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Video Chat: Engineers/Computer Scientists/Mathematicians in STPF

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Seeking to gain hands-on policy experience and apply your STEM training to address societal challenges? Are you an engineer, computational scientist and/or mathematician wondering if a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship (STPF) is right for you? Policy fellows with a background in engineering/computational sciences/mathematics have much to contribute and gain from the fellowship experience. 

The AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) is the premier opportunity for outstanding scientists and engineers to learn first-hand about policymaking while using their knowledge and analytical skills to address today’s most pressing societal challenges. 

Join us on June 22, 2017, 2:00 p.m. ET for a video chat with STPF fellows who share a background in engineering/computational sciences/mathematics! Learn how they help impact federal policy.

Apply today! The deadline is November 1.

The AAAS S&T Policy Fellowships are open to U.S. citizens who hold doctoral level degrees in any of the following:

  • Medical and Health sciences.
  • Biological, Physical or Earth sciences.
  • Social and Behavioral sciences.
  • Computational sciences and Mathematics.
  • Engineering disciplines (applicants with an M.S. in engineering and three years of professional experience also qualify).

Before the chat, read an overview of the STPF program so we have more time to answer specific questions relevant to you.



Salaeha Shariff


Melissa Duell, 2016-17 Executive Branch Fellow, U.S. Department of State

Melissa Duell Square

Melissa is currently a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow serving in the Office of Advanced Analytics/ Office of Analysis, Planning, Programming, and Learning in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, U.S. Department of State. At CSO, Melissa supports rigorous analysis to inform diplomats and policy-makers for questions related to conflict including political stabilization, countering violent extremism, and electoral violence. She focuses on a variety of areas including Latin America and the Middle East/North Africa region.

Melissa has an academic background in quantitative methods, mathematical modeling, network science, and applied operations research.  As a PhD candidate, she won several awards, including the Postgraduate Award, recognizing the top research in the field of transport engineering in the Australia/New Zealand region. She has more than twenty publications in journals and international conference proceedings. 

Melissa holds a PhD in systems engineering with a focus on transportation projects.

Edgar (Eddie) Fuller, 2016-17 Executive Branch Fellow, Department of Homeland Security

Eddie Fuller is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematics at West Virginia University. He is a current AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the Department of Homeland Security. As an STPF fellow, Eddie uses data sets to help identify fraud or criminal activity, border crossing, vetting of refugees, and provide support for first responders. 
He directed two math and science partnerships in West Virginia funded by the U.S. Department of Education supporting professional development activities for in-service K-12 teachers and is currently a PI for an NSF funded study of the role of anxiety in mathematics learning and co-PI for  an NSF project studying the persistence of students in STEM disciplines at the undergraduate level. 

He has conducted several curriculum reform efforts at the undergraduate level from developmental algebra to calculus, focusing on improving opportunities for at-risk students. His other interests include applications of computational geometry to knot theory, the analysis of non-deterministic systems, bioinformatics, and social network analysis. He was the co-recipient of the Tyco Brahe award from the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance in 2005. 

He was a Goldwater Scholar and an Outstanding Graduate Teacher at the University of Georgia. Eddie holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics.

Elena Zheleva, 2016-17 Executive Branch Fellow, National Science Foundation

Elena, square

Elena Zheleva is a computer scientist with a research background in machine learning, graph mining, social media, and online privacy, and industry experience as a data scientist. Currently, she is a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation where she helps advance national initiatives in the area of Big Data and Data Science.

After completing her Ph.D in computer science, Elena joined LivingSocial where she built and led its Data Science team, working on recommender systems and incentivized social sharing that impacted millions of users. More recently, she was a principal data scientist at Vox Media.

Elena has presented her research at top-tier conferences, such as KDD and WWW, and she is the coauthor of the book "Privacy in Social Networks." She was also fortunate to intern at Microsoft Research, AOL, and The Institute for Genomic Research. 

After her AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship, Elena is joining the University of Illinois at Chicago as an assistant professor in Computer Science.

Click here to see other chats in this series.

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