Eliana was briefly a CSE major, but graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington in 2006 – at the age of 18 – with a degree in mathematics. She received a Goldwater Scholarship and was a 2006 Rhodes Scholar – at the time the second-youngest person to ever receive the Rhodes. She was also selected for a Marshall Scholarship but declined in order to accept the Rhodes. At Oxford University Eliana earned her Ph.D. in statistics. At the time of her death she was a first-year medical student at the joint Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program.
Eliana is survived by her father, former UW professor Michael Hechter. Her mother, Debra Friedman, passed away in January 2014 from cancer; Debra was the chancellor of UW Tacoma at the time of her death but previously had been instrumental in establishing Undergraduate Academic Affairs on the Seattle campus, where she was a strong supporter of CSE.