USAGE 2013-14 Undergraduate Student Advisory Group in EECS

SHARE:
Friday, February 21, 2014 - 1:00pm

USAGE 2013-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2013-2014 Undergraduate Student Advisory Group in EECS (USAGE) is well into its third year. The group features over 30 undergraduate and graduate students who have committed to serving on this committee to provide feedback that will lead to enhancements in the EECS student experience. Specifically, USAGE members set out in the fall term with an agenda that included improvements to the advising experience in EECS and creating a meeting space that will be used by EECS students to meet informally.

USAGE was created in 2011-12 as part of the EECS department's strategic planning process. As a result of their input that year, the SuperUROP, a year-long advanced undergraduate research program, was launched the following year. USAGE team members thought about what they wanted to see in their department, polled their peers, and developed a program that addressed their desire for developing enhanced research skills.

USAGE students meet regularly with Prof. Chandrakasan, Prof. Albert Meyer (EECS Undergraduate Officer) and with Undergraduate Administrator Anne Hunter. Additionally, they meet with the Associate Department Heads - Professors David Perreault and Bill Freeman and other members of the department leadership.

Meet the USAGE members, whose brief bios and brief statements appear below.


 

Ali S. Al Shehab

As senior in EECS, I am a 6.02 Lab Assistant and have enjoyed being House manager for Kappa Sigma, doing a summer UROP at the Mediated Matter- Media Lab working on robotic functions and at CSAIL where I wored on robotic arm function. Also, I have worked as a 'dynaMIT Mentor helping in science programs fro middle school kids and being a member of the MIT Chess, club, the MIT Arabic Students Assoc. and the MIT Muslim Students Assoc.  I would like to share my experiences and learn from others. And then use that knowledge to help other students. MIT has given me a lot and it is time to me to give something back. I am especially interested in working with and representing course 6 Meng students. 

Ali Al Shehab

Sami Alsheikh

I am a sophomore from Pensacola, Florida studying computer science. Although I am declared 6-3, I enjoy a lot of different subjects and want to be sure to use computer science in an interdisciplinary setting. Last summer, I interned at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, competing in the DARPA Robotics Competition.

As a new member of USAGE, I hope to encourage the EECS department to push students to realize the true versatility of EECS while giving them the mindset to take advantage of this versatility.

Samiel AlSheikh

Ishwarya Ananthabhotla

My name is Ishwarya Ananthabhotla, and I’m presently a junior in Course 6-2.  I’m from Long Island, New York, and spent this past summer developing computational electromagnetics and signature reduction software for Boeing Defense in Saint Louis.  To build upon my interest in projects that span the intersection of mechanical design and EECS topics, I will be working as SuperUROP on the CSAIL Printable Robotics project, under Prof. Daniela Rus.  In the past, I’ve also had the opportunity to work on educational technology projects for the Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group and MIT’s iLabs. 

My goal as part of USAGE this year is to help improve the freshman experience and transition into the Course 6 family.

Ishwarya Ananthabhotla

Kathryn W. Bartel

I am a sophomore in course 6-2 with a minor in music. I love computer science in the context of art, music, and interactive technology. I'm the Membership Director at WMBR, MIT's radio station, and a founding member of MIT's Engineering Design Group for Exhibition. I'm currently doing research with the Computational Fabrication Group at CSAIL. 

I am looking forward to improving the EECS department by participating in USAGE.

Kathryn Bartel

Jonathan Birjiniuk

My name is Jonathan Birjiniuk and I am a junior in 6-1 from Massachusetts. During my time at MIT, research has played a significant role in my education. For the past two years I have been UROPing in the Computational Biophysics Group, where I research protein structure modeling and computation. I am also a member of the EECScon programming committee (the course 6 undergraduate research conference).

As a member of USAGE, I would like to provide input to the department regarding undergraduate education as well as maintain and improve the great research opportunities provided within the department.

Jonathan Birjiniuk

Stephan Boyer

I grew up in the Bay Area, where I fell in love with computer science even before I knew about MIT.  When not doing computer science, I'm often making music, thinking about startups, or tutoring other students.  In the past I was interested in robotics and computer graphics, but these days I mostly think about type theory, math, and machine learning.  In addition to participating in several UROPS, I've spent over a year's worth of workdays interning at tech companies, and my perspective on academia vs. industry is one of the things I hope to bring to USAGE.

My goal is to ensure that students get an accurate picture of what EECS is all about in introductory courses and to help students form a sense of how to pick good UROPs.  The EECS department has presented me with countless opportunities, and choosing which ones to embrace is a skill that took me years to develop.  I want to make sure that new EECS students know what resources are available to them, including both research opportunities and preparation for industry, and how to use them effectively.

Stephan Boyer

Cody Coleman

I graduated in June 2013 and am working on my Meng with MITx. My hometown is Winslow, NJ. During my time at MIT, I was a part of the Cambridge-MIT Exchange program, Eta Kappa Nu (HKN), and the Gordon Engineering Leadership (GEL) program. I also did a number of programs through MISTI including MIT Global Startup Labs. Outside of MIT, I have had two internships at Google.  Once I finish my MEng, I plan on trying to start my own company.

As a USAGE member, I hope to bring the needs of the department and the students together.

Cody Coleman

Michaela Ennis

I’m a course 6-2 sophomore from New Jersey. My primary interest is artificial intelligence- I am currently doing a UROP in the Learning and Intelligent Systems Group at CSAIL. I was very involved with developing my high school’s research program, and I would like to continue this type of work during my time at MIT.

Specifically, I would like to explore potential overlap of course 6 with course 9 (Brain and Cognitive Sciences).

Michaela Ennis

Bruno Faviero

My name is Bruno, and I am a junior in Computer Science. I'm heavily involved with entrepreneurship around campus as the Director of StartLabs and as a team member on the local Dorm Room Fund investment team. I like working on software projects and helping people start companies. 

As a member of USAGE, I think my personal contribution will be providing an entrepreneurial angle and frame of mind to issues that arise and as the curriculum and other opportunities for students get developed.

Bruno Faviero

Megan Gebhard

My name is Megan Gebhard and I am a freshman from Michigan planning to major in Computer Science (6-3).  Here at MIT, I am a SWE department of liaison representative and play varsity volleyball. I am eager to gain experience in computer science at MIT and at my internship with Google next summer.

I am very passionate about Course 6, and as a member of USAGE I would love to tell freshmen about the opportunities within the EECS department.

Megan Gebhard

Ameesh K. Goyal

I'm Ameesh, a 6-3 senior from Dallas, Texas. At MIT, I've been involved in a great UROP with the Network and Mobile Systems group for two years now, and I've done a number of internships in the industry. Currently, I have a growing interest in financial markets, but I have nothing planned for when I graduate.

Through USAGE, I hope to contribute to any curriculum changes the department is planning and enhance the entrepreneurial experience for EECS students.

meesh Goyal

Ankush Gupta

I am a 6-2 sophomore from Louisville, Kentucky and I'm really interested in making a positive impact to the world through computer science. I'm heavily involved with TechX at MIT, and have been working at Quizlet.com since last January.

Ankush Gupta

Gustavo Goretkin

I am a first-year M.Eng./Ph.D. student in the Learning and Intelligent Systems group at MIT. This is my third-year serving on USAGE.

This year I am interested in working with the department and other students to determine ways in which the department can improve the gender disparity in EECS at MIT.

Gustavo Goretkin

Jesika Haria

I'm a Course 6-2 senior from Mumbai, India, and am passionate about leveraging technology to tackle real world challenges. I have worked at the Media Lab on information dissemination in low-tech social networks and with LIDS on comparison-based ranking for conference management systems. My present work is on DataHub, a Github-like hosted platform for organizing,sharing, and collaborating on data. My internships include Facebook and Securigin, an iOS security startup. I'm a UTA for 6.UAR, and a HKN tutor. I've always been interested in student life at MIT, and currently serve as co-President of ACM/ IEEE. 

As a member of USAGE 2013-14, I hope to be able to facilitate social and professional interactions within students in the department, impact undergraduate advising, and ultimately to help foster an open, nurturing environment that enables my peers to make the most of their EECS experience at MIT.

Jesika Haria

Bianca Homberg

I'm a junior in courses 6-2 and 18.  I am currently a UROP in the Distributed Robotics Lab working on the M-Blocks modular robots.  Here at MIT, I've been involved with the Educational Studies Program, both teaching classes and organizing behind the scenes.  Through my dorm and through HKN, I'm working on running technical interview panels to help underclassmen start the interview process more prepared.

As a member of USAGE, I am interested in curriculum development and I am serving on the subcommittee for women in course 6.

Bianca Homberg

Lars Johnson

I am a junior from Minnesota majoring in 6-2 and 18 who plays the oboe and enjoys spending time outdoors. Since coming to MIT, I've had a UROP with music21, a python toolkit for computer-aided musicology, published and presented a paper about it at a Digital Humanities conference in Germany, received department recognition for my work as a teaching assistant for 6.01, and enjoyed summer internships at Thomson Reuters and Google. I am currently working on linear elasticity simulations with CSAIL's Computer Graphics Group and am serving as my dorm's technology chair.

I'm interested in taking a more active role in shaping the department's future, particularly in the area of curriculum development.

Lars Johnson

Rishabh Kabra

I am a senior studying computer science. I grew up in Dubai, U.A.E., and came to MIT with no doubts about what I wanted to major in. In my time here, I've been involved in research at both CSAIL and the Media Lab. I've participated in EECS teaching efforts as an LA and grader for many terms. I've also written reviews of classes for the HKN Underground Guide and am presently one of the chairs responsible for publishing it. I want to bring my experiences in the department to USAGE particularly to explore new curriculum offerings, increased entrepreneurial mentorship, and new campus facilities for students.

Rishabh Kabra

Ciara L. Kamahele-Sanfratello

I am a Junior in course 6-3 from San Diego, California. I worked at Google in Zurich and Sydney this summer on a research project to help virtualize the distributed cluster management system. This semester, I have been UROPing with the Learning and Intelligent Systems group in CSAIL.

I understand how hard it can be to enter the world of computer science without prior experience, and I want to help the department make the right decisions for students who are new to the field.

Ciara Kamahele-Sanfratello

Keertan R. Kini

I am a Sophomore in 6-2, and I have a wide variety of interests both in and out of Course 6. I have previously interned at Akamai Technologies, and I am currently helping develop MIT App Inventor.

I would like to help ensure that Course 6 remains a community of opportunity and possibility for its members. More pragmatically, I wish to see it appropriately scale the quality of its offerings to its increasingly large student base. I would most like to give back to the department which has given me much already.

Keertan Kini

Jason Leung

My name is Jason Leung and I am a current Sophomore majoring in 6-3 and 15. I grew up in New Zealand and my initial exposure to computer science at MIT has been a mind-opening experience. In various UROPs in my freshmen year, I have assisted postgraduates in both CSAIL and Sloan. I intend to do many of the course 6 headers and AUS subjects this year and believe I can provide strong feedback on these classes.

Through USAGE, I would like to increase the number of networking events that allow employers to connect with EECS undergraduates. At MIT I am a board member of SBC, do.it@MIT and MITPokerClub - all of which offer amazing networking opportunities. I hope I can become part of this amazing opportunity to assist other course 6 students both with internal and external opportunities.

Jason Leung

WeiHua James Li

I am Wei Li and I am a senior majoring in Computer Science and Economics. I was born and raised in China and spent about three years in New York City for high school. I love coding, investing, and any ideas that aim to combine these two together. I am working on building the next generation platform that focuses on collecting and applying personal data to improve daily experience, especially in the area of on-campus teaching and learning. The ultimate goal of this platform is to transform how we live, work, and think through data.

As a remember of USAGE, I want to bridge any gap between the students and the department, improve course six experience, and help to define the direction that the department heads for the coming year.

WeiHua James Li

Lao Manting

I am currently a sophomore studying 6-2 with a wide variety of interests in Course 6. As a freshman at MIT, I did UROPs in Course 12 and for the Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative. I am currently Publicity Chair for the MIT IEEE/ACM Club and helped to establish an international partnership between our branch and the JKU-Linz Branch in Austria this summer. My other hobbies include being fencing epee for the MIT Varsity Fencing Team, traveling, and playing piano.

This is my first year on USAGE and I am very excited! I want to help make MIT EECS a more tight-knit community by facilitating student-faculty interactions and bringing new opportunities to Course 6 students.

Lao Manting

Colin McDonnell

I'm Colin, a sophomore in 6-2.  I'm a military brat, so I've lived all over the United States as well as in Germany, Turkey, and England.  I've worked at the Brookings Institution and at the National Bureau of Economic Research to pursue my passion for government and economics, although now I'm shifting focus to entrepreneurship, especially product design and energy. 

After a year and a bit at MIT, I still don't know much, but I do have ideas about how to foster a better sense of Course 6 community.

Colin McDonnell

Manushaqe Muco

I am a 6.3 senior. I come from Vlora, Albania. My research experience has quite some breadth; I've done work in network coding, machine learning, genetic programming, software engineering, and also a bit of hardware engineering. For the past two years, my focus has been the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and I am currently working with the Genesis group at MIT on a story understanding system.// My research experience comes mostly from UROPs and MISTI.  I consider undergraduate research to be a great opportunity, both challenging and rewarding. It is because of trying different UROPs, that I was able to build my background and decide on focusing myu future career in AI.

I want to help facilitate the journey of MIT students through Course 6. I also want to help bring new ideas for getting and keeping students motivated, as well as giving them the necessary skills to succeed during and after MIT.

 

Manushaqe Muco

Pratheek B. Nagaraj

I am a sophomore in course 6-2 originally from South Florida. Previous to my MIT experience I was involved in research in my high school. Now here at MIT, I continue my research endeavors working on an interdisciplinary computer science and genetics project as well as in CSAIL. I have also held internships with NASA and Amazon.

As a member of USAGE, I hope to bolster the undergraduate research environment in Course 6 as well as improve the curriculum and assistance provided to students. 

Nagaraj Pratheek

Santhosh Narayan

Hey! My name is Santhosh Narayan, and I'm a junior at MIT. Hailing from The Region, I'm an avid Chicago sports fan and love to play sports in my free time. I decided to major in computer science because I'm interested in how big data is going to change the daily life of my generation.//On campus, I'm a Co-Founder of do.it@MIT and a Co-Director of the Consulting Focus Group within Sloan Business Club. I'm also a board member of Asian American Association and the Course 6 Representative for PBE. Outside of MIT, I've studied abroad at the London School of Economics as a Fung Scholar, and my internship experiences include Morgan Stanley, Bain & Company, System Two Advisors, Fairhaven Capital Partners, and Fidelity Investments. Upon graduation, though, I hope to start a venture of my own.

As a member of USAGE, I hope to help communicate student input into decisions regarding the future of EECS to enhance student experiences both here at MIT and beyond.

Santhosh Narayan

Henry Nassif

My name is Henry Nassif and I am a junior in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I have previously worked at eBay doing backend integration and NASA designing algorithms for controlling satellites. I have also done research in human-computer interaction at the Media Lab and at Stanford University. When I finish my undergraduate degree, I plan on pursuing a Master of engineering in Artificial Intelligence and then starting my own company.  

Through USAGE, I hope to help foster entrepreneurship among EECS students and contribute in shaping the future of the EECS department.

Henri Nassif

Anvisha Pai

My name is Anvisha Pai and I'm a Senior in 6-2 from Mumbai, India - and this is my second year on USAGE. I am also a SuperUROP this year, working with Prof. Rob Miller on personalized informal learning. I spent the last summer at Google, working on a new feature for Street View, and the summer before that at Boeing. On campus, I am the co-president of the South Asian Association of Students and have been involved in Techfair and the Sloan Business Club.  

Anvisha Pai

Victor Pontis

Hi, my name is Victor Pontis and I am majoring in Computer Science and Physics. I am from San Diego and picked up EECS in high school through an autonomous robotics competition.  My interest in computer science gained steam during freshman IAP where I taught myself web-dev with two close friends and developed a study tool called Termstile. Since then I have done internships at Kyruus, CardSpring and Palantir.

Through USAGE I want to encourage student collaboration and help foster a community in the department. I also want to emphasize entrepreneurship through class projects and workshops.

Victor Pontis

Aakanksha Sarda

I'm a Junior in course 6-2 from Mumbai, India. My interest in everything visual has come a long way since my freshman UROP building 3D TVs - I'm now on the Tech's video staff and working on de-blurring JPEG images for my SuperUROP.

As an EECS senior I am one of two undergraduate teaching assistants for the SuperUROP 2013 Fall term class 6.UAR. I spent my summers at Facebook and Dropbox, taking new features from conceptualization to launch, for products that I use and love. Course 6 has really shaped and defined every aspect of my MIT experience, and now I'm very excited about the opportunity to give back to the EECS student community as part of USAGE!

Aakanksha Sarda

Isra Shabir

I am a senior in 6-3 from Al Ain, United Arab Emirates interested in the intersection of technology with arts, music and everything that adds color to life. My introduction to Computer Science is very much different from my peers in that I switched to 6-3 from Bioengineering in my junior year without having any coding experience. While, I'm relatively new to the field, I've tried to immerse myself in cool technologies both in and outside of class. There's a long way to go but I am confident I've found my interests. In the past, I've done internships and also tried to assist with a family startup. I've also UROPed within various groups at MIT.

Through my varied experiences in & outside of MIT, I wish to bring a new perspective on how to approach & dive into this field and also work on making administrative decisions that improve the experience of a course 6 student.

 

Isra Shamir

Tal Tchwella

I am out of the box thinker, avid learner and a technology enthusiast. I am currently a senior and MEng student majoring in Computer Science, and I absolutely love and enjoy the unparalleled opportunities I had been given here! Originally from Israel, before MIT, I served in the Israeli Defense Forces as an Intelligence officer.

During my time at MIT, I participated on various research projects, worked in startups and interned during the summers in IBM and Microsoft as a product manager. I hope to help create better opportunities than those I had available to make others’ time in course 6 much more enjoyable.

Tal Tchwella

Prathiksha Thaker

I'm a senior in course 6-3 and 18 from southern California. In my time at MIT I've learned a lot by participating in various course 6 UROPs, and I'm looking forward to continuing to an MEng next year.

As a member of USAGE, I'm hoping to help make course 6 opportunities more accessible to students who might not know about them or think to pursue them.

Prathiksha Thaker

Srinidhi Viswanathan

Hi, I’m a sophomore majoring in Course 6-3, from Portland, Oregon. I spent my freshman year working at the MIT Media Lab in the Information Ecology group, implementing code-level event tracking to better adapt mapping software for public needs, and spent last summer as a software engineering intern at Intel Corporation.

As a member of USAGE, I look forward to facilitating the journey through Course 6 for MIT students. I think we can really strengthen the student-faculty relations and ultimately connect with EECS alumni who have recently entered the workforce and are willing to share their firsthand experiences with undergraduates.

Srinidhi Viswanathan

Benjamin X. Xie

Hey there! Call me Benji. I am a junior majoring in computer science (6-3), concentrating in education. People are awesome. And so is technology! That's why I'm all about developing technology for humans. My current work involves leveraging data to understand how people learn programming and how to improve that experience. Away from the bits and bytes, I am leading MIT's Cross Country Team, planning EECScon 2014, and finding my shanti in yoga!

I see USAGE as part of a two-way conversation. I want to listen to both students and administration alike, and work towards an EECS department that is student-oriented and a student body that is collaborative and engaged!

 

Benjii Xie

David Ye

I'm currently a junior in 6-2, and I'm originally from Little Rock, AR. I've been involved in robotics research through the Personal Robots Group in the Media Lab, and am currently part of the Learning and Intelligent Systems Group in CSAIL. I've also been involved in the solar car team since freshman year, and interned at VMware this past summer.

I've found that many of my closest and most valuable connections at MIT have been made by working with peers on interesting and challenging problems, and I hope to create more opportunities for Course 6 students to do the same by encouraging collaboration and project-based learning.

 

David Ye