Christine Tseng

2020 Robert D. & Margaret A. Wark Memorial Scholarship Award Recipient


Biography: Christine Tseng is a third-year Pure Mathematics and Economics double major. Having seen education rescue her immigrant parents from a life of poverty in the countryside of Taiwan, Christine grew up in awe of the unparalleled power of education and now strives for the highest academic excellence at UCLA. Though fascinated by both math and economics, Christine initially only planned to earn her math degree. However, engrossed with the elegant overlap and applications of math in economics, she has since also immersed herself in the Economics Department courses and enjoys every second of it. Despite early doubts from others, Christine has excelled as a woman in mathematics and economics, and she is particularly thankful for her parents’ unfaltering support of her seeking any education she loves.

Outside of school, Christine works to share this same support from her parents with her peers: as a member of the UCLA Learning Assistants Program, Christine strives to spread joy in learning as she works directly with students in math courses and also UCLA faculty who seek ways to make their STEM courses more inclusive to students of underrepresented backgrounds. She is also a member of the USAC Finance Committee and works to allocate funds to support the fantastic programs put on by student organizations. Having found so much opportunity at UCLA, Christine is incredibly proud of all of her academic and leadership accomplishments thus far.

Future plans: Passionate about the role of mathematical modeling in economics, Christine Tseng intends to continue pursuing a future career in economic and financial modeling. After studying all Winter quarter on various mathematical models, Christine will launch an individual project on modeling financial market volatility in Spring quarter alongside a mentor graduate math student. In addition, this summer, she will join the UCLA Computational and Applied Math Research Experience for Undergraduates program to investigate applications of mathematical modeling to identifying quality claims for the California Innocence Project, an organization that works to free the wrongfully convicted from prison. Ultimately, Christine looks forward to continuing in her studies — to receive her PhD, research in modeling, and someday come back to teach at UCLA.

What does the scholarship mean to me? I am beyond grateful to receive the Robert D. & Margaret A. Wark Memorial Scholarship Award. With COVID-19 having taken a financial toll on my family, I am deeply appreciative of the generous scholarship from Mr. Walter Wark. This support has allowed me to cut back work hours for my campus jobs and instead focus more on seeking and preparing for yet higher education, especially as I hope to earn my PhD. I am indebted to Mr. Wark’s generous commitment to education and academic excellence in the Economics Department; I cannot wait to return as a researcher and educator to support future generations of UCLA students too.