Other Projects

Ph.D. Excellence Initiative (New York University)

I have developed two independent studies for the Ph.D. Excellence Initiative at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business:

  1. Linear Algebra with Applications to Finance

  2. Differential Equations with Applications to Macroeconomics

Each course was semester-long, and culminated in a research project. In the Linear Algebra with Applications to Finance course, I supervised two fellows, one of whom worked on analyzing an actively managed Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), specifically ARK Invest. I attach the article here. In the Differential Equations with Applications to Macroeconomics I supervised three fellows, who worked on analyzing the impact of mass incarceration on GDP in the United States. This project is still currently in progress.

Princeton Quant Trading Conference (Princeton University)

During my Ph.D., I organized the 3rd Annual Princeton-CMU Quantitative Trading Conference with a team of 8 graduate students from Princeton University and Carnegie Mellon University. The conference was held on 13 April 2013. We invited 25 speakers from the finance industry, and had more than 250 participants in attendance. This conference was the first collaborative effort between Princeton and another university, and it kickstarted collaborations with other universities for the years to come. The Princeton Quantitative Trading Conference remains a huge success to this day.


Art Projects

In my spare time, I like to paint. I never really learned how to paint, but mixing colors always came naturally to me. Below are a few works that I have done over the years.




United Nations and Amnesty International

In mid September 2015, a boat that was going from Bodrum in Turkey to the Greek Island of Kos, ushering aboard more than 270 refugees (mostly Syrians seeking asylum), sank in the Aegean Sea killing 22 people. The survivors were then taken into two different camps, one in Bodrum and another one in Osmaniye province. The ones in Bodrum were released a few days after the horrifying incident, however, those taken to Osmaniye (about 150 refugees) were kept at a detention camp with barely any means for survival. I found myself on this project by mere coincidence. A journalist at Vice News wanted to investigate the incident, and they needed someone to translate voice messages arriving from those detained in Osmaniye. It was a Sunday morning, and no translator was readily available, so I volunteered to translate from Arabic to English for that day. I was able to obtain the phone numbers of a few detainees, whom I called to listen to their stories. By the end of the day I had heard so many horror stories, that there was no way I was leaving this project. Over the next two days, I collected as many stories as I could, compiled them in a report, and was connected to someone at Amnesty International with whom I shared the report. Overnight, Amnesty issued Urgent Action EUR 44/2521/2015 asking the Turkish Government to release all detainees. Shortly after, I received a call from the head of UNHCR in the Middle East asking to send them an updated report, and compile a list containing the names of those detained. By the beginning of October, the UN was already inside the camp asking for individuals to be released immediately. The UN managed to get everyone who had not already been sent back to Syria released by 12 October 2015.

I shared the stories that I had collected during that month with investigative journalist John Beck, who then worked on a piece that was titled Investigating the Fatal Sinking of a Refugee Boat and the Brutal Treatment of Those Who Survived. The article appeared in Vice News on 14 March 2016, and was nominated for the Bayeux-Calvados Award on war correspondence.

Lebanon Internship Databank Project (2005)

I was part of a student organization called LebYouth that started at the American University of Beirut, and then became a collaboration among several universities in Lebanon. The first project we undertook was writing Action Plans for Lebanon in the Political, Social, and Economic reforms. In 2005, we won an award for the Lebanon Internship Databank project, which was sponsored by the World Bank and UNDP. We worked on this project from 2006 until 2008, during which we created 30 internships at the Ministry of Economy and Trade and 30 internships at the Ministry of Finance. In addition to creating the internships, we were on a panel that helped both ministries select interns to ensure a transparent selection process. We also created a series of résumé and cover letter writing workshops aimed to help university students with their job applications.