Announcing Our Fall 2022 DE & Certificate Cohort

27 Nov, 2022

Announcing Our Fall 2022 DE & Certificate Cohort

Valencia James: AI_am

We are thrilled to welcome this Fall's graduate cohort – an amazing group of interdisciplinary scholars from Architecture, Geography, Anthropology, Music, Information, Design, History, Art Practice, Graduate Group in Asian Studies!

Designated Emphasis

Adrian Montufar (Music)

Adrian is a composer and improviser currently in the Music Composition PhD program at UC Berkeley. Adrian's work often plays with the relationship between the musician and their instrument or, more recently, between the voice and the body. Adrian is interested in using sensor technology and controller design to build new musical instruments and sound installations. Between 2017 and 2019, Adrian completed MMus programs in Composition and Sonic Arts at Goldsmiths, University of London under the supervision of Roger Redgate and Freida Abtan. Adrian's work has been presented in Italy, Spain, Ecuador, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and has been performed by InConcerto (Ecuador), Nomos Group (Spain), counter)induction, Duo Damiana, and Kayleigh Butcher, among others.

Alexis Wood (Geography)

Alexis is researching the growing intersections between climate change, digital geographies, and rural socio-political movements. Particularly interested in secessionist state movements, Alexis studies how participants incorporate heightened levels of climate anxiety with existing feelings of rural marginalization in the physical and digital landscapes. Alexis is both a theorist and geospatial analyst, a human geographer and a physical geographer, and looks to integrate these often separated fields/specializations through experimental geospatial methods and cartography. Alexis is a member of Studio.Geo-?(link is external) under Prof. Clancy Wilmott. Previously, Alexis worked as a Data Coordinator for the Redistricting Data Hub, collecting and processing this redistricting cycle’s Community of Interest (COI) maps. Alexis has also trained as an archeologist at the University of Cambridge ICE and in Opera Performance at the University of Miami.

Rabindra Hayashi (Anthropology)

Broadly speaking, Rabindra's work pertains to the relationships between humans and technologies in the many senses of each word. To that end, Rabindra's research interests include human-computer interactions, software, personhood, ontology, infrastructure, race, digital games, and death. Rabindra's approach stems from theories based on anthropology, media studies, and computer science. Rabindra received a Bachelor’s degree at Willamette University and a Masters at the University of Chicago, researching the posthumous social lives of gamers in the games that they played. Recently, Rabindra has also turned to a competitive fighting game and their communities, infrastructures, and ideologies.

Rebecca Newmark (Anthropology)

Rebecca is a current MD candidate at UCSF and a PhD candidate at UCSF & UC Berkeley in the Medical Anthropology program. Rebecca's work focuses on intercorporeality — that is the creation of a shared corporeal experience that defies individual bodily boundaries. How can we account for the experiences of those who watch videos to quell their compulsions to pick at their own skin? And what might the burgeoning world of online pimple popping tell us about material embodiment and embodied life lived in digital spaces? Guided by an attunement to affective experience, Rebecca's work is centered around the underlying ambivalence articulated by viewers of this content. How does this ambivalence circulate, in Sara Ahmed’s (2004) terms, across, in, and through bodies to produce or mediate visceral (embodied) experience? Related to and underlying these central questions, Rebecca is interested in why this content has proliferated in the last 10 years, and what this proliferation might reveal about embodiment, screens, and the digitality of contemporary life.

Xinwei Zhuang (Architecture)

Xinwei Zhuang is a PhD student in the Building Science Program at UC Berkeley. She received her BS in Civil Engineering from Edinburgh Napier University, and her MS in Architectural Computation from the Bartlett School of Architecture. At UC Berkeley, her doctoral research interests mainly focus on data driven design and machine learning aided design and optimization, taking environments and energy consumption into consideration. She is also interested in structural design and optimization.

Before coming to CBE, Xinwei worked as both a researcher and an architect in Shanghai, China. Focusing on data driven design, she synthesized energy consumption data generated from buildings, and used artificial neural networks along with other algorithms to aid the design process and to optimize building performance.


Aparajita Das (History)

Aparajita Das is a Ph.D. student in early modern South Asian History, focussing on 17th century agrarian ecology, historical geography, and belonging, including public-facing histories. In honing research interests in historical ideas of location, indigenous technology, mapping, projection, and representation, Aparajita has taken numerous courses in new media, which have provided a theoretical base for practice. In particular, Aparajita has been interested in the codes of power embedded in our own devices, tools, and styles. BCNM courses have also helped Aparajita learn more about evolving discourses of race, gender identity, and ethics as a practitioner of History, Public History, and Art. While putting up a public-facing exhibition with the Histories of South Asia working group on South Asian anti-colonialisms, Aparajita thought about the locational transcendence that QR codes of zoom interviews on the exhibition panels showcased. This year, Aparajita has been collaborating on the design of a proposal on decolonial oceanic histories.

Bao Qiancheng (Master of Design)

Bao Qiancheng is a candidate in the Masters of Design program. Bao graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a product design student. After school, Bao worked as a footwear(sneaker) designer for 3 years, joining the MDes program at Berkeley to make something fresh! Bao plans to develop skills XR, UX and digital art at BCNM.

Dongho Shin (Master of Design)

Dongho Shin is a Designer of Emerging Technologies, designing PHYSITAL (physical + digital) environments to converge users’ experiences in and out of screens. In Dongho's design practice, Dongho maps out users’ experiences within the tangible and intangible realm, aiming to invent entirely new sites for interconnecting our online/offline experiences and new methodologies of process. Dongho studied painting and Visual Communication Design at Hongik University, South Korea. Previously, Dongho worked as a visual merchandiser at Chanel Korea and Samsung Shilla duty-free shop, using UX/CX research, design strategy, and project management. More at

Elena Hoshizaki (Master of Design)

After graduating from UCLA with a BA in Architecture, El has worked in and around technology for the past 10 years. From startups to large media conglomerates, El's roles have included UX design, fabrication and, most recently, software engineering. Art and design are lifelong passions, and El is particularly proud of their LGBTQIA+ volunteer work as Creative Lead for Disney PRIDE. El's work ranges from creative coding to traditional painting. More at

Gowri Swamy (School of Information)

Gowri Swamy is a Masters candidate in the Information Management and Systems program of the School of Information, with an emphasis on human-computer interaction and user experience research. Prior to joining Berkeley, she worked in information technology as an experience design consultant. Gowri’s research interests focus around the accountability of AI-generated content and misinformation in adolescent multimedia interactions. Specifically, she is interested in how adolescents navigate trust/mistrust and what cross-stakeholder approaches and forward-looking policies must be considered as users interface with misinformation. Gowri will also be serving as the teaching assistant for INFO 214: User Experience Research.

Jannie Zhou School of Information

Jannie Zhou is a first-year Master of Information Management and Systems student focusing on Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience Design. Jannie's research interests include Human-Computer Interaction & Assitive Technologies, UX, and Dance. Jannie enjoys multidisciplinary exploration and collaboration. Jannie is currently working with a non-profit organization AccesSOS, whose product connects those who cannot call for help themselves (e.g. deaf, hard of hearing, speech disability, language barrier, etc.) with emergency services in areas that may not
have an option to text 911 available. More at

Pratiti (Graduate Group in Asian Studies)

Pratiti/প্রতীতি is a current graduate student in Group in Asian Studies. Pratiti's research focuses on the intersection between literature, and other forms of media, primarily photography and maps. Pratiti is interested in questions of cartography, space and the movement of literary figures in space, and also works on Science and Technology Studies and Urban Humanities. Pratiti is also a translator, and Pratiti's first translated work, Exiled from Ayodhya by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay was published by Bee Books in the December of 2020. Find out more at

Tyler Wu (Information Management and Systems)

Tyler is a Masters candidate in Information Management & Systems and is interested in learning the different ways that we can represent data, specifically through data visualization and multimedia. Tyler is particularly interested in raising awareness around environmental issues and telling compelling stories through data. Tyler was part of the winning CalHacks MIMS team for their Moodz app, tracking the mood of the university. Find out more at:

Valencia James (Art Practice)

Valencia James is a Barbadian freelance performer, maker and researcher interested in the intersection between dance, theatre, technology and activism. Valencia’s work explores remote interdisciplinary collaboration with creative technologists and how emerging technologies like machine learning and computer vision might enhance creativity in her contemporary dance practice and vice-versa. This research has resulted in collaboratively built, novel open-source software tools that push the boundaries of live performance. In 2013 Valencia co-founded the AI_am project, which explores the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence in dance. She was a 2020 Rapid Response Fellow at Eyebeam, where she co-founded the Volumetric Performance Toolbox, a project that responds to the global pandemic by envisioning live online 3D dance performance as a new way for artists to connect to audiences from their living spaces using minimal equipment. Valencia was invited by Golan Levin to join the Spring 2021 Remote Residency for Open-Source Software Art Tools at Carnegie Mellon University’s Studio for Creative Inquiry. She served as dance expert and interaction designer on Dr. Vernelle A.A. Noel’s project entitled Artificial Intelligence + Carnival + Creativity funded by Mozilla Foundation’s 2021 Creative Media Award. Valencia has presented her work at TEDxDanubia, TEDxGöteborg, the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires , ISEA 2015, SIGGRAPH 2021 and Gray Area Festival. Her latest work, Suga’-A Live Virtual Dance Performance, has been selected for the 2022 New Frontier exhibition at Sundance Film Festival. More information at

Wonjoon Oh (Master of Design)

Wonjoon Oh is a creative technologist/mechanical designer, passionate about making moonshot ideas into real-life things. Currently, Wonjoon is candidate for the Master of Design at UC Berkeley, exploring the vast field of design by working on projects at the intersection of design theory, emerging technology, and social practice. Before coming to Berkeley, Wonjoon worked for 7+ years as a creative technologist in Korea. Wonjoon's focus was on the mechanical design/engineering of interactive media art installations and the design/prototyping of consumer products. More information at

Ziyu Song (Architecture)

Ziyu Song is a Masters candidate in Architecture at UC Berkeley. A UX designer with 1.5 year experience, Ziyu believes in design justice. Previously, Ziyu worked as an urban designer in China and won 1st place in the Meixi Lake II Urban Design Competition and 1st place in the Guangming Railway Station Architectural and Urban Design Competition. More information at