The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Past Student Fellows

2021 Data Science for Common Good Fellows


  • Tanmay Agrawal

    I am a master's student studying computer science. I have previously worked for AI startups in Silicon Valley and India as a machine learning engineer. I also spent a semester at the University of California, Berkeley as a visiting undergrad learning about data science, and subsequently worked as an applied research intern at the Data-X Lab at UC Berkeley. I'm interested in high social impact research problems that can be potentially solved using geometric deep learning, computer vision, and causal inference.

  • Chhandak Bagchi

    Chhandak Bagchi is pursuing his master's degree in computer science. His research interests lie in the fields of computer vision and natural language processing. He strongly believes that sizeable societal impact can be achieved using data science, and is passionate about using his skillset to solve such problems at scale. Prior to joining UMass, he worked at Cisco Systems.

  • Anushka Basu

    After getting my undergraduate degree with a major in information technology in 2017, I worked in the IT industry as a software developer for three years. My undergraduate coursework helped me build a strong foundation of the basics of computer science, and my tryst in the IT industry introduced me to experiential learning. My current interests have evolved from these experiences and revolve around the ‘machine first’ approach to problem solving, at the intersection of machine learning, data science and system design. I am also passionate about mental health issues and bridging the STEM diversity gap.

  • Ian Birle

    I am a master's student who grew up in Westwood, MA and I now live in Amherst. I am passionate about using data science to solve real world problems in an ethical way. I am excited to learn more about how people interact with data science systems and how we can make them better with this knowledge. In my free time I enjoy backpacking throughout New England.

  • Gizem Cicekli

    Gizem is a graduate student pursuing an MS in computer science with a concentration in data science. She completed her BS at UMass Amherst in computer science with a double major in mathematics. Even though she has previously taken up software engineering roles, in her latest research about semantic video montage, her interests have majorly shifted towards machine learning and its applications, especially ones that help the common good.

  • Collin Giguere

    I am a master's student studying computer science with a focus in data science. I graduated from UMass in undergrad as well, with degrees in computer science and mathematics & statistics. I love manipulating and investigating data to find relationships and draw conclusions. Solving puzzles is another one of my favorite past times, whether they be logic or tactile or toys such as Rubik's Cubes.

  • Paige Gulley

    Paige Gulley is a first-year master's student. They have a bachelor's degree in linguistics and philosophy from Boston University, and they are currently interested in the social impact and application of natural language processing systems. Their prior work includes user interface design in the public and nonprofit sectors and engineering for machine learning systems at GDMS. If they’re not at work, they’re probably making music, reading, dancing, or dreaming about one of the above.

  • Sowmya Vasuki Jallepalli

    I am a graduate student with CICS. Prior to this, I completed my undergraduate from Indian Institute of Information Technology, Sri City, majoring in computer science. I have worked as an undergraduate researcher, developing systems for autonomous driving using machine learning, deep learning and computer vision.

  • Bob Muhwezi

    I am a third year doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering. I come from Rwanda and joined UMass after working with the planning department of the Rwanda electricity utility. My research is at the intersection between energy access and international development. Specifically, I use remote sensing, machine learning and other types of big data analytics to understand energy and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Virginia Partridge

    Virginia is currently a master’s student in computer science, and has a bachelor’s in linguistics and computer science from Brandeis University. During a seven-year stint as a natural language processing engineer, she worked on dialogue systems and medical record processing. Her research interests are information retrieval and natural language processing, particularly on low resource domains and languages other than English. She is passionate about language access and language learning, and speaks English, German and Russian. Outside of academic pursuits, Virginia enjoys running, reading, and long walks with her dog.

  • Disha Singh

    As a responsible computer scientist, privileged enough to be involved in one of the most powerful fields, I have always desired to work for something meaningful, solving problems that are the need of the hour. DS4CG excites me for these very reasons and more so; I get to learn so much more in a compact team, essentially leading the entire work from start to finish.

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.