CV

Education

  • Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI
    Fall 2013 - Spring 2018 (expected)
    Dual PhD in Computer Science and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, & Behavior
    Advisor: Charles Ofria

  • Swarthmore College - Swarthmore, PA
    2009 - 2013
    B.A. with honors in Computer Science and Biology (double major)

Research Experience

  • Graduate Student, Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI
    Fall 2013 - Present

  • Fink Fellow, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest - Woodstock, NH
    Summer 2013
    I developed an algorithm that categorized streaming, high-dimensional, multi-modal, high- resolution, time-series data and detecting errors and unusual events. I implemented it in Python, running on an Amazon Web Services EC2 instance, and found that it successfully identified errors and interesting events in data from Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. This program is now running on all of Hubbard Brook’s incoming data. I also assisted with a variety of field ecology research, including salamander, bird, and vegetation monitoring, nutrient manipulation, and routine sensor maintenance.

  • Undergraduate Researcher, Swarthmore College Computer Science Department - Swarthmore, PA
    Summer 2012
    I attempted to improve ACMI, a program that predicts protein structure from x-ray crystallography and amino acid sequences, by incorporating the ability for it to use domain knowledge (the depth of an amino acid). This involved mining a database of thousands of proteins using python, matlab, and Bash shell scripts. I tested the efficacy of my modifications, using Condor to run many tests in parallel.

  • Honors Thesis Student, Swarthmore College Biology Department - Swarthmore, PA
    Summer 2011
    I discovered a combination of non-chemical methods that may enable the control of invasive Japanese knotweed. I accomplished this by carrying out a 2-month greenhouse experiment and coding a model in C++ that synthesized my experimental findings with pre-existing research.

Publications

See Publications.

Presentations

Teaching Experience

  • Co-instructor for CSE 491: Algorithm Engineering - Spring 2016
    Michigan State University Computer Science and Engineering Department, East Lansing, MI
    Participated in the design, teaching, and grading of a hands-on algorithms course.

  • Scientific Computation Workshop Instructor - 2015 - present
    Software Carpentry
    I serve as a volunteer instructor to teach two-day workshops on scientific computing to scientists without a strong computing background. I have taught 8+ workshops so far. In addition to traditional Software Carpentry workshops, I have also taught shorter workshops on topics such as data visualization with d3.js. (video)

  • Student Mentor - Spring 2011 - Fall 2012
    Swarthmore College Computer Science Department, Swarthmore, PA
    I helped students in three different introductory computer science classes (in Python, C++, and C) better understand and feel more confident about the material they were learning, both during class sessions and in weekly help sessions outside of class. I went over important concepts with them, helped them troubleshoot bugs and errors in their code, and served as a non-intimidating resource.

  • Grader - Fall 2011
    Swarthmore College Computer Science Department, Swarthmore, PA
    I helped students in three different introductory computer science classes (in Python, C++, and C) better understand and feel more confident about the material they were learning, both during class sessions and in weekly help sessions outside of class. I went over important concepts with them, helped them troubleshoot bugs and errors in their code, and served as a non-intimidating resource.

Awards, Honors, and Fellowships

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
    Fall 2014 - Summer 2017

  • University Distinguished Fellowship
    Fall 2013 - Summer 2018
    Awarded by Michigan State University to 20 out of approximately 500 incoming PhD students.

  • BEACON Top-up Fellowship
    Fall 2013 - Summer 2018
    Awarded by BEACON Center for Evolution in Action to incoming graduate students.

  • Honorable Mention, MSU Department of Computer Science and Engineering Poster Session
    Spring 2015
    Awards were given to the top six posters in the department.

  • Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation Fellowship
    Summer 2013
    Awarded by the Betsy and Jesse Fink foundation to support summer projects that will have a positive social or environmental impact. Funded summer research at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.

  • Swarthmore College Honors Program – Honors
    Spring 2013
    I performed a written and oral defense in four research areas: Intelligent systems, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning, Paleontology, and thesis (described in Research Experience)

  • Swarthmore Division of Natural Science and Engineering Summer Research Fellowship
    Summer 2012
    Awarded by Swarthmore College division of Natural Science and Engineering to fund summer research.

  • Swarthmore Biology Department Field Fund Summer Research Grant
    Summer 2011
    Awarded by Swarthmore College Biology department to fund summer field research.

  • Swarthmore College HHMI Grant
    Summer 2010
    Awarded from Swarthmore College’s HHMI grant to support computational modeling research

Service and Outreach

  • Chair, International Society for Artificial Life Student Group
    2016 - present

  • Guest Speaker, MSU ACM Club
    2016, 2017 I have lead two programming workshops for MSU's ACM club, one on advanced features of Python and one on data visualization with d3.js.

  • Co-Organizer, Synthesizing Concepts in Biology and Computer Science Workshop at Artificial Life XV, Cancun, Mexico
    July 5th, 2016

  • Co-organizer, Work/Life Balance Discussion at GECCO 2015
    July 12, 2015
    Through the women@GECCO group, I helped organize an event at which all attendees were invited to come discuss issues related to work/life balance in academia (this was the second year women@GECCO had put on such an event). I was involved in figuring out the format, writing and delivering opening remarks and discussion questions, and leading the discussion.

  • Co-organizer, BEACON grad student/post-doc retreat day
    2014
    As part of the annual BEACON congress, another grad student and I organized a day of activities aimed specifically at grad students and post-docs within BEACON. This involved finding speakers, coordinating meals, and planning group activities.

  • Volunteer, Various Outreach Activities
    2014 – present
    I regularly attend education and outreach events where I talk to the public about evolution, computer science, and my research, and lead hands-on activities for kids. These events include Science Nights at local elementary schools, Darwin Discovery Day at the MSU Museum, and Girl Scout STEM Day.

  • Mentor, MSU Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)
    Summer 2014, 2015
    I worked with an undergraduate student on designing, executing, and presenting a project related to anomaly detection in sensor networks.

  • Evaluator, Mid-SURE undergraduate poster session
    Summer 2014, 2016
    I talked to undergrads presenting posters about their summer research and provided feedback.

  • Mentor, BEACON High School Summer Program
    Summer 2014
    I guided high school students through a miniature research project on simulated robot behavior (evolved using NEAT), from coming up with an idea to designing a poster.

  • Committee for Purchaser Responsibility, Swarthmore College
    2010 – 2011
    I drafted a policy on college-wide ethical purchasing guidelines in collaboration with faculty members, administrators, and two other students, and presented it to Swarthmore’s Board of Managers for adoption.