in the role of philosophy in the development of scientific research and experienced several courses in the concentration of philosophy, science, and math.

I joined the physics Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at Notre Dame. I served as a research assistant under the guidance of professor Lannon and Hildreth. That was my first full time research experience. I gained an enormously precious skill of exploring unfamiliar topics via independent research and collaboration with colleagues. I also made several good friends with similar academic interest and further confirmed my aspiration in physics.

I’m also an active member of Notre Dame Rocketry Team (NDRT). We work on modeling, building, testing, and eventually launching a rocket with a self-control system and UAV payloads for NASA’s student rocket launch competition. I really enjoy the chance to apply my knowledge to hands-on experience and have fun with my good friends.

Currently I’m planning to also explore the field of astro-nuclear physics before finally deciding my interest of concentration.

Zhi'an Yin

Zhian Yin

High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao University, Shanghai

As a senior architecture student, I am very much impressed by the dedication of the School of Architecture in creating a classical-oriented environment, especially in an over-individualized society as the one we are living in today.

In high school, I spent a year in Germany, attending a school in Lower Saxony, where I gained knowledge about German language and its culture. In the meantime, I developed a stark interest in Philosophy and Religion, both of which later resulted in my choice of this very University and my minor in Philosophy.

At the University, I continue to search for opportunities to serve. Starting from the first semester of my freshmen year, I worked as a volunteer tutor at the Robinson Community Center, an institution established to help children from South Bend with their academic progress. During the summer of 2018, I participated in Notre Dame’s summer service learning program in Guizhou.

In the second half year of 2019, I studied classical architecture in Rome, Italy, an amazing opportunity offered by the School of Architecture at Notre Dame. Unfortunately the Rome year was interrupted by the start of a pandemic later known as COVID-19 in early 2020. As a result, I returned to the US and later back to China for my fourth year study. Thanks to the unbelievable support I received from my classmates and professors during that turbulent period, it was possible for me to seek architecture education at Nanjing University for one semester, a partner University of Notre Dame in China. Alas, the vicissitudes of life!

Ziyu Zeng

Zeng Ziyu

Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, Guangzhou

I am a former Flaherty bear, from Guangzhou, China. I double major in biological sciences and applied computational math and statistics (supplementary major), but I am also interested in Japanese.

I am extremely honored to be a member of the Notre Dame community. During my exploration in the first year, I identified my interest in computational biology. In summer 2019, I joined Dr. Mary Ann McDowell’s lab, where I investigated sandfly gene markers related to age, so as to develop a quick and convenient way for sand fly surveillance. During the one year and a half working in the lab, I successfully identified a set of potential genes by cross-referencing similar research about fruit flies and mosquitos. In addition, I have designed primers, tested their usability and stability, and used lab-raised sand fly colonies to perform qRT-PCR in order to quantify the expression levels of the candidate genes. I plan to further hone my laboratory skills while also exploring biological research in different areas in the future. Outside of class, I am a Chinese tutor at CSLC, a biology/calculus tutor at LRC, a grader for ACMS department, a summer assistant hospitality manager at Lewis Hall, an event assistant at SAO, and member of various societies and student organizations.

During the winter break in 2020, I participated in a virtual Global Professional Experience program held by ND international, working with the Good Food Fund--an non-profit organization in China. We discussed and proposed an action plan for engaging Chinese and global youth into learning, understanding and sharing ideas on the issues of the food system, preparing for a game-changing solution to be presented at the 2021 UN Food Summit.

Currently I am preparing for applying to graduate programs and exploring possibilities for my future career.

Kai Zhang

Zhang Kai

Qingdao No. 2 High School, Qingdao

I am a knight from Keenan Hall. My major is computer science with mathematics as a supplement.

After a year’s exploration in Notre Dame, I decided to continue my studies in computer science and mathematics. During my freshman year, I joined the CS for Good team where we built a medicine and supply inventory system for the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala.

Since spring 2019, I have started doing research with Prof. Kevin Bowyer and Dr. Vitor Albiero. We focused on the gender prediction accuracy difference across demographics and published several papers on it.

In the summer after my freshman year, I worked as a research assistant in the Notre Dame CVRL, analyzing gender inequality in face recognition accuracy.

In my sophomore year, we presented a method to curate training dataset for accuracy testing purposes. Using this method, we provided multiple cleaned face datasets to the academic community.

Currently, I am working on GAN to generate faces with specific psychological traits and other related semetic face editing.I established the Notre Dame badminton club with friends.