1st Year Emma Zajdela: Finalist for Born Seeker Fellowship

Emma Zajdela, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics at Northwestern University, is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for her proposal to use mathematics to study science diplomacy in regions of conflict. Since 2015, Emma has served as Assistant to the President of the Malta Conferences Foundation, a non-profit organization that uses science for peace in the Middle East. The Malta Conferences are the only platform in the world where scientists from 15 Middle East countries can meet face-to-face, despite the fact that their governments are hostile to one another. After receiving her French science baccalaureate with highest honors in 2012 and completing a two-year intensive science and mathematics program at the College Stanislas in Paris, France, Emma pursued her undergraduate studies at Loyola University Chicago, receiving a Bachelors of Science cum laude in Mathematics, and in Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics, with a minor in international studies. In 2018, Emma received a Master of Science in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was a recipient of the University of Illinois System President’s Research in Diversity Award. Passionate about bringing her love of mathematics to young people, especially women, Emma is active in outreach programs including the Association for Women in Mathematics’ Sonia Kovalesky Day, Northwestern’s Applied Math in Action, and the French “Maths en Jean.” 

View Emma's video entry and profile for the fellowship.