2020-2021 James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows
Master's of Science in Technology Ventures, Integrated Innovation Institute
Shreya is keen on building integrated technology products that have sustained business value. She started off with a Technical degree by graduating in Computer Science and followed it with a Business degree by doing an MBA at Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. Thereafter, she joined the Master's Programme in Technology Ventures to enable her to learn the art and science of creating successful startups. She is keen on pursuing and addressing the inefficiencies in the Productivity space that will allow people to be productively satisfied.
Prior to her current stint at CMU, Shreya ran two software products "Taxi121", a taxi aggregating business application, and "AuthorisedDealer", a software portal that aimed to provide online outreach to Brick-and-Mortar stores. Working on these products made her realize that she should hone her skills vis-a-vis scaling up and Go-To-Market strategies. She brings to table her experience of having worked in diverse startup ecosystems, one in India and another in Israel.
A sketch-artist, poet and writer at heart she wishes to let her creative self drive the technical one. She likes to collaborate and bring out the best in her teams. Feel free to reach out to brainstorm, discuss technology products or just for a fun conversation!
Master of Science in Robotics, School of Computer Science
Alex is a Master of Science in Robotics student at the School of Computer Science. He is supported by the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship to advance subsurface perception for robot localization and mapping. Alex aspires to build robots that see the world differently from humans to perform difficult and dangerous tasks in extreme environments.
Alex received his BS in Mechanical Engineering at CMU. As an undergraduate student, he worked on robots which were deployed to assess legacy nuclear facilities in Professor William “Red” Whittaker’s group. Alex previously interned at SpaceX in 2018 and 2019, where he worked on the development of Crew Dragon mechanisms as well as parachute and pyrotechnic systems. Alex most recently worked on a state estimation system for an agriculture group at X, the moonshot factory.
When not developing robots that can look underground, Alex can be found surfing, hiking, kayaking, golfing or building something. He is always interested in learning about new areas where robots and perception technology can improve the way people live and is always happy to chat with people who share a similar excitement about new technology!
Master of Science of Information Systems and Public Policy, Heinz College School of Public Policy
Jennie is a first year MSISPM student at Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College. Prior to joining the CMU community, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communications, with a minor in Global Security, from the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB). After graduating from UCSB, Jennie worked in the market research industry for one year, where she managed technology and social media-related studies for a boutique market research firm based in Chicago. Thereafter, she received her Juris Doctor from Notre Dame Law School, where she concentrated in Technology Law. During her time at Notre Dame Law School, Jennie concentrated on data privacy and cyber law coursework; interned as a Summer Associate at JetBlue Airways, where she researched issues related to GDPR and biometric scanning; drafted numerous award-winning data privacy papers; and served as a Content Developer for Notre Dame's Journal of Emerging Technologies.
Throughout her undergraduate and law school career, Jennie has interned and worked full-time at a range of startup environments. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and is currently working to found the Association of Midwest Privacy Professionals (AMPP), a network for cyber and data privacy professionals based in the Midwest Region.
Master of Human Computer Interaction, School of Computer Science
Piper is a Master’s student in the HCI program at the School of Computer Science. She is interested in applying user experience methodology and interaction design principles to create intuitive technological interfaces. Her entrepreneurial interests lie within adaptive user interfaces and the pervasive screen.
Prior to pursuing her degree at CMU, she worked as a front-end web designer and developer, building over four mobile friendly web-based applications for Corsicana Mattress, a mattress manufacturer based in Dallas, Texas. During her two years there, her role expanded to include all stages of application design, development and monetization. Before Corsicana Mattress, Piper earned her BA in Studio Art with a concentration in digital media at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
During her free time, Piper enjoys outdoor activities like rowing, cycling and hiking. She is also an avid baker, cook and shower singer. Piper enjoys meeting new people and talking about design, innovative technology or even the controversial question, “does pineapple belong on pizza?”
Master of Science in Robotics Systems Development, School of Computer Science
Ben is a Masters student in Robotics Systems Development at the School of Computer Science. His entrepreneurial interests include field robotics and renewable energy.
Prior to joining the MRSD Program, Ben was a robotics engineer on KEEN Footwear's innovation team. He was the "robot handler" on the UNEEKBOT Tour, which brought a shoe-building robotic system across the US and abroad to Japan and Hong Kong. Before that, Ben completed his undergraduate degree in physics at Lewis & Clark College.
During his free time, Ben likes to bike, hike in the mountains, perform improv comedy and work on his private pilots license. Ben loves to meet new people and chat about science and technology, so feel free to reach out!
Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Institute of Technology
Gladys is a first-year Master’s student in the Biomedical Engineering program. She is keen to combine her professional knowledge in medicine and current training in biomedical engineering to create a non-invasive brain computer interface (BCI) for daily use.
Before attending CMU, Gladys graduated from the University of Hong Kong with Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. She holds a medical license in Hong Kong and worked as a Resident in the Department of Medicine, Yan Chai Hospital, Hong Kong. During medical school, she received comprehensive training on basic and clinical neuroscience. She conducted neuroscience research analyzing the quantitative pattern of gene expression in developing mouse under Dr Ben Fulcher and Professor Alex Fornito in the University of Sydney and Monash University respectively, resulting in a Neuroimage publication.
An aspiring innovator-entrepreneur, Gladys is excited to work on engineering projects on top of gaining a solid knowledge and research foundation through her master’s program and share her passion with other Swartz Fellows.
Xinyuan (Luciana) Ma
Master of Architecture, School of Architecture
Xinyuan is currently pursuing her Master of Architecture degree at the CMU School of Architecture. Her research interests lie primarily in designing and facilitating for active aging.
Xinyuan graduated from Beihang University with dual bachelor’s degrees in biomedical engineering and linguistic. She then worked as an executive assistant to chief executive officer at Centaline Property Agency, one of the largest property agency groups in China. She interfaced with sales director, marketing analysts, data scientists, IT teams and representatives from real estate developers on a daily basis and helped develop a reorganization and revitalization plan for the corporation. She also worked as a part-time research assistant at Tsinghua University focusing on building guidelines for elderly facilities.
Feel free to reach out to her for any collaboration, or just to chat about design, architecture, biomedical engineering, entrepreneurship and anything that excites or upsets you about the aging industry!
PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, Carnegie Institute of Technology
Spencer is a PhD student in the Materials Science and Engineering department where his current research interests are in the development of flexible electronics and sensors. Entrepreneurially, he is focused on the graduation of applied research to the free market and scaling of exponential technologies. During his time at CMU, Spencer aspires to realize these passions in unison as he lays the groundwork for a hardtech venture of his own.
Prior to CMU, Spencer was a Materials Engineer at Marshall Space Flight Center, where he worked on printable, flexible electronics for space exploration. As a STEM Scholar at the University of Connecticut, Spencer earned his B.S. in Materials Science with R&D internships at II-VI Inc., ASML and IBM Research alongside campus research. His first startup experience came during his sophomore and junior years where, as a Werth Innovator, Spencer launched a platform to help labs connect with new researchers and collaborate within digital lab workspaces.
When he is not working, Spencer can be found tinkering with his reef aquarium and enjoying athletics. He is always happy to discuss cool research and the future of science and technology!
Masters in Business Administration, Tepper School of Business
Rob is a first-year MBA candidate at the Tepper School of Business. Prior to joining Tepper, Rob received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Psychology from Penn State University. After graduating from Penn State, he spent two years working as a professional actor in Los Angeles following a lifelong passion for the arts. He had the opportunity of being a part of productions for groups such as ABC Family.
Upon leaving Los Angeles, Rob realized he wanted to use his diverse degree in business and psychology as part of his career goals. He moved to Pittsburgh and has worked for two tech focused agriculture startups, Rivendale Farms and Fifth Season, the latter being founded here at the Tepper School of Business. While at Fifth Season, Rob was responsible for Brand Strategy and Marketing Experience. During this time is when he developed his passion for connecting consumers to products in unique ways to leave a lasting impact.
Consumer experience is where Rob would tell you his passions are now. Rob is looking forward to honing his skills in marketing, operations, product development and of course entrepreneurship during his time at CMU to bring holistic experiences to consumers in the future. Specifically, Rob is interested in the intersection of media/entertainment and technology and how consumers will be further immersed in their medium of choice in the future.
During his free time, Rob still enjoys staying connected to the arts, as well as outdoor activities, sports and esports. Rob is always looking for the next opportunity to immerse people in an idea, so feel free to reach out to chat about whatever product or business is on your mind.
Master of Science in Health Care Analytics, Heinz College School of Public Policy
Tess is a first year student in the Heinz Master's of Healthcare Analytics program, who is interested in improving efficiency and the patient experience in the healthcare industry. Before starting at CMU, Tess spent three years as a consultant at Recon Strategy, a boutique strategy consulting firm that supports organizations across the healthcare industry. Her work there focused on the way payers and providers work together in local markets.
Tess hopes to take the technical data science skills she is learning at Heinz into the healthcare services space. She is also particularly interested in women's healthcare. While not finishing problem sets, you can find Tess cooking something new for friends or swimming laps.
Masters in Business Administration, Tepper School of Business
Alejandra is a first year MBA student at the Tepper School of Business. Her mission is to solve the world’s problems using innovative technology. She is specifically interested in how to use Artificial Intelligence to augment human capabilities. Prior to Tepper, Alejandra earned a CPA and worked for Ernst & Young (“EY”) for 4+ years, where she progressed from a staff to a manager role in the assurance practice. During her time at EY, Alejandra took the opportunity to find innovative solutions such as implementing data analytics and using an AI bot to streamline procedures. Her time at EY only helped nurture her mission. Before pursuing a career at EY, she completed her B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University.
During her free time Alejandra enjoys traveling, reading her kindle, watching soccer, playing tennis and volleyball, bike riding and trying new restaurants. She enjoys the outdoors and trying new things. She also loves meeting and talking to new people. Feel free to reach out!
Masters in Business Administration, Tepper School of Business
Anik is a first year MBA student at the Tepper School of Business. Prior to Tepper, he worked in different software development roles at Amazon for over 4 years in various domains, including e-commerce, Amazon Music and Lab126. Prior to Amazon, Anik earned his B.Tech. degree in Computer Engineering.
His entrepreneurial interests lie in the Technology industry, specifically related to Augmented Reality(AR) and Virtual Reality(VR). His current startup research centers on solving a consumer problem through the VR platform. Outside of work, Anik loves running, soccer and reading.
Anik is excited to meet new people so please feel free to reach out to him if you want to talk about startup ideas, soccer, programming or just entrepreneurship in general.
PhD in Robotics, School of Computer Science
Vivian is a first year PhD student in the Robotics Institute, working with advisor Chris Harrison from the Human Computer Interaction Institute. Her background is in computer science and she hopes to focus her work within the realm of computer vision and sensing, although she enjoys working on both hardware and software implementation. Because Vivian is very much a self-proclaimed tree hugger, she hopes to apply her skills to conservation research in order to scale back the disastrous effects that modernization and industrialization have had on the world. Her entrepreneurial interests lie in this intersection of social impact and technology, leveraging AI and computer vision to build better, eco-friendly systems that won't negatively impact the environment.
Before joining the PhD program, Vivian graduated from Columbia University with a BS in computer science in May 2019, and spent her gap year doing conservation technology research with the San Diego Zoo and with Conservation X Labs. Prior to that, Vivian has also interned with companies such as NASA's JPL and Disney Research, and she's also lived at a monastery!
During her free time Vivian usually plays a LOT of ultimate frisbee, but has recently picked up disc golf because it is much more social distance friendly. She loves to travel and is willing to visit any place you can find on Atlas Obscura. If you want to talk about sci-fi, robots, conservation or any of the above topics, please reach out to grab a coffee!
Ramon Williams Sobers
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering- Research, Carnegie Institute of Technology
Ramon was born and raised in Brooklyn but his family is from Trinidad and Tobago. He majored in Astrophysics and minored in Chinese at Franklin and Marshall college. During his undergraduate years, Ramon had the opportunity to conduct independent research on building Autonomous vehicles and capturing astrophotography on different space artifacts. After he graduated from Franklin and Marshall College, he was a part of the two year Attollo Initiative Fellowship. There, Ramon had the privilege of leading my own engineering/coding course at a non-profit organization, teaching students the basics of mechanical engineering, computer programming and encouraging adolescent youths to see the limitless possibilities in the STEM field.
Ramon has a vision of a space in which students are able to learn from a culturally relevant curriculum and see the beauty of technological advancements within their own community. He wants to create his own organization that influences young people to pursue STEM careers, and promotes the importance of having technical skills so they are able to enter college, or the workforce, with the tools needed to succeed.
In his free time Ramon loves cooking tasty dishes and creating new memories with family and friends. He is also a big fan of podcasts, some of his favorites are How I Built This and Revisionist History. He is always excited to learn new things and share my experiences.