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Helena Rong

Helena Rong is a Doctoral Candidate in Urban Planning at Columbia GSAPP. Rong is an urbanist and designer working at the intersection of design, technology and urban research. She is currently a PhD student at Columbia University, focusing on digital city applications and civic engagement. She received her Master of Science in Urbanism degree from MIT and Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University, where she graduated with the Sands Memorial Silver Medal (first place thesis award). Rong works as a Research Associate at the MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab, where she leads the “Value of Design” research pillar. Previously, Rong was a researcher at the MIT Senseable City Lab, where she led the development of a travel optimization model to museums in Amsterdam using autonomous boats. Rong is the founder and partner of CIVIS Design and Advisory LLC, an interdisciplinary design and research practice based in Boston and Shanghai.