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Student Spotlight: Jian Yang Lum '17

Jun 15 2017

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Jian Yang Lum chose to study International Relations with a focus on international security, the Middle East, and Central Asia, because he cares strongly about terrorism and war in today’s world.

Lum, received his B.A. in 2017, also pursued a coterminal master’s degree in statistics in order to learn how to make inferences out of data.

His favorite course at Stanford was MS&E298/IPS 232 Hacking For Diplomacy, where he was able to work as part of a team of students tackling foreign policy challenges. “It's been a blast thinking of a problem such as online radicalism from a different perspective,” he said, “and seeing how to integrate skills from all across the startup spectrum (design, interviewing, pivoting etc.) to something I care deeply about. It really changed how I view online radical ideology.”

Lum studied abroad at the Bing Overseas Studies Programs in Istanbul and Oxford, and spent a summer in Beijing through the Global Studies Internship program.

One of Lum’s favorite memories is when he was in İstanbul, where he took a class on the anthropological and historical aspects of İstanbul. “For my final project,” he recalled, “I researched about the Armenian presence in the city, which got me chased out of cemeteries, shut out of churches and interviewing people in a news agency.”

During his time at Stanford, Lum conducted research on insurgency in the Philippines, which turned into a Center for International Security and Cooperation honors thesis under Colonel Joseph Felter. Outside of class, Lum participated in the American Middle-Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford, which aims to bring outstanding young change makers from the Middle East and the U.S. together. He also performed in musicals and Baroque concerts as a violinist and violist.

“I'm most proud of pushing myself to see the world as much as possible; learning to put myself in a foreign place, often alone and without much idea as to what to expect,” Lum said.

After graduation, Lum will be working in data science in San Francisco, and in the longer term, he hopes to move into the intersection of data science and international security.

“I've learned a whole lot more about terrorism and policy making, and I’ve found that there is a gap in the IR world that can potentially be filled up with data science.”

Congratulations Jian Yang and best of luck!

Please join us in congratulating the class of 2017! As the academic year draws to a close, we are highlighting students graduating from across our 15 programs. Click here to view more student spotlights.