Class of 2023: Qi Xuan Khoo Got a Good DEAL at Duke

Asian man with glasses in a suit standing with a brick wall behind him

His upcoming May graduation has made Duke Economics senior Qi Xuan Khoo reflect on his time with Duke Econ. 

“My undergraduate experience at Duke has been nothing less than intellectually rewarding and eye-opening. I have learnt tremendously from the faculty's diverse backgrounds and areas of work,” said Khoo. Khoo is a double major in economics and computer science with a minor in mathematics. 

His studies have included a wide range of topics from corporate finance to development economics. Khoo also worked as an undergraduate research assistant looking at healthcare fraud and data mining.  

 A highlight of Khoo’s time at Duke is being a part of the new Duke Economics Analytics Lab (DEAL), where he is in the first cohort of Woodman Scholars. The goal of the DEAL is to integrate students interested in doing research as undergraduates into faculty research teams. It aims to help students develop expertise and skills to position them advantageously for their lives beyond Duke.  

Khoo worked with professor James Roberts on investigating U.S. Medicare fraud. His first contact with Roberts was through the course Econ 204, Econometrics and Data Science. Khoo enjoyed the course so much that he reached out to Roberts to inquire about research opportunities. 

“He was kind enough to take me on as an undergraduate research assistant for his project investigating the effectiveness of litigation and prior authorization in deterring Medicare fraud in emergent ambulance rides,” Khoo said. “I learnt a great deal about data wrangling and how computation plays a huge role in collecting and cleaning the right data for meaningful economics research outcomes.” 

Khoo also enjoyed the ample social opportunities Duke Econ provided him.  

 “Sponsored pizza chats with students and faculty members at the DEAL are definitely a highlight of my time in the department,” said Khoo. “I’m going to miss the stimulating discussions about all things Economics with professors, peers and TAs during office hours and FLUNCH.”  

  Looking back on his time at Duke, Khoo said he’s proud of being able to call himself a member of the Blue Devil community and explore what it means to live up to the spirit of “knowledge in the service of society.”  

  “I'm eternally grateful to my mentors and friends who have made my journey at Duke a truly life-changing one,” he said.  

After graduation, Khoo will be pursuing graduate studies in social data science and development economics at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship.