The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Past Student Fellows

2020 Data Science for Common Good Fellows


  • Dugan Becker

    As a dual degree Master’s candidate in Sustainability Science and Regional Planning, Dugan Becker is passionate about helping public and private stakeholders develop sustainable practices, and accomplish their environmentally responsible aspirations. Specializing in energy efficiency, Dugan utilizes his knowledge of energy systems, data analytics, and climate science to assist stakeholders in tracking their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and identifying areas for improvement. For the last year, Dugan has been working alongside the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to help maintain an energy usage database for the 270+ municipalities currently enrolled in the state’s Green Communities Program.

    [Dugan Becker on LinkedIn]

  • Augusto Espin Tobar

    Augusto holds a B.S. in Electronics Engineering from Army Polytechnic School of Quito, Ecuador, and a M.S. in Telecommunications Management from Oklahoma State University. He has more than 15 years of experience in the telecommunication and energy industries in several positions across mobile operators, technology providers, and government, in his home country. Currently he is pursuing a PhD in Resource Economics at the University of Massachusetts where he is starting his third year in the program while working on the Data Science certificate offered by CICS.

  • Ananya Gupta

    Ananya Gupta is a Master's student in Computer Science. She is interested in Machine Learning and Fairness in AI. Before coming to UMass, she did her undergrad from National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India and worked as a Technology Analyst at Morgan Stanley.

    [Ananya Gupta on LinkedIn]

  • Nazanin Jafari

    Nazanin Jafari is a first-year PhD student in Computer Science. She is broadly interested in natural language processing, text retrieval, and computational social science. Prior to joining UMass she completed her M.Sc. degree at Bilkent University in Turkey. Nazanin conducted research on High Performance Computing for her Master's thesis.

    [Nazanin Jafari on LinkedIn]

  • Vaishnavi Kommaraju

    Vaishnavi Kommaraju is a graduate student in computer science at UMass Amherst. Vaishnavi pursued her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from IIT Kharagpur in electronics and electrical communication engineering, specializing in visual information and embedded systems. Before coming to UMass, she worked at Qualcomm India Pvt. Ltd. as a software engineer in multimedia.

    [Vaishnavi Kommaraju on LinkedIn

  • Kshiti Mehta

    Kshiti Mehta has completed her B.Tech in Computer Science from India. She is currently a Master’s student in Computer Science with a concentration in Data Science. She has successfully published a research paper on Clustering and Classification of Stocks Dataset in the IEEE journal. Her experience with Java has been certified by Oracle as a course of Java SE8 and Database Fundamentals where her team worked on an exam portal. She loves working with data and is known as the data junky. She is very passionate about applying her data science skills to help people and bring about an impact on the society in a positive way.

    [Kshiti Mehta on LinkedIn]

  • Purity Mugambi

    Purity Mugambi is a second-year MS/PhD student in the Information Fusion Lab in CICS. She is passionate about using data science to create societal impact by solving pertinent problems and innovating in solutions that enhance inclusion and fairness. Prior to joining UMass she worked as a software engineer at IBM Research, where she led engineering teams for major government-funded projects in healthcare and water. Purity has undertaken research and development of ideas from conception to deployment in lab-based, large-scale and commercial environments. Away from work she gets lost in a good novel and is a rugby enthusiast.

    [Purity Mugambi on LinkedIn]

  • Smriti Murali

    Smriti Murali is a master's student in computer science at UMass Amherst. She completed her Bachelor's in technology from National Institute of Technology Surathkal, India, specialising in computer science. Smriti worked at Oracle as an applications engineer in the fusion order management team and at Goldman Sachs as a summer analyst. She is interested in the domain of machine learning and systems for data science.

    [Smriti Murali on LinkedIn]

  • John Britto Nadar

    Prior to joining UMass, John Britto Nadar worked as an R&D Engineer at Skinzy Software Solutions and then ventured into teaching as a lecturer at Kossine. His research interests mostly center around Natural Language Processing, including Sentiment Analysis and Question Answering. When not coding, he like playing quizzes with friends and working on his novel!

    [John Britto Nadar on LinkedIn]

2019 Data Science for Common Good Fellows


  • Thomas Aurigemma

    Thomas is a master’s student in computer science at UMass Amherst, and is working on the MA Department of Public Health project. Prior to joining UMass, Thomas worked for MassMutual as a cloud engineering intern, and for a small startup, Ninkatek, as a technical intern. Thomas holds a BS in computer science and mathematics from UMass Amherst. 

  • Wonho Bae

    Wonho is master’s student in computer science. His research interest is in computer vision, especially object detection, in fully, semi, and weakly supervised manner. He has worked as a research assistant in several academic institutions including University of California, Berkeley and Seoul National University. He holds a BA from University of California, Berkeley.

  • Pracheta Boddavaram Amaranath

    Pracheta is currently pursuing her master's degree in computer science at UMass Amherst. She works on the MA Department of Public Health project in building a community-needs score for chronic diseases. Having an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, she previously worked for Cisco Systems as a systems engineer in software defined networking. 

  • William Goss

    William is currently pursuing his master's degree in computer science at UMass Amherst, after graduating with a bachelor's in computer science from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. After graduation, he worked as a research assistant in the SAREC lab at DePaul (now at Notre Dame), focusing on software traceability research. His current interests have shifted towards ML/AI, and the Data Science for Common Good program is a great opportunity to apply newly learned knowledge while also creating a meaningful impact on the surrounding community.

  • Praful Johari

    Praful is a computer science master's student at UMass Amherst. He did his bachelor's from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati in India, and he has worked at Amazon and Samsung previously

  • Arjun Karuvally

    Arjun is a MS/PhD student at UMass Amherst working with Professor Eliot Moss on creating and improving system architecture using machine learning. Before coming to UMass, Arjun did his undergraduate program in computer science and engineering from National Institute of Technology, Trichy, India where he worked with Dr. E Sivasankar on Recommender systems.

  • Vaishnavi Kommaraju

    Vaishnavi is a graduate student in computer science at UMass Amherst. She pursued her bachelor's and master's from IIT Kharagpur in electronics and electrical communication engineering, specializing in visual information and embedded systems. Before coming to UMass, she worked at Qualcomm India Pvt. Ltd. as a software engineer in multimedia.

  • Pratheek Mallya

    Pratheek is working on the sample re-weighting problem for MAPC. Pratheek is a master's student in computer science at the UMass Amherst. Pratheek holds a B.E. in electrical and electronics engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology - Mesra. Pratheek's research interests are in reinforcement learning, computer vision, and machine learning.

  • Ravi Kiran Reddy Nagandla

    Ravi is a graduate student in computer science at UMass Amherst, currently working on the data analytics project for Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA). Ravi holds a B.Tech and M.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering respectively. Prior to joining UMass, Ravi was a quantitative trader for Futures First.

  • Nicholas Perello

    Nicholas is a master’s student in computer science at UMass Amherst and is on the Springfield Public Schools project. Nicholas has completed summer internships at Salesforce and Intel, and was a senior fellow of Code2040, a community of Black and Latinx technologists. Nicholas holds two Bachelor’s degrees from UMass Amherst in computer science and mathematics.

  • Prashant Ranjan

    Prashant Ranjan is a first-year grad student in computer science. He has deep interest in the field of natural language processing. Before joining UMass, he worked with Fidelity Investments on projects that involved building deep learning models for neural machine translation, abstractive summarization and question answering. When not in front of my computer, he can be found in a comedy theatre pulling off a Kumail Nanjiani or a Dave Chappelle. He is an avid reader.



  • Shikhar Sarma

    Shikhar is a master's student in computer science at the UMass Amherst. Previously, Shikhar worked as a decision scientist for Mu Sigma, the world’s largest pure-play data analytics firm, helping businesses make data-driven decisions. Born and raised in India, Shikhar did his bachelor's in technology in electronics and communication from the National Institute of Technology at Hamirpur, India.

  • Saurabh Sanjay Shirodkar

    Saurabh is a graduate student in computer science at UMass. Before coming to UMass, Saurabh worked as a data scientist at a cool startup called Infinite Uptime. He is also the co-founder of a non-profit startup project called Givetastic.

  • Moussa Siri

    Moussa is doctoral student and research assistant under Dr. Timothy Randhir in environmental conservation at UMass Amherst. His focus is to investigate the effects of climate changes on Niger River Watershed and their correlative impacts on riverside populations, then suggest strategies to minimize these impacts. Moussa earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in law, from Burkina Faso and France, respectively. Moussa also earned his Bachelor of Science in environmental science at the University of New Hampshire. 

  • Roshan Prakash Thaikkat

    Roshan holds a master's degree in operations research and has earned a graduate-level certificate in statistical and computational data science from UMass Amherst. In summer 2018 he worked as a data science Intern at a start-up in San Diego. His primarily interests include general AI, algorithmic trading and data science.

  • Shanu Vashishtha

    Shanu is a master's student in computer science at UMass Amherst. He is primarily interested in computer vision and deep learning. Prior to joining UMass, he was a senior engineer at Honeywell Technology Solutions, Bangalore, in their HBS Airports team. He holds a BTech in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.