Welcome to our 2017 Undergraduate Cohort

28 Nov, 2017

Welcome to our 2017 Undergraduate Cohort

We're excited to welcome our latest undergraduate cohort! From sports and cultural data analytics to art and technology performances, from design to the philosophies around technology, these students are excited to dive into New Media on campus.

Maggie Chen

Maggie is a Junior studying Economics at UC Berkeley. She's looking to explore the intersection between design and social sciences through studying behavioral economics and human-centered design. She likes to paint during her free time and always enjoy a good visit to the museum.

Mahira Dayal

Mahira is a sophomore majoring in Economics and Media Studies with a minor in Journalism. She is interested in exploring how innovation and new platforms change the way audiences consume new media and is part of Social Slice, UC Berkeley's social media advisory team, and the Daily Californian, Berkeley's independent student-run newspaper.

Meighann Helene

Meighann A. Helene is a freelance Media Arts and Digital Marketing Professional. She is a recipient of several awards including international recognition as a film producer and receiving a plaque of recognition for her video production work in the nonprofit sector. Helene has spoken at several conferences including the recent Alliance for Community Media Regional Conference. A published lyricist, she has enjoyed successes in many of the Arts including her artwork showcased at galleries, theater performances, and leading dance and performance troupes to such events as Burning Man. Helene serves on several Boards and Committees, including serving as an Advisory Board Member for Fishbon Santa Barbara and on the Board of Directors for TV Santa Barbara. She holds AAs in Media Arts, Philosophy, Arts & Humanities, and Behavioral Sciences, and is currently pursuing a BS at CAL in Cognitive Science with an emphasis in perception, while completing the New Media and Berkeley Design Innovation Certificate Programs.

Jiani Hou

Jiani Hou is a 4th year undergraduate student majoring in Economics, and pursuing certificates in New Media, Entrepreneurship & Technology, and Design Innovation. She is an aspiring designer, focusing on graphic design and UI/UX design. Jiani has been a visual artist her whole life and seeks to combine her artistic skills with the design process. She hopes that through her studies in new media, she will be able to generate insights and see new media and other subjects in new perspectives. She has already explored the connection between data and new media in the NWMEDIA course Understanding Cultural Data. She currently works part time at the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology as the Design Lead.

Mika Sebastian

Mika is a current junior and Anthropology major. Originally from Hawaii, she decided to come to Berkeley for the many opportunities available. She is delighted to join the Center for New Media in order to expand her knowledge and interests in the field.

Varda Shrivastava

Growing up in an itinerant family inspired Varda's love for travel, food, art, new cultures and stories. She is fascinated by the intersection of new media, design and technology. While she enjoys problem solving using computing and developing software, she considers it essential to critically analyze the impact of new technologies on society. Varda hopes to explore how new media platforms and innovations can shape social interactions and redefine reality.

Derek Topper

Derek Topper is a UC-Berkeley junior studying computational modeling as it applies to the disciplines of data science and quantitative social science. Through various projects at Berkeley, he has explored this relationship between technology and humanities. He has written various papers about topics such as a network analysis of sports fandom, natural language processing of death row inmates' last statements and a data-centric analysis of the effects of rising tuition levels on American students. He is the Founder and President of the Sports Analytics Group at Berkeley and is a former Business Analytics and Data Science Intern for the New York Mets Baseball team. He is currently developing multiple Data Science courses as a part of the Berkeley Division of Data Science’s Modules team.

Yayu Zheng

Yayu Zheng (Cora) is a fourth year student in the Double Degree Program between UC Berkeley and Sciences Po where she obtained a bachelor degree in Social Sciences and Politics with a specialization in Europe-Asia relations. At UC Berkeley, she majors in Film & Media Studies and is currently doing an independent Honors thesis concerning documentary and its metaphorical forms in the digital era. She is also a part-time film critic writing articles for several Chinese film magazines and online platforms.

Arianna Ninh

Arianna is a junior cognitive science major interested in exploring human computer interaction and human­-centered design. Using digital fabrication tools, she aims to create interactive systems and physical devices that lie at the intersection of art and technology. In the process, she seeks to stimulate conversation and shape how art is created and consumed in our emerging technological society. Arianna has already been heavily involved in new media at Cal, as a research assistant in our very own Eric Paulos' Hybrid Ecologies Lab and as a Student Supervisor at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation.