Congratulating our 2018 Graduates

09 May, 2018

Congratulating our 2018 Graduates

We are sad to bid farewell to these amazing graduate students who have been so integral to BCNM life. But we are excited to share just a few of their new media accomplishments at Cal, and to wish them well in their rich future scholarly lives.

Designated Emphasis

Ritwik Banerji is graduating with a PhD in Music. While at Berkeley, he created the virtual free improviser Maxine, and studied the interactions of this program with live musicians. In 2017, Ritwik was named the Berkeley Center for New Media Lyman Fellow for his work on “An Astromusicological Study of the Maxineans,” in which he created a range of interactive virtual worlds and characters for musicians to navigate through or play with by manipulating the timbre of their instrument or voice in real time. Over his time with BCNM, he has received numerous conference grants to help support him in presenting his research at conferences across the globe. For the last two years, he has also served as a research mentor through the BCNM’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship program.

Ursula Kwong Brown is graduating with a PhD in Music. She’s studied sound spatialization at the Center for New Music & Audio Technologies and has been active at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, learning about design and interface aesthetics. In 2016, Ursula composed Souvenir: Music, Video & Performance inspired by the poetry of Aimee Suzara. This multimedia performance, explored the history of the 1904 World’s Fair, and included an actor, cellist, and video from fellow DE Kaitlin Forcier.


Michelle Carney is graduating with a Masters in Information Management & Systems. Michelle studies music perception and cognition, and served as a research mentor through our Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, for her project “Auditory Representations of Data.” This project explored how to represent data in intuitive ways and to develop a framework for best practices in data sonification for smart speakers. While at Berkeley, with other MIMS students, she also won CitizenAR’s augmented reality hackathon, creating an application for Tenderloin youth and community organizers to interact and connect with their peers through AR game design. Next year, Michelle will be continuing work she began last summer at Amazon.

Nisha Pathak is graduating with a Masters in Information Management & Systems. Nisha works on product design and development that creates positive social change. At Berkeley, she has taken Critical Practices, a design course focused on social interventions, as well as numerous interface aesthetics classes. Her team was a national finalist in the Toyota and Net Impact’s Next Generation Mobility Challenge, which sought to provide better equity and access to socially vulnerable groups through The Hub, an app that matches commuting parents to carpool to work together. Nisha was also part of the winning team in the Haas Innovation Challenge that designed, alongside the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Alameda County Transportation Commission, improvements for the Clipper Card to optimize public services for low-income families and students.

Olivia Ting is graduating with a Masters in Fine Arts in Art Practice. Olivia comes from a design background and has been exploring parallels between interactive designs and the neurological functions of the brain in her artwork. She was instrumental in our latest Past is Present exhibition, curated by Asma Kazmi, where she not only produced a VR artwork for the show, but also contributed to the guide. In the past, she collaborated with Lenora Lee Dance, who was in Artist in Residence at the San Francisco deYoung Museum, to design video installations that were projection mapped onto various surfaces.