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Former Peer Concentration Advisors

Class of 2022

Ilkin Bayramli

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Class of 2022, lives in Quincy. From Baku, Azerbaijan.

CS Interests: I’m interested in machine learning, data science, web development, product management, and entrepreneurship.

Other Interests: I’m interested in medieval history, economics, statistics, and pure math.

Also: Talk to me about…research @ Harvard, taking pure math courses, cross-registering at MIT, hackathons, getting an internship freshman year.

Catherine Yeo

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Class of 2022, lives in Dunster. From San Jose, CA.

CS Interests: AI / machine learning / natural language processing, the application of CS for education, app development, developer tools, cryptography, cybersecurity, CS + law/ethics

Other Interests: Outside of CS, I’m planning to pursue a Math secondary and like to do creative writing in my free time. I love hackathons and am on the HackHarvard team! I also like reading, calligraphy, swimming, and cheering on the Golden State Warriors.

Also: Happy to also talk about taking an untraditional CS course route (instead of following the usual CS50/51/121/124 path), taking classes at MIT, hackathons, working at Apple, Star Wars + Harry Potter, food, writing/storytelling, and anything else (CS or unrelated)! Can’t wait to meet you :D

Class of 2021

Maya Burhanpurkar

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Class of 2021, lives in Quincy. From Oro-Medonte, Ontario, Canada.

CS Interests: I am a joint Physics and CS concentrator who is (currently!) interested in applications of unsupervised machine learning to condensed matter physics. I am also interested in quantum computing and astrophysics (I was involved in software development for the recent discovery of a swath of new fast radio bursts by the CHIME telescope). Other Interests: I do bhangra, and I’m a venture partner at Contrary Capital, a VC group that funds university-based startups!

Nathan Contreras

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Class of 2021, lives in Quincy. From Dallas, Texas.

CS Interests: Theoretical CS, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Programming Languages, Systems Programming (although the list expands each semester!) Other Interests: I enjoy teaching others about CS, and I am a CS152 TF this spring. I’m fascinated with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, and I’m also interested in the intersection of tech and politics. I serve as a Data Analyst at BlueBonnet Data, a Harvard-based organization with the mission of providing high quality data analysis to political campaigns, so feel free to reach out if you want to combine your interest in computer science with politics! Also: I took an uncommon path through CS during my freshman year (CS61 + CS152 instead of CS50 + CS51) and I am happy to talk to you about my experience, or about courses in general.

Olivia Graham

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Class of 2021, lives in Pforzheimer. From Toronto, Canada.

CS Interests: My first exposure to Computer Science was through CS50 freshman fall. I have since gotten to explore Web and App Development, Project Management, and Software Engineering through work on campus and during the summer. Still a work in progress though if I’m being honest! Looking forwards to exploring more theory and possible areas of application (possibly in the public sector). Other Interests: I sing with the Harvard Callbacks, sometimes do musical theatre, and am developing a passion for Psychology/Neurobiology through classes in the MBB secondary. I also work as a Radcliffe fellow with a Professor of Seismology on campus to develop tools for large-scale data analysis. I have also worked as a supervisor at the Harvard Square Summer and Shelter and spent a summer with Harvard Student Agencies. Also: Again, I had zero CS experience coming into college - feel free to reach out for tips, tricks, internship search questions or life advice. Always more than happy to help!

Tina Lu

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Class of 2021, lives in Leverett. From Whippany, New Jersey.

CS Interests: Systems Programming, AI, Autonomous Robots, Compilers Other Interests: I think teaching is the best way to learn, so I’m a TF for CS 51 this semester and TF’d CS 50 last semester. I’m involved in WiCS and Girls Who Code, and would love to talk more about teaching or WiCS :) I also really like travelling, and am thinking of taking a semester off to work abroad. I’ve also lived in Seattle (while working at Microsoft) last summer and will be living in San Francisco (while working at Uber) this summer, so if you have any questions about internships or living away in the summer, I’d be happy to talk about that. I also love meeting new people, so I welcome any questions! Also: I’ve taken/am taking a decent amount of CS classes (50, 51, 61, 124, 153, 161, 181, 189) so I’m definitely open to talking about courses! I’m also super interested in AI ethics and women in CS issues, and would love to talk more about both topics!

William Yao

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Class of 2021, lives in Kirkland. From Barrington, RI.

CS Interests: I’m interested in CS+Education and I do research with Professor Schneider at HGSE. I work on front and back end projects at The Crimson and serve as one of the comp directors for the Technology board. I love exploring applications of CS in the social sciences. Other Interests: A passion of mine since age 6 has been playing the violin. I perform with the Brattle Street Chamber Players on campus. I love running along the Charles in all weather conditions.

Class of 2020

Aafreen Azmi

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Class of 2020, lives in Currier. From South Brunswick, NJ.

CS Interests: I’ve always been super interested in…computational neuroscience, machine learning, clinical research

Other Interests: I love reading, food, and walking through Cambridge. I’m really passionate about refugee healthcare and volunteer with the Asylum Clinic at MGH. This past summer I conducted an independent research project about the usage of electronic health record (EHR) systems in refugee clinics in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. I’ve worked as a peer educator with the Office of Sexual Prevention and Response and with PBHA’s Summer Science Program. I also work in the Cortical Physiology Laboratory at MGH.

Also: I’d love to talk about finding ways to get involved in clinical research, being premed and studying computer science, working at startups/in biotech, writing a thesis, CS/MBB, starting CS late…pretty much anything!

Alaisha Sharma

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Class of 2020, lives in Kirkland. From Mountain View, CA.

CS Interests: My background is varied (frontend, backend, UI/UX, data viz) and I’m still exploring! One area I’m super interested in data science and visualization, especially as it applies to environment and sustainability initiatives (think Google’s Project Sunroof). I also enjoy thinking about how to improve UI/UX from a design perspective, and would like to gain more experience in app development. Other Interests: My favorite hobby is dance, and on campus I’m involved with Ghungroo, Expressions, and Eleganza. I also enjoy putting together the WECode (Women Engineers Code) conference annually, and hacking with HODP (Harvard Open Data Project) on projects like exploring gender disparity in faculty. During my down time, you’ll find me looking for new places to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Also: I came to Harvard with zero programming experience, so always happy to talk to anyone who might feel hesitant/worried about getting into CS “late in the game” (there is no such thing!)

Alex Wendland

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Class of 2020, lives in Dunster. From Newport Beach, California.

CS Interests: Systems, Networking, Security, basically whatever isn’t math heavy. Currently working on a CS thesis.

Other Interests: Philanthropy Advisory Fellowship (an effective altruism org), Women in Computer Science (go WiCS!)

Also: I took two years off to co-found a medical device startup (we raised $5+ million and ran clinical trials with around 200 patients). I love talking about anything related to entrepreneurship, no matter where in the process you’re at! There’re a lot of resources available to help you out once you know where to look for them, so hit me up ‘cause I’d love to help you figure them out.

Alisha Ukani

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Class of 2020, lives in Pforzheimer. From Weston, MA.

CS Interests: My primary academic CS interest is systems programming. My industry focuses are back-end web development, systems, and software architecture. Other Interests: I’m a member of the City of Cambridge’s Open Data Review Board, and the Senior Tech Director for the Harvard Political Review. I’ve also been involved with HackHarvard as a Director and WiCS as Community Director. I do research in the CS department and at HKS, and TF for CS 61. Also: I can help give perspective on balancing CS classes and non-STEM classes/internships. Also, if you’re at all curious (or even nervous) about systems I’m happy to demystify what courses and research are like in this area!

Catherine Kerner

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Class of 2020, lives in Winthrop. From New York, NY.

CS Interests: I’m a joint concentrator in CS + Philosophy, and my primary CS interests are at the intersection of CS and Economics. Also interested in law for algorithms, ethics of AI, crypto-currencies, data science, and backend web design.

Other Interests: My secondary is in Economics. I have been on the WiCS board for three years and been involved with the SEAS DIB Committee for two. I’m on the Harvard Sailing Team, but also love running and bouldering (always looking for climbing friends!).

Also: Talk to me about being a student athlete, joint concentrations, interdisciplinary work in CS, applying to/deciding between tech internships in big tech vs finance, WiCS! More than happy to chat - feel free to email/FB message me :)

Christine Jou

Picture of Christine Jou

Class of 2020, lives in Currier. From Houston, TX.

CS Interests: I’ve always been super interested in data science, machine learning, cognitively-inspired AI, neuroscience, computer graphics, tech for social good, CS law and ethics

Other Interests: I’m interested in dance, acapella, beatboxing, animation

Also: Talk to me about research, industry, startups in the iLab, WiCS!

Daniel Chen

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Class of 2020, lives in Cabot. From Vancouver, Canada.

CS Interests: CS Education, Algorithms, Systems, Programming Languages, but basically still trying to figure it out! Other Interests: I really love teaching! I’m a head TF for CS 51, and was also on the teaching staff of CS 121 and CS 50. I’m also heavily involved with the Digital Literacy Project, a volunteer group that teaches CS to local middle schoolers in Boston. Also: I started CS in college with zero experience (initially planned to study Econ), and am always happy to give advice to newcomers to CS regarding classes, internships, etc. :)

David Yang

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Class of 2020, lives in Pfoho. From Seoul, Korea.

CS Interests: CS + Biology, ML, and natural language processing

Other interests: I’ve really enjoyed volunteering through college through PBHA and doing research on-campus. I also love biking along the Charles and checking out new restaurants in Boston!

Also: Happy to chat about computational biology, biotech entrepreneurship, venture capital, undergrad research, TFing, pursuing CS + pre-med, and anything else on your mind!

Duncan Rheingans-Yoo

Picture of Duncan Rheingans-Yoo

Class of 2020, lives in Currier. From Columbia, Maryland.

CS Interests: EconCS, CS Theory, Artificial Intelligence

Other Interests: Playing basketball

Also: I’m co-captain of the Harvard Fencing Team, so I’m always happy to chat about managing a CS workload as an athlete! I’ve worked internships in quantitative finance, so hit me up if you’re interested. I can also talk about doing research on campus, either over the summer or term-time.

Emma Rogge

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Class of 2020, lives in Lowell. From Loveland, OH.

CS Interests: I am concentrating in Computer Science (Mind Brain Behavior track). I’ve previously interned at Amazon, Twilio and a few other places. Currently, I’m working on my thesis research on neonatal seizure prediction via machine learning.

Other Interests: Lowell House, drinking tea, making things with my sewing machine & Cricut, and attending the opera.


Grace Zhang

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Class of 2020, lives in Mather. From New York.

CS Interests: Data science, machine learning, systems, CS education - really just love CS!

Other Interests: I really enjoy scootering around campus! I’m also very involved with various CS organizations on campus, including Harvard Computer Society, HackHarvard, WiCS, and WECode, and have done a variety of internships in the past. Definitely feel free to reach out!

Jack Connolly

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Class of 2020, lives in Lowell. From Jupiter, Florida.

CS Interests: Data Science, Machine Learning, Computer Vision

Other Interests: Volleyball, Basketball, and basically anything else sports related. I also enjoy fishing, boating, and being on the water.

Also: I’m a member of the Harvard Volleyball team, so I’d love to talk about how to manage a CS course load while playing a varsity sport. (You can do it!) I’ve worked at NextEra Energy (a large power company) and Perceptive Automata (a small autonomous driving startup) and will be working at APT this summer (a medium software company) so I’d be happy to chat about any sort of internship you might be looking for.

Kevin Dai

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Class of 2020, lives in Quincy. From Valencia, California.

CS Interests: Machine learning research, computational neuroscience, computer vision, natural language processing

Other Interests: I am part of the Varsity Swim and Dive team here and have been a student athlete since elementary school. In my free time, I like playing the piano, drawing/doodling, playing video games (PC, Nintendo Switch), developing video games (amateur). I am currently doing an undergraduate thesis on multiple context dependent neural text generation.

Also: I’d love to talk about the computational side of life sciences, doing research here at Harvard, undergraduate theses, neuroscience secondary, life as a student-athlete, finding internships, doing research abroad, or anything else!

Lana Gorlinski

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Class of 2020, lives in Leverett. From Orange County, California.

CS Interests: Academically, I’m interested in the parallels between computer science models and those other fields, such as economics, cognition, and linguistics. Currently starting research in natural language processing!

Other Interests: Outside of the classroom, I’m interested in politics and the increasing impact of technology on subjects varying from journalism to commerce to the world at large. I also am on the Varstiy Water Polo team here; in my free time, I enjoy running, yoga, and exploring the Boston restaurant scene. I also student teach a decent amount and am TF’ing 121 this fall!

Also: Both my internships have been outside the conventional Silicon Valley software engineering roles–tech at a hedge fund my sophomore year and Data Science at Facebook this past year–so feel free to ask about that. I can also speak to working abroad, balancing varsity athletics and computer science, and student teaching on campus. Less concretely, I can speak to what it feels like to feel like an outsider–I was one of two women on my 25 person team my sophomore summer–and dealing with imposter syndrome.

Madeleine Lapuerta

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Class of 2020, lives in Leverett. From Princeton, NJ.

CS Interests: iOS application design, web development Other Interests: cheerleading team, Bumble, fashion line, travel

Philippe Noël

Picture of Philippe Noël

Class of 2020, lives in Leverett. From Rivière-du-Loup, Québec, Canada.

CS Interests: Within Computer Science, I’m mainly interested about artificial intelligence and intelligent systems, and more specifically with their interactions with the human brain (brain-machine interfaces and the like).

Other Interests: Outside the classroom, I’m involved in the social entrepreneurship community at Harvard as a Cheng Fellow and S&S. I’m also on the badminton club, part of TEDxHarvard and spend my free time playing guitar, poker or swimming!

Rachel Kang (PCA Co-Captain 2019-2020)

Picture of Rachel Kang (PCA Co-Captain 2019-2020)

Class of 2020, lives in Lowell. From Syosset, NY.

CS Interests: I’ve always been super interested in computer science for how applicable it is to everything, and hope one day to help others with everything I learn! I enjoy front-end web development, data visualization, mobile app development, and other user-oriented technologies - but really, I’m still learning / trying to figure it all out :) One of the most spontaneous decisions I ever made was to study abroad at AIT in Budapest, Hungary last spring - and it was also one of the most rewarding experiences ever! I am also very invested in diversity & inclusion and mental health in tech and am always open to talk about how we can make CS more welcoming to all :)

Other Interests: I’m interested in theatre (pursuing a secondary in TDM), love love all kinds of music, really enjoy scenic walks and traveling in general, and love meeting new people!

Also: Talk to me about study abroad, not loving CS from the get-go, WiCS, interning at Capital One or Cisco, CS171, or literally anything else (related or unrelated to CS)!

Raymond Wang

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Class of 2020, lives in Currier House. From Vancouver, Canada.

CS Interests: AI, ML, Marketplaces, IoT, CS x Neuroscience, Synthetic Biology. Currently writing an MBB thesis and have cross-registered regularly at MIT for classes (Course 6, 11, 15, 20), so feel free to chat with me about those as well.

Other Interests: Harvard Model Congress Europe, Harvard China Forum, Marching Band, Technical Theater. Also, I’m a huge transportation buff, so talk to me about aerospace, logistics, and getting a pilot’s license :)

Also: I spent my college summers at Two Sigma Ventures (Seed through Series B investing), Microsoft (PM), and Delta Air Lines (Global Strategy), also spending free time working on side projects with affective computing and marketplace platforms. Happy to chat about industry experiences in Venture Capital, Startups, and Big Tech!

Rebecca Hao

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Class of 2020, lives in Currier. From Winchester, MA.

CS Interests: Currently really interested in natural language processing, human computer interaction, the design process/principles, and accessibility, but definitely still actively exploring!

Other Interests: Academically, curious about anything on the intersections of CS, language, and the brain. Extracurricularly, I enjoy a good song, walk, talk, book, or InDesign session, and spend a good amount of time kicking things with friends (Taekwondo).

Also: Happy to talk about exploring interdisciplinary work (joint concentrations, working on a CS+Linguistics thesis right now!), Google internships (front end for EP, language models for SWE), finding meaning/confidence, not feeling super confident with math/quantitative things, mindfulness, or anything on your mind :)

Suriya Kandaswamy

Picture of Suriya Kandaswamy

Class of 2020, lives in Leverett. From Dickerson, Maryland.

CS Interests: I’ve always been super interested in… systems, robotics, machine learning, application development, cybersecurity

Other Interests: I’m interested in… long-distance running, IM sports, comedy, soccer, and frisbee

Also: Talk to me about… research, TFing, substituting courses for requirements, starting a SEAS-affliated club, and cross-registering at MIT

Class of 2019

Alexander Lin

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Class of 2019, lives in Kirkland. From Millburn, NJ.

CS Interests: At Harvard, I primarily study data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Feel free to reach out to me about anything ML/AI-related, CS coursework that intersects statistics and applied math, doing research as an undergrad, data science/quant finance internships, or anything else that comes to mind! Other Interests: I volunteer with Chinatown Citizenship, a PBHA program. In the past, I’ve really enjoyed working with the Harvard Association of US China Relations (HAUSCR) and the Taiwanese Cultural Society (TCS).

Angeline Rao

Class of 2019, lives in Mather. From Sugar Land, TX.

CS Interests: Anything ML or algorithms, Econ x CS, Product, CS Education, Diversity & Inclusivity in tech Other Interests: I dance and write children’s books, and I’m also in WiCS!

Brian Yu

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Class of 2019, lives in Winthrop. From Danville, CA.

CS Interests: I’m a joint concentrator in linguistics, so I’m interested in computational linguistics and natural language processing. I’m also interested in web application development. Within the department, I’m also very involved as a teaching fellow– I’ve been part of the teaching staff for CS50, CS51, and CS20. Other Interests: I’m a news editor and designer at The Crimson, and I’m involved with a number of education outreach programs.

Hailey James

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Class of 2019, lives in Lowell. From American Fork Utah .

CS Interests: I’m interested in technology and social good, and especially how problems and innovations in these areas can be tackled through data science and machine learning. I was originally a member of the Class of 2017 and intending to major in Chemistry/Integrative Biology/Applied Math, and now I’m Class of 2019 and CS (having no CS experience prior to CS50 sophomore year), so I promise you are not too far behind. I also studied abroad at AIT in Budapest, Hungary my junior spring (talk to me about study abroad as a CS concentrator!). I am currently researching political trends on Twitter with Professor Jim Waldo, participating as a member of Techtopia, and riding my bike every day from Kendall Square where I live off-campus (feel free to use all your extra board-plus to swipe me into the dhall). Other Interests: Cycling, running, hiking, and generally being outside Also: Talk to me about interning at Facebook, studying abroad, starting CS as a sophomore, and more!

Janet Chen

Class of 2019, lives in Cabot. From Westborough, MA.

CS Interests: Systems, Computational Economics, and Machine Learning

Other Interests: My past experiences include doing software at a startup, software and PM at Microsoft, and being a Business Analyst at McKinsey. I also have experience in both VC and early-stage startups. I’m an avid runner and a barista on campus at Cabot Cafe!

Jenny Wang

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Class of 2019, lives in Eliot. From North Carolina.

CS Interests: Machine Learning, AI, Data Science Other Interests: Enterprise & Consumer Startups, Venture Capital, Fashion Tech, Traveling Also: I was involved with Rough Draft Ventures, the KP Fellowship & WECode, and help advise startups. In the past I’ve spent time at Popsugar, Zoom, Sequoia Capital, DoorDash, Google, Kensho and Carbon. I’d love to chat with you about anything from course selection to entrepreneurship!

Katherine Binney

Picture of Katherine Binney

Class of 2019, lives in Leverett. From Weston, MA.

CS Interests: Within Computer Science, I’ve really loved the robotics class I took and some of my theory classes. I’m planning on writing a thesis in robotics and may try to go to grad school in that field. Other Interests: Outside of class, I do a lot of CS-related activities! I’m really involved with Women in Computer Science and TF for CS classes. I also like to run and really enjoy attending House activities.

Michelle Vaccaro

Picture of Michelle Vaccaro

Class of 2019, lives in Quincy. From McLean, VA.

CS Interests: Computer ethics; algorithmic fairness; artificial intelligence and society; social networks; privacy and surveillance Other Interests: Running Club (President), Catholic Student Association (Steering Committee), Women in Computer Science (Communications Director) Also: Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about computer science at Harvard or just want to chat!

Sam Goldman

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Class of 2019, lives in Lowell. From Port Washington, NY.

CS Interests: I’m interested in applications of computer science to systems and computational biology. Other Interests: I’m on the Varsity Wrestling Team, work as a researcher in a systems biology lab, and try to convince my friends to join Datamatch.

Sundar Solai

Picture of Sundar Solai

Class of 2019, lives in Currier. From West Windsor, NJ.

CS Interests: I enjoy algorithms, probability, and applying computer science to non-technical organizations to make them more efficient. Other Interests: I enjoy teaching both as a TF and through the Digital Literacy Project, a volunteer CS teaching group that goes to Boston middle schools on a weekly basis. Moreover, I run the Harvard Association for U.S.-China Relations, which organizes major educational conferences for Chinese high school students.

Suproteem Sarkar

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Class of 2019, lives in Winthrop. From Philadelphia, PA.

CS Interests: Algorithmic Game Theory/EconCS, Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence, Robotics Other Interests: Social impact technology, piano, a cappella, beatbox