Applied Mathematics and Statistics / Business and Sustainability
B.A. expected June 2013
Home College: City
Mentor: Prof. Kevin Foster, Economics, City
Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship
City College Fellowship
Harvey Leopold Scholarship
SC Alumni Chapter Scholarship
Rose Friedman Scholarship
BMCC Foundation Scholarship
Phi Theta Kappa
Barney Chen grew up in Staten Island, New York. He was born into a low-income family; this played a significant role in his life choices. After dropping out of college to work and help his family through economic hardships, he eventually saved enough money to return to finish his education. Thanks to grants, fellowships and scholarships, he has pursued his academic goals with minimal obstacles.
He started college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, finishing an A.S. in Engineering Science (with honors) at Borough of Manhattan Community College. At BMCC he received recognition for his research with black silicon semi-conductors, which was published in the International Society for Optics and Photonic’s academic journal, as well as for his invention of a mechanical process to skim oil off water surfaces. He was selected to present his undergraduate thesis – original research on synthesizing an inexpensive organic compound that may be used as an oil-dispersant – at the Beacon Conference, which showcases the academic achievements of outstanding community college students in the mid-Atlantic region.
At City College, he discovered a passion for utilizing the knowledge and analytical abilities he gained from engineering science research to tackle pressing business issues in the real world. This led him to apply to CUNY BA. He says, “An important step in achieving my goals was to enroll in CUNY BA. I envisioned a degree, and after proper mentoring and advising, I made it real.” Chen took his intermediate and advanced economics, operations research and math courses at City College and Baruch, and completed additional requirements at the College of Staten Island. While maintaining his full-time student status, he tutored students at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in mathematics, taught physics in the STEM outreach program through the CUNY Research Foundation (RF), and, also at the RF, worked as a research assistant.
His mentor, Prof. Kevin Foster, said about Chen, “He stands out for his keen analytical work and excellent writing. He is a superb student who will be very successful.”
Chen pursued research interests ranging from the pricing structure of the NYC transit system, to evaluating CO2 emissions in advanced economies, to studying out-of-pocket expenditure in the U.S. health care system. He describes himself an “interdisciplinary student of economics, mathematics and business administration with a background in engineering.”
His next goal: a Ph.D. in Operations Research.