When Dexin began her internship at a think-tank in Jerusalem, she expected to spend her days fiddling with data. In the end, she not only gained a deeper understanding of data, but of a completely different culture.
“My rewarding summer experience is merely a reflection of the magnificent MISTI program, which not only enables immersive experiences but also encourages students to engage in their new communities through language and cultural understanding.”

As a mathematics and economics major, Dexin had engaged in a variety of data analysis projects. Her experience at Kohelet Policy Forum only furthered her interest and allowed her to get a taste of working in the field of economic research. Her work contributed to an on-going research project with the goal of persuading the Israeli government to adopt congestion pricing on roads in Israel as a method of both lessening traffic and increasing surplus for both consumers and the government.

Dexin ran simulations on what it would be like to have a congestion toll, created basic models, created maps using shape-files, and worked with the Google API to try to predict traffic and model coefficients. Dexin would say that some of her biggest accomplishments this summer were becoming more comfortable with using R and STATA, learning data analysis methods, and learning more about how to approach open-ended problems in economics.

But Dexin’s research experience was just one part of her memorable summer. She was inspired to learn more about the Middle East region thanks to the MISTI Training Sessions and the history course she had taken at MIT. Her immersive experience started in her living community; she shared an apartment with an Israeli woman of Palestinian origin, where she learned to cook Palestinian and Israeli dishes. She also went to Shabbat dinners through Get-Shabbat.

Upon returning to the United States, Dexin realized what an incredibly broadening experience her summer had been. “I feel as though I have gained a completely new perspective of who I am, and I am more confident and eager to take on the world.” This new perspective is reflected in her renewed dedication to her studies, with the goal of helping people around the world, some of whom she has met this summer. Dexin will always hold Israel and the Middle East in a special place in her heart.

  • Israel
  • Internship
  • Math