“I grew up in the southeast of Romania, in a mid-size town by the Danube river. My parents were both trained as engineers, but found it challenging to continue their technical work during the country’s long-winded transition to democracy. In middle and high school, I benefitted from great teachers as well as math and sciences centers that taught advanced topics on Saturdays.
A few students form my high school had received scholarships to study abroad, so I tried applying as well and was very fortunate to receive full need-based financial aid to attend Duke. I majored in Mathematics and French Studies, and followed up with a PhD in Applied Math from Brown and a postdoctoral fellowship at The Ohio State University.
I am very grateful to my Duke college mentors, who taught me about research in applied math and applying to graduate school. I hope to advise and inspire students in a similar way. “