our Alumni

Yiming Su

Computer Vision Research Assistant

Yiming is a second-year at the University of Chicago majoring in Computer Science and specializing in Machine Learning. His passion for machine learning starts since high school when he wrote an Extended Essay for IB DP Computer Science on the impact of the dropout layer in VGG16. He focuses his machine learning career on computer vision, such as CNN, GAN, face recognition, and the integration of models and hardware. 

Jared Bendavid

Online Presence Manager

Jared is a first-year undergraduate student at the University of Chicago intending to study neuroscience and linguistics. He hopes to explore language from a neuroscience perspective, while also examining the many social implications of language usage.

Matias Pietruszka

Research Assistant

Matias Pietruszka is a third-year undergraduate at the University of Chicago studying economics and computer science. He is interested in the application of NLP techniques in development economics. Apart from this, Matias enjoys playing classical guitar, watching arthouse films, and supporting River Plate. His favorite childhood tv show was Zoboomafoo as it taught him the importance of curiosity in learning.

Amara Haider

Tool Validation RA

Amara Haider is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Chicago studying Economics, Data Science, and Health & Society. She is in interested in the intersection between technology and impact as well as how data can drive impactful decisions. Outside of work and school, she enjoys playing squash, hiking, and attempting to solve the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. 

Anna Brailovsky

Project Advisor

Anna Brailovsky is the Research Development Manager in the Division of the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. She works closely with social scientists across several divisions to advance their projects from vision to implementation by helping them develop competitive applications for funding. She came to the University of Chicago in 2018 after 7 years in research development at the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, where she helped develop many successful grant applications to major federal and foundation funders, from individual fellowships to large-scale collaborations and center grants.

Avery Schoen

Image and Text Analysis RA

Avery Schoen is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Chicago interested in learning about the world and its inhabitants through the power of Data Science. Outside of academia, Avery enjoys reading, being active, and good jokes. Her sense of humor, curiosity, and ambitions were shaped by authors like Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl.

Anjali Das

Natural Language Processing Research Data Scientist

Anjali is a PhD student in Computer Science at Columbia University. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2020, where she received a B.S. in Statistics and a minor in Computer Science. While there, she worked as a research assistant in the Department of Human Genetics, investigating the genetic basis of Alzheimer’s disease in the Hutterites, a founder population. Outside of school, she taught middle and high school girls elementary lessons in computer science and led a classical Indian dance organization.

Brandon Mathu

Tool Validation RA

Brandon is a rising second-year undergraduate at the University of Chicago studying Economics. He is interested in learning more about the use of data and computer modeling in the research of social-economic phenomena as well as how that research can be used to solve current problems. As a child, Brandon loved reading the Moses series of books by Barbara Kimenye. He found them fun to read and they allowed him to think about how life could be unexpected but still be full of adventure and meaning.

Camilo Ibanez

Research Assistant

My name is Camilo Ibanez. I have a BS in Economics from SUNY at Albany with a minor in Mathematics. I am passionate about impact investing. I completed a data science boot camp at Northwestern University in 2020. Growing up I remember reading Clifford the Big Red Dog and how it taught me that it was OK to be different.

Fred Stafford

Project Advisor

Fred came to the University of Chicago as Director of Special Projects (Office of the VP for Research) building on a career as professor and founding program director for Solid State Chemistry at the National Science Foundation. By thinking like a program director, he has helped faculty attract large scale center grants and early career development awards. Now formally retired, he continues to help early career faculty and graduate students. He loves classical music because, as a child, he heard so much of it skillfully used in programs such as theLone Ranger. 

Hye-Min Jung

Natural Language Processing RA

Hye-Min Jung graduated from Harris School of Public Policy, the University of Chicago in 2020 and joined the MiiE lab in 2021 fall. She is interested in inequality, human capital development, intergenerational mobility, especially for the disadvantaged group. She believes that there is so much you can discover with text analysis, and she is excited to be part of the MiiE lab to explore the factors that could possibly influence childhood developments by analyzing contents that children are exposed to. As a child, she liked the stories that protagonists face the ordeal with courage and overcome obstacles, especially the Harry Potter series. Hye-Min realized how entertaining reading books can be while she was reading through those series and became a big fan of reading.

Celia Anderson

Natural Language Processing RA

Celia is a third year undergraduate at the University of Chicago, majoring in Computer Science and Linguistics. She is excited to work with as well as use and develop technical skills for the Text Analysis team at MiiE. Celia is from Las Vegas, Nevada. As a child, she enjoyed the Geronimo Stilton series with its crazy fonts. When she thinks of jungles, she often thinks back to Geronimo’s adventures in Four Mice Deep in the Jungle.

Erica Lin

Computer Vision and Deep Learning RA

Hi! My name is Erica, and I am a student at the University of Chicago studying applied mathematics and computer science. I work on the image analysis team, using computer vision models to identify bias in the illustrations of children’s textbooks.

How books from my childhood shaped me: I loved reading adventure and mystery books as a young girl. They sparked in me an excitement to explore and experience the world in full color.

Grishma Bhattarai

Grishma Bhattarai is a MPP candidate at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy where she is pursuing certifications in Data Analytics and Computational Social Science to complement her degree. She is interested in the interdisciplinary fields of Data, Development, and Social Good. Her research interests include inequality, intergenerational mobility and equal access to resources, particularly for minority groups. As a self-proclaimed data enthusiast who is inspired by the ideas of Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein’s Data Feminism, she is interested in finding new ways of understanding data science, data literacy, and data integrity, motivated by the framework of intersectional feminism. Additionally, she is also currently working under the supervision of Dr. Steven Durlauf to understand the role of gender in determining intergenerational income and occupation mobility at Harris.

Fabiola Alba-Vivar

Tool Validation RA

Fabiola Alba-Vivar is a PhD Student at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests are gender, labor and education in Latin America. She holds a MA in Economics from Brown University and a BA in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. Her current work includes the analysis of school expansion interventions in risky behavior and the effects of a citizenship policy in health outcomes, both focused in the Dominican Republic. She is also studying the impacts of a higher education reform in partnership with the Peruvian Ministry of Education and the impact of STEM workshops for young girls in Peru. For the MiiE project, Ms. Alba-Vivar will validate the image analysis tools and she is excited to work in a project that is passionate about understanding children’s exposure to diversity in race gender.

Ifeatu Oliobi

Digitization RA

Ifeatu is a Doctoral Student of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research examines and evaluates the impacts of policies, programs and interventions that aim to improve education and labor market outcomes for women and girls in developing countries. Reading a lot as a child sparked a love of learning, and she believes that access to books and quality education can improve the lives of women and children all over the world.

Ishan Malhotra

Ishan is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Chicago, studying Computer Science and Economics. He is interested in CS research and has worked on multiple interdisciplinary research projects related to image and text analysis over the past years. Apart from that, Ishan enjoys being in the outdoors – hiking, rowing, skiing, or scuba diving with friends.

Brought up in New Delhi, India, Ishan has grown up reading and watching many variations of the mythological epics like The Ramayana and The Mahabharat. Over the years, he has become cognizant of the cultural and gender biases embedded in those classic stories. 

Jichao Yang

Computer Vision and Deep Learning RA

Jichao is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Chicago, studying Mathematics and Philosophy. He is interested in the ongoing research of Machine Learning and AI technologies: not only the technicalities in the algorithms, but also their ethical and epistemological implications for our society. Apart from that, Jichao enjoys hiking, making music, and science fiction.

Joshua Belofsky

Deep Learning RA

Joshua is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Chicago, studying Computer Science and Neuroscience. His current research focuses on biologically-inspired robotics and continual learning. As a child, Joshua wanted to recreate the creative visions that were presented to him through science-fiction film and literature–an inspiration that still resonates with him.

Juan Miguel Jimenez

Pre-Doctoral Fellow

Juan Miguel is a Predoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. He double majored in Economics and Law at Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, from where he also received his Master’s in Economics in 2019. His research field is development economics with a special focus on understanding how misperceptions can become a barrier to economic integration. One of his favorite books as a kid was The Little Prince. It marked his interest in exploration and the outdoors. Nowadays, he suspects it was really about self-discovery.

Jalnidh Kaur

Tool Validation RA

Jalnidh Kaur is a Ph.D. student in Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds an M.Phil. in Economics from Oxford University and a BA (Hons) Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. Her experiences as a teacher and researcher in the classrooms of rural India fuel her research interests in exploring the role of teacher and technology inputs in improving learning outcomes in developing countries. Jalnidh worked on validating image analysis tools for the MiiE project. She is passionate about understanding how representation matters for marginalized communities and minorities.

Jarvis Lam

Computer Vision and Deep Learning RA

Jarvis Lam is a fourth-year at the University of Chicago majoring in Computational and Applied Mathematics (go CAM!). He is passionate about technology, social changes, and everything mildly related to the two topics. His past research has been mostly in the fields of deep learning, computer vision, and NLP, but he would like to expand his general tech knowledge. Outside of work, Jarvis likes to play guitar, cook, write, and read random blogs on the Internet. He is originally from a seaside town in Vietnam and moved to the U.S after high school. Jarvis enjoyed the privilege of growing up with books that reflected the richness of his culture. 

Jeffrey Tharsen

Natural Language Processing Specialist

Jeffrey Tharsen is a Computational Scientist for the Digital Humanities at the University of Chicago., serving as university-wide technical domain expert for digital and computational approaches to humanistic inquiry. He received his doctorate in 2015 from the University of Chicago’s East Asian Languages & Civilizations department., specializing in the fields of premodern Chinese philology, phonology, poetics and paleography. In his work, Jeffrey leads and advises text team researchers, and leads teams creating new resources, platforms and methods. for humanistic research, designs curricula and teaches courses and workshops on digital studies, data science, computational linguistics and natural language processing, serves on thesis committees and mentors students interested in developing new digital and computational research methods, and regularly presents his work at national and international conferences and symposia.

Jan Morgan

Tool Validation RA

Jan is a senior at the University of Chicago studying Mathematics and Economics, from Radom, Poland. He is very excited to work on a
fundamental issue, such as early childhood education at the MiiE lab, while developing his own understanding of policy research and applied machine learning. He primarily remembers from his childhood the thought-provoking stories and characters created by Hans Christian Andersen and Alan Alexander Milne. The lack of a perfect, happy ending always made him feel uneasy, but now he thinks that it was an important lesson.

Jerin Amin

Tool Validation RA

Jerin is a third year majoring in Chemistry at the University of Chicago. She is excited to work as a part of the Miie Lab team and explore the presentation of different races and genders in children’s books. She is also looking forward to learning more web management skills as well as seeing how large pools of data are managed and used. She was born in Bangladesh and moved to America at the age of 5. As a child she loved to read books, especially those with magical elements. At a young age she noticed that the characters in her stories often did not look like her and that affected her perception of herself. As she became older, she was more excited to see her background represented in stories. Outside of work Jerin enjoys drawing and listening to music.

Jingyi Liu

Tool Validation RA

Jingyi Liu is an MACRM graduate and she is now working as a Research Assistant at Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. She is interested in the studies relating to labor economics, with a special focus on the interaction between labor markets and other social factors including education and health at individual and household level.

Jonathan Yuan

Natural Language Processing RA

I’m Jon, a senior at the University of Chicago studying Economics, Computer Science, and Statistics, with a strong interest in machine learning and data science research. In previous years, I worked in industry on projects ranging from contextual embeddings to training trading algorithms.

In my childhood, reading books by authors like Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein left me puzzled but curious. Those books seem weird in retrospect, but I realize that they helped bring about my creative side.

Karla Monteiro

Project Manager

Kristof Turan

Tool Validation RA

Kristof is a rising second year at the University of Chicago planning to major in Biological Sciences. He is curious about data collection and processing and is also trying to learn more about machine learning, coding, and data interpretation. He is of Slovak origin and feels excited to have an opportunity to be a part of MiiE lab and explore the implications of identity in our societies. He has always adored a good read. Genres ranging from sci-fi to travel memoirs enabled him to reside in a world different from that immediately around him; one that shaped his idea of self and helped him become more creative, critical, and reflective.

Marliese Dalton

Marliese is a law student at the University of Virginia School of Law. As an undergraduate, she helped conduct the initial literature review for MiiE project and combed through countless Reading, Math and Science textbooks with Emileigh. She has continued to enjoy research in law school and has recently been working on a project looking at the intersection of gender and intellectual property rights. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Marliese loves to read and is often trying out a new recipe or completing yet another puzzle. As she got older, Marliese thought it was very strange that the heroines on book covers looked roughly the same and wondered why a lot of her books rarely featured women as leaders. She was very excited to join this project and remains thankful for the experience.

Maya Escueta

Digitization RA

Maya Escueta is a doctoral candidate in the Economics and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University, and is excited to support the MiiE team in textbook acquisition and data collection processes. Maya’s research focuses on leveraging rigorous quantitative methods and insights from psychology and neuroscience to investigate the role of trauma and adversity in the early developmental outcomes of vulnerable children. From an early age, Maya’s experiences with art gave her a lens to grapple with the various aspects of her identity that shape her personal challenges, opportunities and ability to achieve, and inspired her to investigate how inequities in childhood shape these challenges and opportunities for particularly vulnerable children.

Noah McLean

Natural Language Processing RA

Noah, a native of Seattle, is a Computer Science graduate student at the University of Chicago, studying topics ranging from operating systems to computational linguistics. Through his work on the text team, he has developed an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) pipeline, several natural language processing machine learning models, and thorough analysis of current word embedding models.

Oishee Chakrabarti

Computer Vision and Deep Learning RA

Oishee is an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago interested in solving practical economic problems with the help of recent advances in the fields of data science and computer science. Her research involves performing image analysis and classification as well as developing tools and writing scripts to identify features and classify images in different categories, using different techniques. Outside of her academic and research life, Oishee enjoys reading, singing, playing the piano, and swimming. As a child, Oishee loved reading any of the Rick Riordian series as they gave her the excitement of adventure and allowed her imagination to run wild.

Ping-Chang Lin

Computer Vision and DL Computational Scientist

Ping-Chang is a Computational Scientist at the Research Computing Center (RCC) at the University of Chicago with expertise in medical imaging and spectroscopy analysis, machine learning/ deep learning architecture implementation, and development. Before joining RCC, he worked at Georgia Cancer Center, Augusta University in Georgia as a research track scientist, preceded by being a research track assistant professor at Howard University in Washington, DC. He received a PhD in Biophysics at the University of California, Davis and was a postdoctoral fellow at National Institutes of Health. As a kid, he was fascinated with mathematics, historical fiction novels, and scientific magazines. 

Ping-Jung Liu

Computer Vision and DL Research Data Scientist

Ping-Jung Liu is a full-time computer vision research assistant in the MiiE team. He is a huge enthusiast of technology, robotics in specific, who seeks to contribute to the current state of autonomous vehicles and how humans can better interact with machines. His research focuses on deep learning and algorithmic robotics. He is originally from Taipei, Taiwan and particularly enjoys the food there. He has been playing piano and violin for 20 years and also a fan of tennis. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Dartmouth College and a Master of Computer Science from University of Chicago. Ping-Jung first encountered the theme from Schindler’s List performed by Itzhak Perlman when he was eight years old and listened to the piece daily ever since. It reminds him to always be kind to those less fortunate, to always have empathy, and to always fight for the greater good.

Qurat Ul Ain Nln (Annie)

Natural Language Processing RA

Annie is a Fulbright scholar from the MSc. Analytics program at the University of Chicago. She is particularly interested in literary cultures, growing complexity of datasets and the conditions in which texts are consumed and processed by humans and machines. Reading the poetry of Iqbal and Ghalib from an early age built her fascination with language. Being associated with MiiE has helped her further delve into the fascinating field of NLP and learn its theory and practice in a holistic way. Being a supporter of multi-disciplinary academic inquiry, Annie believes that data scientists, economists, linguistics and psychologists collaborating together can leverage an extraordinary breadth of interests and expertise with which we can understand, test, and analyze how humans and machines process written and spoken information. Annie is also interested in building communities and hosts monthly philosophy nights under her informal group “Hyde Park Salon”.

Zijan Wang (Charlie)

Natural Language Processing RA

Charlie is a Computational and Applied Mathematics graduate student at the University of Chicago. His research interests include machine learning, Monte Carlo methods, natural language processing etc. His work on the MiiE text team includes quantifying bias through word/sentence embeddings.

Raj Shukla

Natural Language Processing Computational Scientist

Raj is an Applied Mathematician. Raj did his BS and MS in Mathematics, Physics and Geophysics at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), India. After graduation Raj worked as a Physicist at National/International oil companies before he started his PhD (jointly from Oklahoma State/Rice University) with a focus on high order numerical methods. Raj’s research focuses on the intersection of applied mathematics and deep learning. During and proceeding earning his PhD, Raj has worked as a Researcher at Halliburton, British Petroleum, Hewlett-Packard and Brown University. Raj has been captivated by Physics from childhood, primarily mathematical operators. Two books that have transformed Raj’s life are “The Forgotten Revolution: How Science Was Born in 300 BC and Why it Had to Be Reborn”, which was given to him by his father. The second book which influenced him the most, was given to Raj by his high school Mathematics teacher. This book was titled “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character”. Apart from his research work, Raj is currently immersed in literature on number systems and encryption and is searching for a gap where he could contribute.

Ryan Atkinson

Digitization RA

Ryan Atkinson is a Master in Public Policy (MPP) candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy of the University of Chicago. His interests include education policy, political science, and human rights. He was a kid when Pokemon was released for the Game Boy and he remembers how much the game influenced his relationship with the natural world. He would later discover that the creator wanted to recreate his experiences of collecting insects, and he thinks that the game showed how a digital experience can influence a child’s appreciation of nature.

Sabina Hartnett

Natural Language Processing RA

​​Sabina is a Master’s candidate in Computational Social Science at the University of Chicago, where she is focusing on Natural Language Processing and tools for detecting exclusive and derogatory language. She holds a BA in Mathematics, Computer Science and German Studies from Bowdoin College. Prior to joining the MiiE team, Sabina worked as a teacher and on projects implementing Natural Language Processing methods to detect thematic trends in German news reporting on immigrant populations, including her bachelor’s thesis and Project NOHATE.

Sophie Breslauer

Research Assistant

Sophie Breslauer is a rising third-year at the University of Chicago. She is majoring in Economics and Data Science. She is especially interested in how to use data and research to drive social change. She believes that the work being done at MiiE can have a significant impact on improving educational outcomes and promoting equity in society. As a child, Sophie loved reading The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge. The lighthouse’s journey to regain its confidence and embrace its importance, even in the shadow of the imposing bridge, captivated her imagination.

Scroll to Top