Xinyu (Zach) Zong
Our Lady of Perpetual Succor Global Scholar
The Affiliated High School of South China Normal University
As a Junior living in Morrissey hall, I double major in philosophy and mathematics and minor in theology and the Glynn honors program. I became Catholic after going through baptism and the rite of confirmation at Notre Dame in the Basilica.
It's important to immerse myself in studies, as I explore academia and areas of work that intrigues me the most. In the past few summers, I worked for one nonprofit in New York that combats misinformation, a biometric company in Cape Town, and the Notre Dame Department of History. At the nonprofit, I was involved in procuring items for about 180,000 dollars. At the biometric firm, I completed a research project with an MBA intern that led the firm to start a new office in Kenya. For the Department of History, I assisted in designing a junior/senior level course that is open for registration in 2023 Spring.
Taipei American School
William Sexton Scholar
My name is Ryan Lin, and I am from Taipei, Taiwan. I am a William Sexton Scholar at Notre Dame, and I am pursuing a major in Economics and a minor in Design.
One of my strongest passions is storytelling through various artistic mediums -- my favorite being film. Filmmaking has the power to construct realities that can be used to critically examine human experiences.
On campus, I worked as a barista, which has been the source of my favorite conversations and interactions. There, I was exposed to realities outside of the Notre Dame bubble. I volunteer for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s “Homework Helpers” Program, tutoring bilingual kids in English reading and conversational skills. I spent the fall of 2022 in Chile, in a full cultural immersion program that enhanced my linguistic abilities and cultural awareness.
Chongqing BI Academy
I am a junior studying Business Analytics and Economics with a minor in sustainability. I am interested in environmental preservation and social enterprise. Since high school, I have explored the possibilities of generating social impact from social enterprises. I founded the Social Entrepreneurship Club, through which many student programs are incubated. For instance, my program, which aims to address the waste of packaging materials, has won a global silver prize in China called “ China Thinks Big.”
I finally made it to the ND campus in my sophomore year and was excited to meet my classmates and professors. I joined the SIBC club and traveled to the Credit Suisse Chicago office to give a presentation about the LBO project. In addition, I joined the GreenND club to improve sustainability on campus and became the head of the division of event planning in the spring. As the President of the ND Chinese Student Association, I planned and organized activities for Chinese students, including the annual Spring Gala event. In the spring semester of sophomore year, I was excited to secure a junior summer investment banking internship with J.P. Morgan.
After getting into my junior year, I finally took courses in Business Analytics and the gateway course in Sustainability. I was glad that I chose these majors and a minor that provide me with different lenses and skills to see the world. Another big change is now as a junior, I will be a mentor for underclassmen and give back to what I have learned from past mentors. Particularly, I am happy to help other international students to navigate their career paths in finance. In the future, I hope I can continue enjoying my time at Notre Dame and participating in more on-campus activities. I also expect to see more progress toward my future studies and career path.
Nanjing Foreign Language School
I am a Junior student studying Computer Science and Philosophy with a concentration in Philosophy, Science, and Mathematics. I live in Siegfried Hall.
I came to Notre Dame with a background in biology, but the fundamentals of the computing course and literature seminar piqued my interest in CS and the interplay of technology and society. Since then, I have embarked on combining physiology, technology, and humanity. Fortunately, Notre Dame is such a vibrant and supportive community that provides so many opportunities to broaden my vision and enrich my knowledge.
Over the past semesters, I have actively participated in the Data Science Club, where I built a mask recognition model and analyzed which type of Linkedin post had the highest popularity. I also led a team to design and implement a data visualization panel for an Indiana Legal Service company. In my freshman summer, I interned at Xiaomi Technology and researched the SLAM algorithm and its application in autonomous driving. In my sophomore summer, I received a precision medicine fellowship from Berthiaume Institute and researched heart rate variability as a predictor for maternal fever in the Neural and Data Science lab in New York. I have volunteered in a human-computer interaction lab and worked on designing new Human-AI collaboration systems that envision the future of work since my sophomore year.
Notre Dame’s traditional strength in liberal arts teaches me how to be a force of good in society. I had a great study abroad experience in Jerusalem this summer in which I had many insightful conversations with religious leaders of Christianity and Judaism. In my spare time, I enjoy making art. One of my works will be exhibited at Duncan Student Center next year. I am grateful for the various opportunities and high-quality resources offered by ND and look forward to more progress in research.
Yueheng (Joyce) Wang
Chengdu Foreign Languages School
I am a junior majoring in Sociology and Global Affairs (Global Asia concentration) with a minor in Gender Studies. In high school, I founded an online platform that promotes the intangible cultural heritage of the high school. I also took a field trip to research Tibetan medicine, and the UNESCO Courier magazine officially recognized the short documentary I made about Tibetan medicine. I am a member of the Writer’s Association in my province and have fortunately published my own book.
I studied at The Beijing Center (TBC) in my freshman year instead of on campus. During that time, I joined research outside the school on health human capital. Since my Sophomore year, I have worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Asia & Asian Studies at Notre Dame with a professor of Global Affairs. Thanks to such an opportunity, I have built my research skills and become more determined to pursue graduate studies.
Now I am also a member of the Alpha Phi chapter of Iota Iota Iota (Triota), the Gender Studies Honor Society at Notre Dame. Besides, I am participating in a research project on the academic achievements of college students. I will start my senior thesis research in advance in 2023 Spring to prepare me better for further studies in social science. I am grateful for all the professors and friends I have met at Notre Dame. They have educated and supported me beyond academics.
Ruoyao (Lily) Xu
Nanjing Foreign Language School
I am a junior living at Howard Hall, and I major in Business Analytics and Applied Maths.
During the first semester of my freshman year, I was unable to study on campus in South Bend. Instead, I took classes at the Beijing Center (TBC). Nevertheless, the various activities at Notre Dame were basically realized on the online platform. Thanks to this, I also participated in many clubs and activities. For example, a few of my friends and I participated in the ND data science competition to do sentiment analysis on Fang Fang's diary in the past semester. Besides studying, I participated in photography activities at TBC.
I finally arrived on campus in my last semester and engaged in various activities. I was chosen to lead several consulting projects in SIBC and enjoyed the atmosphere of team collaboration by solving case projects together. I am also a board member of Unleash Social Ventures, Marketing Club, and Scholars of Finance. Through engaging in these clubs and organizing different activities, I further developed my interest in Finance, which prepares me for the upcoming internship experience at the Bank of America in the summer of 2023. As Chair of the GCS Communications Committee, I’m responsible for facilitating communications within the GCS community. Thanks to these great activities provided by ND, I developed my leadership, professional, and collaboration skills.
Yutan (Jeffrey) Zhang
High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai
I am a junior majoring in mathematics with a minor in philosophy. I live in Knott Hall.
In the Fall of 2020, due to COVID-19 and related issues, we were arranged to study at The Beijing Center at UIBE. I tried to keep connected with the Notre Dame campus. I was a member of the Notre Dame Rocketry Team (NDRT) Vehicle’s Squad. I collaborated with the team remotely with the nose cone and aerodynamic fin trade studies and Preliminary Design Report.
In the summer of 2021, I interned at Xiaomi Technology and researched Waymo’s autonomous driving technology on a systems scale, understanding how different systems interact. I also interned as an Assistant Project Coordinator under the Administrative Office of the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition (SISIVC) hosted by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. In the summer of 2022, I participated in mathematics research on campus with two graduate students. I researched bounded functions and determinantal inequalities in minors of totally positive matrices using Plücker relations and planar bicolored graphs.
On campus, I have been the grader for Mathematical Reasoning for a year, collaborating with Prof. O’Dorney and Prof. Hall on helping students learn mathematical proofs. From this semester onwards, I will be working with Prof. Himonas on directed reading and research on partial differential equations and stochastic calculus and their applications. I also continued my passion for classical music at Notre Dame. I play the saxophone in two concert bands and am currently the first chair alto saxophone who performs a few concerts each semester.
Yutong (Tom) Zhang
Beijing No.4 High School
I am a junior philosophy student living in Siegfried.
I find my first semester at TBC to be challenging yet rewarding. Taking advantage of the resources offered by Notre Dame, I furthered my interest in humanities and philosophical inquiries by participating in biweekly philosophy club meetings. I also expanded my comfort zone to the financial world by completing a PJT Restructuring project with the Student International Business Council (SIBC). At the same time, I proactively explored various potential career options this fall. Through interning at a law firm’s intellectual property team, I felt more confident than ever that I might pursue a career in law.
I spent the summer of 2021 interning for an investment bank. Through this experience, I have realized that banking is not a career to which I would be willing and able to commit a hundred hours a week. Simply contrasting it with the rest of my summer, which I spent most of the time reading, prompted me to reconsider what I want to do for the rest of my life.
As I resumed the school year, I had in mind, among others, a goal to engage more deeply with the academic community here at Notre dame. I spent most of my time on philosophical works and related activities. I took up the leadership position of the Philosophy Club this year, and we organized several great discussion groups on medieval philosophy.
My secondary interest in law shares a big overlap with my passion for philosophy, and I can definitely imagine them studied in conjunction. Hence, in the remaining time at Notre Dame, my main goal is to prepare for law school and philosophy grad school. I hope to work on a thesis or a research project that intersects both areas.
Zhipu (Steven) Zhao
St. Joseph’s College, Hong Kong
I am a highlander living in Duncan Hall, double majoring in honors math and computer science.
The year 2020 was an unprecedented year, but I am grateful that I could come to Notre Dame in August. Despite the COVID pandemic, there was nothing that could stop me from developing a sense of belonging. I enjoyed chatting with other people around a fire pit and watching the football game against Clemson. I joined the badminton club and won the third place in the interhall competition. Academically, I was in Glynn’s Honors program and took the honors humanities seminar. Although reading one book in a week was quite painful, I was amazed by how much I have learned about morality and the meaning of life. During the winter, I joined the virtual global professional experience program, in which I interned at Xiaomi. During the second semester of my freshman year, I participated in the 2021 Notre Dame Data Fest and won the Best Insight Award with my team. It is a great opportunity for me, as a freshman, to gain insight into data analysis and explore future career paths.
In my sophomore year, I started taking computer science courses and decided to add computer science as my second major. I have the opportunity to earn two degrees, one from the college of science and the other from the college of engineering if I meet all the requirements. I also joined the training for the Putnam Competition and participated in it in December. As an Olympiad math enthusiast, I was happy to continue improving my problem-solving skills.
I am looking forward to joining more clubs, such as Computer Science for Good, and participating in the McCloskey Competition to solve real-world problems with creativity. I am also actively applying to software engineering and data analysis internships.