Class of 2021

Photo of Zhiyang Iris Chen

Zhiyang Chen graduated from Skidmore College in May 2020 with double majors in Economics (with Department Honors) and Mathematics (with Department Honors), and minors in Computer Science and Business, Summa Cum Laude. Through the study and application of econometrics, she was captivated by the power of data analysis in providing reliable and meaningful findings with real-world implications. She then further developed her interest during her internship at Inc. - JD Digits. As a risk assessment intern, she utilized various statistical methods to assess the risk of loans the company lent to different types of clients. Yet, she realized the insufficiency of the traditional approaches in predicting the risk level of each loan and saw the potential of data analytics and machine learning in building more powerful models and achieving better risk management. Therefore, Zhiyang is motivated to pursue a career in data analytics.

In her senior year, Zhiyang devoted herself to relevant courses and projects. In her Economics senior capstone project, by analyzing the two-year trading data of six major stock indices and two sector-specific indices from the U.S. and China stock markets, she investigated the impact of the U.S. - China trade war on the stock price and stock volatility. Taking an independent study in data science, she built models using decision trees, rules, KNN, neural network, SVM, linear and logistic regression to predict the level of owners of games on the Steam platform and compared the performances across the models. She also explored the field of Artificial Intelligence and created intelligent agents for the Super Chinese Checker game by applying alpha-beta pruning, SARSA, and Q-learning algorithm using Python.

Zhiyang is intrigued to continue honing her expertise in data analytics by joining the MSiA community and sharing her passion for data science. She aspires to explore the value of the enormous datasets collected by the modern business, to offer better solutions for companies’ strategic problems, and to guide their everyday decision-making, contributing to the extensive improvement of the business.