These students have piloted the BCNM undergraduate certificate problem and made extensive contributions to New Media at Cal in the process. We’re so pleased to be able to share their achievements and wish them the best in their future projects!
MacKenzie Alessi (Interdisciplinary Studies) will be working in data visualization in the tech field this Fall. At UCB, MacKenzie enrolled in such influential courses as the History of Information with Geoffrey Nunberg and Concepts of Information with Paul Duguid, discovering her passion for data in the process. MacKenzie built on this foundation by interning with BCNM Director Greg Niemeyer over the summer through a Digital Humanities grant. Blending art and computer science, she learned how to code data representations — a skill that would prove invaluable when she partnered with John Scott to question the effectiveness of data visualizations in education through a BCNM Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
Alexandra Ellman (Media Studies) is searching for a job in user experience in the field of interaction design and research. At UC Berkeley, Alexandra was involved in the CITRIS App challenge and developed an application that she presented to potential investors. She also enrolled in Archive, Install, Restore, with Stephanie Lie, where she helped to design and fabricate materials to display electronic literature for the exhibition No Legacy || La Literatura Electronica.
Andrew Frankel (Rhetoric) is searching for creative challenges in sound and graphics. Andrew served as the teaching assistant for Director Greg Niemeyer’s Making Sound course, in which students designed instruments to be played in a performance for hearing and non-hearing audiences in collaboration with world-renowned activist and musician Tarek Atoui. Not only did Andrew guest lecture in this course, he also devised compositions to be played at the final concert. This was not Andrew’s first experience teaching, as he has shown immense leadership through the offering of the Decals “Right Brained Music,” in which he taught intuitive musical theory and group improvisation technique, and “That’s Not Funny,” which offered students a forum for discussing the rhetoric and politics of modern comedic censorship. Andrew has bolstered his artistic new media practice with a deep theoretical framework from his rhetoric coursework in new media under David Bates.
Jennifer Hartman (Art Practice) will be continuing her art with a focus in anti-sexual violence, and has plans to create her own survivor based art space in which individuals creating art around this subject can come together. She has taken coursework in Data Arts with Greg Niemeyer and received an Undergraduate Research Fellowship to work with Lark Buckingham on the Everything After exhibition and program. Jennifer was integral in advancing Lark’s work on survivor’s rights on campus, and helped organize the incredibly successful Survivor’s Symposium, which featured radical art, power analysis, the sharing of survival strategies, and the building of political intentions to intervene in the campus’s handling of sexual violence, this past April.
As an artist and designer, Wendy Ho (Environmental Design) has taken a host of courses on how people interact with their designed environment. She also spent four weeks in Tallinn, Estonia in an Entrepreneurship and Innovation boot camp. The hands-on, project-based competition required students to create mobile apps and start ups, with course content covering design thinking, user interface design, development tools, usability testing, data visualization, and app development. Her team created PopFizz, which leveraged crowd sourced real time data to determine which places in a city were exciting or boring. Wendy has also organized art exhibitions on campus
Lina Jemili (Interdisciplinary Studies and Political Science) has taken new media courses on Science, Technology, and Society, as well as on biological design. While at Berkeley, she has studied the impact of social media on the political status quo, particularly in relation to the Arab Spring. Her thesis focuses on the effect of the surveillance of transnational organizations such as the UN and World Bank on the development of nations in political transition.
Ashley Jerbic (Art and History of Art) has been integral in digital humanities at UC Berkeley. Ashley attended the Digital Humanities Summer Institute to learn database development in Drupal in order to manage the Jan Brueghel drupal website as the technology manager. She received a Digital Humanities summer internship to work with Lisa Trever on the Pañamarca project, where she used photogrammetric and 3D modeling techniques to bring context to the works and create models of the excavated murals and pillars. From this experience, Ashley organized and led a workshop on the tools she’d used at the Art History Visual Resources Center. Her thesis challenged existing theoretical paradigms and pioneered new approaches to represent and retrieve data by using programs such as Sketchup and 3ds Max to recreate an accurate 3D representation of Mission San Gabriel in order to reconstruct the movement of light across a particular space to determine whether or not certain paintings would become illuminated at a specific time. Ashley has recently also worked with Rita Lucarelli in Near Eastern Studies to build a 3D model of three Sarcophagi and their respective text. This past semester, she represented UC Berkeley at the Stanford Learning Summit.
Mark Lam (Art and Media Studies) graduated in December 2015 and is now focusing on creative coding. He was awarded a BCNM 2015 Undergraduate Research Fellowship and was selected to work with Ashley Ferro-Murray on her choreographic work Through Practice, which premiered in April. Mark, who is versed in computer animation and object making, was tasked with creating an interactive stage using sensing technologies to synchronize video with dancers’ movement data. As the performance rapidly approached, Mark choreographed a video using procedural animation.
While at UC Berkeley, Bethany Landrum (Political Economy) assisted in research projects on intelligent urban transportation systems and design for Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH). Bethany has also served as a Business and Management representative in collaboration with the directors of CalTV. In her coursework, Bethany has studied issues of structural trust in virtual financial transactions from the lens of mass media and has written on how the discourse surrounding cryptocurrencies has formed the public consciousness on these issues.
Valery Law (Philosophy) is currently searching for jobs in media, communication, and marketing in the Bay area, to serve as an extension of her previous experience in digital and advertising agencies. At the BCNM, she has studied aesthetics and music as well as concepts of information, and has worked at the university art museum. Valerie is passionate about the interactive and transformative, and applies her philosophical background to her design and communication research in new media.
Leanna Leung (Interdisciplinary Studies) has taken the graduate level course Questioning New Media, held in conjunction with the Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium, as well as enrolling in a BCNM hands-on studio course, Critical Practices, taught by Jill Miller and Eric Paulos. Concentrating in human cognition, innovation, and design thinking, Leanna has researched development engineering and humanitarian design, focusing on the intersection of business, technology, and design in the development of solutions that meet human needs and address social issues. She is particularly interested in addressing design imperialism through human-centered design.
Jay Mahabal (Mathematics) will (hopefully) soon be employed working with data and data visualization. Jay has taken courses across computer science and geography, as well as completing graduate-level work in data mining & analytics and quantitative methods in environmental planning. Jay had the privilege of interning at the MIT Media Lab where he worked in the Social Computing group, with those using technology for the public good. At UC Berkeley, he’s also been involved in the Daily Californian, where he is engaged in data-driven journalism, particularly in creating tools to explore the questions he’s confronting.
Akhila Raju (Computer Science) is receiving the Eugene L. Lawler EECS Student Award, which honors a student who has surmounted unusual difficulties in pursuing a degree and has demonstrated academic effort. She has taken full advantage of the new media making suite of options, studying with Eric Paulos in the much-loved Critical Making, and working with Greg Niemeyer on interactive seating design in one of the first classes trialed by the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation. Akhila has also served as a research assistant for Dan Garcia, and worked closely with graduate students under Eric Paulos (she even receives an acknowledgement in a paper accepted at ACM 2015!). She has interned with the Projects Team for the Office of the CTO at SAP Labs and the Hardware Engineering Program Management group at Apple. Perhaps most importantly, Akhila helped found Tequity, which promotes inclusion within the tech community at Cal. In the Fall, Akhila will working on research visualizing the internet from the inside out with Greg Niemeyer. In January 2017, she’ll begin searching for opportunities in software engineering.
Michael Roe (Cognitive Science) has looked at the history of information and data structures while at UCB and has been very involved in the BCNM’s studio courses, taking both Critical Practices with Jill Miller and Eric Paulos, and Archive, Install, Restore with Stephanie Lie. Critical Making covers new media theory, prototyping, evaluation and collaboration methods. You can check out Michael’s projects online. In Archive, Install, Restore, Michael worked on fabricating the exhibition design for No Legacy || La Literatura Electronica. His work was so critical to the exhibition that Michael completed an independent study the following semester to continue this project in preparation for the exhibition opening. He’s writing a final paper discussing the process of the exhibition design, focusing on the piece he was responsible for displaying: “The Book After the Book” by Giselle Beiguelman.
Jinoh “Kahn” Ryu
In the coming years, Jinoh “Kahn” Ryu (Gender and Women’s Studies) will take a break from academia, before applying to graduate school. They plan to take care of their mental health and pursue the art of self-love through reading and writing. You will most likely find them at a corner of the East Asian Library rigorously devouring what they have meant to read all these years. Kahn completed graduate level coursework in Gail De Kosnik’s Theorizing Popular Culture class and has since been enrolled in the Architecture of Life, a big ideas course that brought wide-ranging speakers to the BAM/PFA in conjunction with their opening exhibition. Kahn has excelled in their coursework, graduating with a GPA of 3.9
Lydia Tuan (Comparative Literature and Rhetoric) will be furthering her interests in new media by pursuing an MPhil in Film and Screen Studies at the University of Cambridge beginning next fall. While with BCNM, Lydia has taken a rigorous set of courses on new media theory, both at the undergraduate level in Rhetoric, and at the graduate level through BCNM’s intensive History and Theory of New Media. She has incorporated much of what she learned in these courses into her Honors Thesis on new media authorship, algorithmic poetry, and virtual spaces. Lydia also participated in the Queerness and Games Design Workshop, an artistic and interactive program in which undergraduate students engage with LGBT issues in the production of digital interactive games, through which she learned how to build a videogame that she later presented at the Queerness and Games Conference, to over 300 attendees.
Mallory Welty (Philosophy) will soon (hopefully!) be moving to San Francisco to pursue a career involving communications, innovation and technology, and is currently working at the Boalt Hall Law Library. She has taken a number of new media related courses while at UCB, focusing on technology, privacy, law, politics, and race. Mallory has also taken courses on the role of information technology in the digitization age and the economic development of society. She is currently developing papers from her Political Philosophy and Privacy & Technology courses into a longer form essay on technology and politics – specifically focusing on ISIS’s use of social media platforms. You can typically find her running to Indian Rock or singing at Berkeley’s local jazz club.
Yipu Zheng (Mechanical Engineering) is working on FYSH, an IoT electronics startup co-founded by her and another Berkeley alumnus, Curtis Chin. In addition to taking technical courses in her field, she has shown great breadth in her visual design and performance courses, and at the BCNM put these to exceptional use in Archive, Install Restore. In this studio course she was involved in the design and fabrication of the furniture housing the electronic literature in the No Legacy exhibition. Yipu continued working on this project the following semester as an independent study and is developing a process paper with Greg Niemeyer. Yipu is also the founder and co-organizer of the Global Cre8 Summit, held in Shenzhen, China, which served over 10,000 attendees through 30 presenting technology teams and 15 keynotes by thought leaders in cutting edge scientific fields, such as cognitive science and artificial intelligence.