IDEAS Trainees

The current trainees, as listed in alphabetical order by last name:
Srutarshi Banerjee - 2018 Trainee, 2019 Fellow

Srutarshi is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University.

He is a member of the Image and Video Processing Laboratory (IVPL) under supervision of Professor Aggelos K. Katsaggelos. His research interests include image and signal processing, computer vision, and machine learning.

Srutarshi is originally from India and received his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering degree from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India with focus in Control Systems. He further received Masters of Technology degree in Instrumentation from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. He also worked for a couple of years as a Research Scientist in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India on Electron Particle Accelerators.

Suman Bhandari - 2019 Trainee

Suman is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

He is working in the Advanced Manufacturing Processing Laboratory (AMPL) under the guidance of Professor Jian Cao and Professor Kornel Ehmann.

Suman is working on the laser-induced plasma micromanufacturing process.

Lindsay DeMarchi - 2019 Fellow

Lindsay is a Ph.D student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
She has an Bachelor’s of Science degree in Astronomy and Physics and a Master’s in Physics.

Lindsay’s research is working with Raffaella Margutti and Vicky Kalogera on multimessenger astronomy, specifically to tell a comprehensive story of core collapse and explosion mechanisms in massive stars.

Igor Eufrasio de Oliveira - 2019 Trainee

Igor is a Ph.D student in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Igor earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Geophysics from Universidade de Sao Paulo, in Brazil.

His research is related to data-driven geophysics and computer modelling in Earth Science. He is currently working on a 3D model for the Midcontinent Rift based on gravity and seismic data from Superior Rifting EarthScope Experiment with Professor Suzan van der Lee.

He is also working on modelling a possible cause of earthquakes based on subsidence of the ground level due to gas exploration in the Netherlands with Professor Giuseppe Buscarnera from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

Mohammadreza Jalilvand - 2019 Trainee


He received his Bachelor’s of Science in Nuclear Engineering in 2011, as well as a Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering.

He currently works with Professor Mel Ulmer on Stable Membrane Candidate for Deployable Membrane Space Telescopes. He also works as a trainee with Professor Michael Schmitt on CMS, calculating Z Boson’s Mass with high precision.

Michael Katz - 2017 Fellow

Michael is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University.

He works on massive black hole binary population studies using computational simulations. His research is geared toward detection and characterization of these galactic center black holes using the Laser Interferometer Space Antennae (LISA), a future space-based gravitational wave observatory.

Learn more about Michael’s research.

Chase Kimball - 2018 Trainee, 2019 Fellow

Chase is a Ph.D. student in the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Exploration in Astrophysics (CIERA) at Northwestern University.

He works on gravitational wave astrophysics and the modeling of compact binaries.

Dawning Yangdongling Liu - 2019 Trainee

Dawning is a Ph.D student in the Department of Chemistry
. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from the University of Hong Kong


Dawning’s research focuses on using a non-linear optical technique called Sum Frequency Generation (SFG) Spectroscopy to study the surface of atmospheric aerosols that are generated in labs and collected from fields, such as different regions in the Amazonian rainforest.These studies can improve our understanding of the formation and evolution of aerosols in the atmosphere, which play an important and yet poorly understood role in climate change and atmospheric chemistry.

Anastasia Montgomery - 2019 Fellow

Stacy is a Ph.D student is Earth and Planetary Sciences.
She received a Bachelors of Science from University of Wisconsin-Madison in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Her main research project is a multi-platform analysis of Chicago air quality. She uses models, satellites, and ground-based sensors to characterize Chicago air quality at a neighborhood scale.

She can use this analysis to observe meteorological drivers of pollutant hotspots and test the efficacy of green infrastructure at cleaning air pollution.

Gabriel Nathan - 2019 Trainee

Gabriel is a Ph.D student in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences.

He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Philosophy & Allied Fields, specializing in Physics, from The University of Chicago in 2016.

Gabriel uses computer simulations to understand the history and cosmochemistry of the Solar System. In particular, I am currently modeling the physical and chemical evolution of the Moon.

Arjun Punjabi - 2016 Fellow

Arjun is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Northwestern University.

He is currently a member of the Image and Video Processing Laboratory (IVPL) under the supervision of Prof. Aggelos Katsaggelos, which he joined during his first term at Northwestern.  His research interests include computer vision, biomedical signal processing, and machine learning.

Arjun received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with a focus in Multimedia Signal Processing from Brown University in May of 2015.

Learn more about Arjun’s research.

Monica Rizzo - 2019 Fellow

Monica Rizzo is a Ph.D student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physics from the Rochester Institute of Technology

Monica is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration; She studies the properties compact binaries using inferences made via gravitational wave detections. Monica is also involved in developing and improving gravitational wave data analysis pipelines.

Candice Stauffer - 2019 Fellow

Candice is a Ph.D student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

She studies supernovae and other transients. Currently, her project is on the deep X-ray and radio limite of Type Iax supernova, SN 2014dt.

Vivian Tang - 2016 and 2018 Fellow

Vivian is a Ph.D. student in Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, at Northwestern University.

Her work involves investigating deep Earth’s structure beneath East Asia by seismological and geophysical methods. She is originally from Taiwan and received her Master’s degree in Geosciences from National Taiwan University.

Raymond Yiqun Wang - 2019 Trainee

Raymond is a Ph.D student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Raymond’s research is mainly focused on data-driven materials design and discovery using machine learning, and developing parallel computing algorithms for quantum molecular systems. Raymond is a part-time technical consultant at Northwestern University Information Technology, specialized in high-performance computing and data analytics.

Jean Weill - 2019 Trainee

Jean Weill is a Ph.D student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, studying Theoretical Particle Physics.

Jean is currently working under Professor Andre de Gouvea on theoretical neutrino physics.

He is focusing on neutrino oscillations, the mechanism behind non-zero neutrino masses, and the neutrino masshierarchy problem. Jean is learning the theory to be able to tackle these problems.

Jackson Barnes - 2019 Trainee

Jackson is a Ph.D student in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Jackson’s research currently focuses on utilizing an N-body integrator to simulate the formation of single and binary planetesimals in the outer solar system (specifically, the Kuiper Belt) via gravitational collapse.

He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Astrophysics from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2017.

Eve Chase - 2017 Trainee, 2018 and 2019 Fellow

Eve is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University.

She works on data analysis techniques related to the direct detection of gravitational waves and astrophysical implications of gravitational-wave events. Eve is an active member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and has contributed to data analysis for several of LIGO’s past detections. She is also interested in electromagnetic follow-up of gravitational-wave events with transient surveys such as LSST.

Eve graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in physics from the College of William and Mary and began working in Professor Vicky Kalogera’s group at Northwestern University in 2016.

Danielle Duggins - 2018 Trainee

Danielle Duggins is a PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University.

She works on investigating the nucleation and growth of calcium carbonate biominerals in synthetic environments and in sea urchins as a model organism.

She received her BS in Physics in 2012 and worked at Thermo Fisher Scientific (Tewksbury, MA) and at Glassimetal Technology (Pasadena, CA) before starting her Ph.D.

Alex Gurvich - 2017 Trainee, 2019 Fellow

Alex is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University.

He works in the field of galaxy formation, running high resolution hydrodynamic simulations of Milky Way-like galaxies in order to study stellar feedback regulated star formation in galactic disks. He is particularly interested in how bursts of star formation can drive powerful outflows of gas, depleting star forming reservoirs, also known as galactic winds.

He is originally from Austin, Texas and received his Bachelor’s degree in Physics, with a concentration in Astrophysics, from Carnegie Mellon University.

Learn more about Alex’s research.

Cole Kampa - 2019 Fellow

Cole is a Ph.D student in the Physics and Astronomy Department, studying Physics.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota.

Cole joined Michael Schmitt’s group at Northwestern in 2018. He is working on the Mu2e, or muon-to-electron conversion, experiment at the Fermilab.
Cole is working on modeling the magnetic field in the detector and calibrating the Hall probes that will be used to measure this field. He also plans to study the forbidden muon-to-positron conversion process.

Jimmy Hyun Jin Kim - 2017 Trainee

Jimmy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University.

He is supervised by Professor David Schwab and has a broad range of research interests encompassing biophysics, neuroscience, information theory, and machine learning.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto where he completed the Mathematics and Physics specialist program with a minor in Philosophy.

Learn more about Jimmy’s research.

Guoping Li - 2018 Trainee

Guoping is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University.

He works on establishing a computational methodology based on polymerization reactions happening inside of droplets, and he is interested in studying and predicting the properties of polymer materials on microfluidic devices with deep learning.

Alice Lucas - 2016 and 2018 Fellow

Alice is a Ph.D. graduate student in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at Northwestern University, working in the Image and Video Processing Laboratory.

She recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she obtained a B.S. in Applied Math, Engineering and Physics  along with a Computer Science minor.

Her research interests lie in the field of machine learning and deep learning.  More specifically, her work examines the use of deep neural network architectures and probabilistic graphical models as an approach to solving new challenges in image processing and analysis.

Learn more about Alice’s research.

Kyle Miller - 2019 Fellow

Kyle is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Physics and Math, and a minor in Computer Science from University of Puget Sound, in 2018.

Kyle leverages data mining techniques and first-principles calculations to discover and study materials that exhibit metal-insulator transitions, a phenomenon by which materials undergo drastic changes in resistivity. These materials are proposed platforms for next-generation low-power electronics.

Jordan Nelson - 2017 Trainee, 2018 Fellow

Jordan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University.

He studies the interaction of molecules with light and magnetic fields. His research relates to applications for organic solar cells, electron spin-based electronics, and quantum cryptography and computing.

Learn more about Jordan’s research.

Ally Reith - 2019 Fellow

Ally is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Learning Sciences, in the School of Education and Social Policy.

Ally graduated from Bennington College in 2013.

She began working with Dr. Nichole Pinkard’s lab in 2017.  Her work centers on the landscape of learners’ access to opportunities and resources at a citywide scales

Currently, her research focuses on student- and teacher-level impacts of a district-wide 1:1 computing initiative, with particular attention to how students experience learning with technology across school, after school, home, and online spaces. Her research leverages qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the tensions and possibilities that emerge with 1:1 initiatives and technology for learning more broadly.


Previously, she has built telescopes and electric guitars, directed science camps for kids, and developed museum programs as Lead Educator for Tinkering Lab at Chicago Children’s Museum.

Boris Rösler - 2017 and 2018 Fellow

Boris is a Ph.D. student in Seismology in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at Northwestern University.

He works on surface waves and investigates the variations of their amplitudes caused by source processes or Earth structure due to near-source or near-receiver scattering, focusing and defocusing due to seismic velocity anomalies along the path of the seismic waves or anisotropy.

Originally from Munich, Germany, he received his Bachelor in Physics from the University of Colima, Mexico, where he was awarded a graduation with honors for his thesis about stealth scalar fields in General Relativity.

Lin Sun - 2018 Trainee

Lin is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, at Northwestern University.

She works on designing optical functional meta-materials with DNA-programmable assembly techniques, which serve as building blocks for constructing optical nanodevices and all-optical integrated circuits.

JaCoya Thompson - 2018 Fellow

JaCoya is a PhD student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University.

She graduated from Fayetteville State University (FSU) with a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics and a Masters of Science degree in Mathematics. 

She’s currently building and using current technologies that facilitate, 6-12 grade students, to create, learn and engage with data science through various disciplines. Her area of interest includes using technologies to improve and enhance methods of instruction and investigating instructional strategies that promote equal access to individuals from cultural diverse populations.

Ziwei Wang - 2019 Trainee

Ziwei is a Ph.D student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

He has a Bachelor’s of Science and a Master’s of Science in Mechanics from Beijing Institute of Technology. He is a Ph.D. candidate in O.Balogun’s group.
Research: Generally, my research is studying elastic wave propagation in solids. Now, I am working on a project to design phononic structures at the microscale to tailor the elastic wave propagation and to realize high-efficient waveguide, filters, and sensors.

Michael Zevin - 2016 and 2018 Fellow

Mike is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University.

He is part of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and has multiple research interests in gravitational wave astrophysics ranging from LIGO detector data analysis to source formation channels of gravitational wave events.

He is originally from the southwest suburbs of Chicago and received undergraduate degrees in Astronomy, Physics, and Music Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Learn more about Mike’s research.