Announcing our Fall 2019 Graduate Cohort

17 Nov, 2019

Announcing our Fall 2019 Graduate Cohort

We are thrilled to welcome this Fall's graduate cohort – a stellar group of interdisciplinary scholars from Anthropology, Architecture, Art Practice, Computer Science, English, Information, and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies!

Designated Emphasis

Chris Chan

Chris Chan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Anthropology and studies the modern city. Chris seeks to examine the exigent social tensions and newfound resistances within China’s urbanizing microcosm of the “Global Village”, particularly through the lens of new media artists that increasing respond and intervene with changing times. With a multidisciplinary background with degrees in East Asian Studies and Engineering from Rice University and Stanford University, Chris has published a book chapter on smart cities infrastructure and gathered oral histories for the Houston Asian American Archive. Chris is also a new media artist and his latest work, “This Is a Train Service,” was recently exhibited in the Worth Ryder gallery.

Gabrielle Elias

Gabrielle Elias is a Ph.D. candidate in English and uses digital humanities to enrich her research. Her dissertation project deals with categorization in multiple forms: how people organize information, and the experience of being excluded from a dominant group. In the past, Gabrielle has written about racism in science fiction and fantasy for History and Theory of New Media, positing that from the experience of black, female fans critical distance is often involuntary and characterized by intense ugly feelings rather than voluntary and characterized by ironic detachment. Gabrielle is a UC Berkeley grad and has led the Working Group consortium on the Novel.

Kevin Lo

Kevin CK Lo is a composer, choreographer, writer and artist living in Oakland (formerly from the antipodes). In his compositions for live performance and installation, he utilizes instruments, digital sound processing and generative programming environments to examine spatial and auditory sensitivities, topological structure and audience kinesthetic response while seeking to corrupt conventional compositional/performative/installative rationale. Kevin is a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition.

Vincente Perez

Vincente Perez is pursuing a Ph.D. in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. He is broadly interested in the fields of Black studies, performance studies, and new media studies because they offer the appropriate theories and methodologies for tackling his research project. Vincente is exploring how Black performance practices are coding new grammar for grappling with afropessimism’s call to end the human and the need for a vision for life in this aftermath. New media’s interest in nonhuman actants, feedback loops between old and emerging media forms, and the interplay between race and technology provide an important foundation for his research. Since Black performance poets sit at the intersection of so many nuanced debates (page vs stage, politics of embodiment, residence time, Afropessimism and Afrofuturism, etc), Vincente is moving away from terms such as “the body”, “race”, or “agency” towards authors and theories that can attend to Blackness as abstraction, as a multimedia formulation, as errantry and opacity. More specifically, Vincente will be researching the ways that Black performance poets navigate the art world, press publications, and performance venues and how this navigation process mirrors the mechanisms of racialization. His study is guided by question what does the process of Black poets writing poetry with the explicit intent for it to be performed in front of an audience teach us about racialization, racial scripts, and the formation and/or performance of the “Racial self”?

Elizabeth Resor

Elizabeth Resor is a Ph.D. candidate in Information. Her dissertation looks at the use of social media and social media data by international development actors, particularly based in Nairobi, Kenya. Elizabeth plans to identify the ways in which the “newness” of social media obscures its potential for replicating past problems within development work, and to use critical race and post-colonial theory to illuminate these issues. Previously, Elizabeth received a Masters in City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Yale University.

Katherine Song

Katherine Song is pursuing a Ph.D. student in computer science, working in the Hybrid Ecologies Lab with Eric Paulos. She is interested in crafting new design tools and vocabularies surrounding how objects are made and un-made. She holds a master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Princeton. Prior to coming to Berkeley, Katherine worked as a hardware engineer on the display team at Apple.

Elnaz Tafrihi

Elnaz Tafrihi is pursuing a Ph.D. in Architecture and her research focuses on developing immersive tools that can be used to analyze building performance during different stages of the design and construction. Elnaz received her Master in Design Studies from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and since 2016 has worked as a building performance analyst and designer, collaborating on projects such as the Tianjin Juilliard School of Music with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts with Steven Holl Architects, and the Dubai Expo 2020. Elnaz is the recipient of highest ASHRAE’s award under the Eric Thor Andresen Fund for her work in sustainability and immersive environments, having developed a VR tool called EnergyVR that helps designers make informed design decisions.

Graduate Certificate

Xiaokang Feng

Xiaokang Feng is pursuing a Masters in Architecture and is interested in virtual and augmented reality. He has taken classes in tangible user interfaces and has interned at studios across the globe: from Tokyo to Munich, San Francisco to Beijing. Xiaokang received a Bachelors in Architecture from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Yinfei Gu

Yinfei is enrolled in the Masters in Architecture program at the College of Environmental Design and is interested in problem solving quickly and directly through new media interventions. In high school, Yinfei patented a piece of medical equipment she created in order to assist with her grandfather’s treatment. She hopes to continue helping others through her designs.

Hanyang Hu

Hanyang Hu is a Masters in Architecture candidate who received her Bachelors in Architecture in from Wuhan University in China. With a solid background in Architecture and a desire to challenge herself in a trans-disciplinary community, she seeks to extend her knowledge in new media in order to reexamine her design program and design methodology.

Yue Hu

Yue Hu comes from a landscape architecture background and is interested in how humans interact with various interfaces in the physical world. At Berkeley, Yue has been introduced to product design and wants to introduce some of these practices into her landscape architecture practice to reshape our relationship with nature.

Sophie Huang

Sophie Huang is currently enrolled in the Masters program at the School of Information. She is interested in combining her work experience in tech making consumer software applications and service designs, with her experience in contemporary art curating and selling art exhibitions. Data, art, AI, nature, travels, robotics, and dark chocolate bring her alive.

Esther Jan

Esther Jan is a Masters candidate in the School of Information. Hailing from an Architecture background, Esther has previously focused on conserving and renovating local heritages in the city in which she grew up. She also worked for the design studio MisoStudio where she helped regenerate urban spaces, including in Singapore with the sustainable Lightscape Pavilion installation. At Berkeley, she is now focused on creating optimal experiences for humans.

Leena Joshi

Leena Joshi is a transdisciplinary producer of writing and visual art and a current MFA candidate in the Art Practice department. Leena is interested in our performance within social media and being online, the internet in service and power of the fragmentation and fabrication of minority identities, and digital realms as generative sites of augmenting colonial histories and the archive. She is currently writing around the term datamoshing as a metaphorical extension of the lossy distortion of media objects beyond digital files.

Tina Piracci

Tine Piracci is an artist with an engineering background in the Architecture Department, who produced a large scale polar ceramic 3D printer for her undergraduate thesis. Her work utilizes various methods of digital fabrication and different modes of technology. Lately, she has been specializing in clay 3-D printing and materials research. In the past, she has worked with kinetic sculptures and projection mapping to provide an immersive experience for the viewer.

Yuxuan Tu

Yuxuan is a current Masters in Architecture student in the College of Environmental Design and is interested in interactive computer installations and computer animation. Recognizing the opportunities of new media as an interdisciplinary catalyst for environmental design, Yuxuan is very enthusiastic about gaining a better scope of how these two subjects could reinforce each other and build new social dynamics.

Yifeng Wang

Yifeng Wang, a Masters in Architecture candidate, is interested in the ability of the environment, both physical and digital, as a media of communication, to encourage interaction between people and to interact with people through the experience of form, space, and materials. Yifeng works with a variety of digital fabrication tools to focus on human-centered design.

Shengjie Wu

Shengjie Wu is pursuing a Masters in Architecture in the College of Environmental Design. Shengjie received a Bachelors in Architecture from the University of Melbourne and has previously used new media to access big data sets for building analysis. Shengjie looks forward to studying further how to be critical of new media techniques in order to incorporate these methods appropriately into future work.

Shuang Yan

Shuang Yan is a candidate in the Masters in Architecture program, where she has had the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary fields and work along those with a range of backgrounds, including virtual reality and tangible user interfaces. At Berkeley, she is one of the student researchers in XR Lab. She wants to explore the ways in which principles, skills, and strategies in architectural design integrate with other disciplines and further enhance experiences through immersive interfaces. At the moment, she finds projects in immersive experience the most attractive due to its interactive nature at the intersection of humans, interfaces, and architecture.

Yiming Zhang

Yiming is a second year student pursuing a Master's degree in Architecture. Yiming’s main research interests center on design research and representations. More specifically, operations of data of geological/ecological/cultural context information before architectural design to improve people's living conditions and make buildings and cities more humane and healthy. Also, Yiming is interested in web design and development, as well as VR related advances for better representation.