Office: GHC 6008
Jesse is a Ph.D. student in the Computer Science Department. He teaches computers to understand what we humans mean when we talk about cause and effect.
Originally from New Jersey, Jesse received his bachelor's degree in computer science from MIT. He has taken his computer science skills into a wide variety of contexts, including software companies, charitable organizations, and physics laboratories. He has also taught college programming courses and helped run computer science outreach programs for children.
Jesse believes firmly in the need for scientific and technological literacy in modern society, and is thrilled to be working toward that vision. He is also easily distracted by birds.
Logistics, Publicity, Finance
Adona is a Ph.D. student in the Machine Learning Department, where she’s working to train computers as virtual study companions for humans. If she succeeds, students of the future may well learn subjects like physics with a computer program “tagging along”, watching them solve exercises and giving help where needed.
Originally from Romania, Adona graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Computer Science and a bug for using technology for social good. She’s worked on IT projects for healthcare, energy conservation, and education, with teams from Cambridge, the World Health Organization, and Google.
While still only an apprentice machine learnist, Adona is an expert hitchhiker – she has backpacked and hitchhiked her way through more than 15 countries in the last 10 years.
(Photo courtesy of Angela Radulescu)
Phil LeDuc lab
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Office: Scaife Hall B16
Ardon Shorr is a biology Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon. He studies how organisms sense and respond to gravity as a fellow with the National Science Foundation, and hopes to improve the safety of long-term space travel.
Before CMU, Ardon graduated from Oberlin College majoring in neuroscience and music theory. He then moved to a closet in Brooklyn as a presentation consultant by day and fencing instructor by night, and then consultant again by very late night. His talk on understanding music was an editor's pick on the TEDx blog. Ardon would like to thank his parents for encouraging him to explain everything he learned as a child, and hopes that they will never release the footage where he explains that the people who live on Mars are 1,000 years old.
(Photo courtesy of James Pan)
Finance, Book Club Organizer
Daniel is a Ph.D. student in Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon. His work focuses on reducing the energy intensiveness of water desalination and recycle systems and the interactions between the electricity and water sectors.
While being the only person from South Dakota the majority of his acquaintances will ever meet from the state, Daniel received bachelors’ degrees in Civil Engineering and Political Science from Mississippi State University. After undergrad he pursued a master’s in Civil Engineering from Auburn University where he studied the affordability of Environmental Protection Agency drinking water rules.
When not studying at the energy water nexus, Daniel can be found building his two most treasured collections: reasons why Theodore Roosevelt is the best president to date and a flock of rubber ducks.
Rohit is a master's student in Robotics. He helps computers learn to perceive the world through vision. Nowadays he's trying to make computers efficiently and accurately search through huge collections of photos. Prior to this, he was an undergrad at IIIT, Hyderabad, India where he majored in Computer Science. Beyond the classroom, he is an ardent fan of (almost) all kinds of adventure sports and holds a Black Belt in Taekwondo.
Prasanna Kumar Muthukumar
Blog Coordinator, Logistics
Prasanna is a Ph.D. student in the Language Technologies Institute. He makes computers speak in tongues. For his thesis, he tries to make computers speak without making listeners cringe with pain.
Dismayed by the communication skills of scientists like himself, many of whom spoke worse than their computers did, Prasanna decided to join PCR and make a difference. He now co-curates the PCR blog at ScienceNonFiction.org. In addition to coming up with lofty, difficult-to-achieve goals, Prasanna also enjoys assigning work to other people, writing fake bios, watching music, listening to books, and reading movies.
Thiago is a Ph.D. student in Operations Research at Tepper School of Business. He wants to develop better technology to solve mathematical problems that are very important in industry. Thiago is a computer scientist disguised as a mathematician, and is learning to think like an economist. He believes that better communication is of central importance for research, since developing new ways to pose and understand research questions can make their solution much easier.
Lea Veras is passionate about science communication, and she is a person who fights for the causes she believes. She genuinely likes to interact with people – and learn from them. She enjoys dancing, reading, writing, and using her knowledge and commitment to develop meaningful work with tangible social impact. She is also a computational chemist Ph.D. and non-formal education researcher. In short, she is a scientifically trained individual who see the world as a community: an interplay of logic and humanity.
Mark Whiting is a Ph.D. student in the Mechanical Engineering Department developing tools to tackle hyper-complex design problems, such as those found in biology. He has grown up traveling the world and has studied in Australia, China and Korea along the way. He currently serves as VP of Finance in the Graduate Student Assembly at CMU.