With a background in psychophysics, vision science, and Bayesian modeling, Steve helps inform League of Legends product strategy by synthesizing player sentiment, in-game telemetry, and biometrics (eyetracking) within multimodal frameworks that enable discovery of new product opportunities and reinforce player-informed design. Steve received his PhD in Psychology from UCSB in 2014, where his work focused on exploring the efficacy of visual search behaviors in real-world viewing environments and tasks. When not doing science, Steve can be found dangling from a nearby rock formation or playing a variety of competitive games at an astoundingly mediocre level.
Mike Grundmann helps to select and develop early moonshot ideas through rapid prototyping and de-risking. He started his professional career at the Advanced Laboratories of Philips Lumileds Lighting Company, then was a Member of the Technical Staff at Soraa and Principal Engineer at Glo. He has a BS in Applied and Engineering Physics from Cornell University and a MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from UCSB.
Abi Sivananthan received her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UCSB in 2013 and her BS in Engineering Physics and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2007. Her graduate research focused on InGaAsP/InP integrated photonics under Professor Larry Coldren. She currently provides technical support for programs related to optical frequency synthesis and thermal management of GaN power amplifiers at DARPA/MTO.
Demis D. John received his BS from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2005, and MS/PhD degrees in electrical engineering from UCSB in 2007 and 2012, respectively, focusing on the development of ultra-low-loss optical waveguides for photonic integrated circuits. His research for Praevium Research Inc. is primarily focused on the development of new light sources for medical imaging and other applications. Demis also has a passion for science outreach, having worked with teachers and students throughout graduate school and is still involved with developing new outreach activities with UCSB groups.
Leslie Edwards, PhD, provides corporations with insightful access to campus faculty, students, strategic planning for heightened corporate visibility, and other key tools for success between industry and the university. She has an extensive background in relationship-building between UCSB and corporations. Before coming to UC Santa Barbara, Leslie spent a decade working in the biotech industry and has experience with corporate research, product development, and management.
Andrew earned his BA in Drama at the University of California, Irvine before moving to New York City where he worked in recruitment, nightlife, and theatre. Shifting his professional focus to education in 2007, he worked for the Princeton Review for six years while completing his PhD in Theater Studies at UCSB in 2013. Since then, he has published articles on twentieth-century performance and taught at both the University of Southern California and the University of California, Riverside. Andrew also has served as an arts consultant for a range of institutions including the City of West Hollywood; the Art, Design and Architecture Museum in Santa Barbara; and the Vail International Dance Festival. A passionate supporter of local arts, Andrew continues to support APT 3F, an organization he co-founded in 2011 that fosters the work of GLBTQ artists in Los Angeles.
With a PhD in Literature from UC Santa Cruz (2011), Kelly’s scholarly training is in modernist and avant-garde literature and art from between the two world wars. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Kelly worked in public policy and program administration for children and family programs at the city, county, and state levels of California government. A “hybrid” academic working at UCHRI since 2012, Kelly lives and breathes systemwide humanities program development while also pursuing her scholarly interests in public humanities and collaborative research. She is the Assistant Director for the UC-wide Humanities Research Institute where she directs the MLA-funded Humanists@Work Initiative and the Henry Luce-funded Religions In Diaspora and Global Affairs Humanities Studio Initiative, among other systemwide programs and grants.
After receiving a Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory and a Doctorate of Music from Université de Montréal, and after singing professionally for several years, Kyra completed a Masters of Information in Library and Information Science from the University of Toronto. Kyra’s position at UCSB includes teaching, reference, collection management for music, and research. She researches graduate music students’ knowledge of copyright and fair use regarding sheet music and is very involved in educating the academic community on the copyright aspects of scholarly communication. In her previous career as a musician, Kyra performed as a soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Aradia Ensemble, and the ARC Ensemble. She still sings regularly and considers her activity in the local music community to be an important part of staying current with the research and repertoire needs of the UCSB Music Department.
Along with fulfilling his duties as Education and Outreach Coordinator at the UCSB Center for Nanotechnology in Society, Brandon Fastman is also a staff writer at The Santa Barbara Independent newspaper where he worked full-time while completing his PhD in English. He has won first-place awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association for his coverage of undocumented students in Santa Barbara County and for his reporting on the Refugio oil spill. He also contributes to other publications such as White Ledge Outdoor Journal.
Michael received his PhD in Musicology from UCSB in 2013. After graduation, Michael worked as a lecturer in the UCSB Writing Program, and he now works at Yardi Systems, a local software company that has recently launched an eLearning product. Michael designs self- paced instructional materials for Yardi’s software products and consults Yardi clients on designing and implementing effective training programs.
Charles Donelan has lived in Santa Barbara since 2001 and has worked at the Independent since 2004. He writes about music, theater, visual art, literature, dance, and even the occasional film. He received a BA from Yale and a PhD from Columbia, and he has worked as a lecturer at UCSB and also currently works as an English teacher at Santa Barbara’s Laguna Blanca School.
Dr. Fang is a leader in the field of silicon photonics and photonic integrated circuits. He has authored/coauthored over 80 papers in the field and has filed 11 patents. He has won a number of awards for the technology he developed together with Prof. Bowers and colleagues. Dr. Fang worked for IBM, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Intel prior to founding Aurrion. Dr. Fang earned his BS in Engineering from San Jose State University and his PhD from UCSB. He also attended the Harvard Business School (HBS) Owner/President Management Program (OPM) and is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).
Luca Foschini is responsible for data analytics, computing, research and development at Evidation Health. In this role, Luca has driven research collaborations with machine learning experts at NYU and behavioral economics departments at Harvard Business School and the Wharton School. Prior to co-founding Evidation Health, he held roles at Ask.com, Google Research, and ETH Zurich. Luca earned a PhD in Computer Science from UCSB and is an alumnus of of the Sant’Anna School of Pisa, Italy. He has published numerous papers in the broader area of computer science and co-authored several patents in information clustering and behavior phenotyping.
Evan Strenk earned a BA in Film & Media Studies at UCSB and has experience in market strategy, product development, media marketing, and graphic design. Previously, Evan was an Innovation Partner and 3D Designer on the Deckers Brands Innovation Team, establishing new directions for product design, manufacturing, and distribution. Currently, he is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Milo Sensors, Inc. (founded in 2015) developing the world’s first wearable blood alcohol sensor.
Dr. Shravanthi Reddy has been working with medical device startups for the last eight years. Currently she is COO of ClearSight, a startup medical device company working on a novel ophthalmic device. She has a PhD in Chemical Engineering but has gone beyond a technical role to lead efforts in business development and fundraising while also building R&D programs. She has completed licensing and joint development deals with Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, received over $7 million in non-dilutive government funding for her companies (via NIH SBIR and DOD grants), and worked with her management teams to raise $8 million in private investments from venture groups.
Betty K. Koed is the U.S. Senate Historian and Director of the Senate Historical Office. She earned her PhD in Political and Public History at UCSB, where she also taught history and provided editorial assistance to The Public Historian. From 2001 to 2010, Koed served as adjunct Professor of History for Cornell-in-Washington. A former officer of the Society for History in the Federal Government, she has co-edited that organization’s quarterly newsletter and now sits on the editorial board for the Society’s journal, Federal History. As Senate Historian, Koed supervises all historical and archival projects, produces books, pamphlets, and reports, provides talks and presentations to senators, staff, and the public on wide-ranging topics of Senate history, and conducts oral history interviews with former senators and staff. She oversees more than 10,000 pages of historical material on the Senate website, is senior editor of the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, and provides research and reference assistance to the Senate community and the media. Her current Senate projects include online documentary histories of Senate impeachment trials and a series of oral history interviews to explore the decision-making process during the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
Dr. Russell has a strong history of regulatory planning, consulting, research, and teaching. He is also current president of the California County Planning Directors Association. He has a background in Anthropology and Archaeology, and he worked extensively in an academic capacity for UCLA from 1978-1998. Dr. Russell found an interest in planning in the late 1990s as an Environmental Management Specialist in the Department of Planning and Land Use for San Diego County, where he worked with numerous development projects, CEQA documents, and planning reports. His prior experiences, including that of Program Manager of Regulatory Planning and Deputy Director Regulatory Planning for the Department of Planning and Land Use, has allowed him to excel in his current position. He has served as the Director of Planning and Development since 2009.
Kohl Gill, a quantum physicist turned social entrepreneur, founded LaborVoices in 2010 after observing patterns of opaque supply chains, avoidable labor issues, and high mobile phone penetration while working in several South Asian countries as an International Labor Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility Officer with the U.S. Department of State. Prior to that, he was a Senior Policy Analyst with the U.S. Department of Energy. Before that, he was a Transparency and Anti-Corruption Fellow with Indicorps in the slum areas of Delhi, India. Dr. Gill has a BS in Physics from Caltech and an MS and a PhD in Physics from UCSB. He has led LaborVoices to reach over 10 thousand workers in 11 countries on 4 continents and has been given many honors and awards including: Ashoka Affiliate; the Purpose Economy Asia 100; Echoing Green Fellow; and the Clinton Global Initiative.
Jai Ranganathan, Ph.D., was trained as a tropical ecologist, receiving his doctorate in Biological Sciences from Stanford University in 2007. He is the Executive Director of SciFund Challenge, a nonprofit focused on closing the gap between science and society. It innovatively trains and supports scientists with many methods of science outreach, as well as with science crowdfunding.
Deanne Adams received her PhD from UCSB in the Spring of 2013. Her research areas included multimedia learning, educational games, cognitive tutors, and spatial cognition. She spent a year at Vanderbilt University working on an educational game aimed to teach Newton’s Laws of Motion to middle school kids. She then switched gears while working at the University of Notre Dame to examine the effects of stress on navigation in virtual environments. Deanne was recruited to the Studios User Research team after meeting SUR representatives at Psychonomics in 2014. She currently serves as the lead User Researcher for two upcoming Microsoft Studios products.
Gordon Morrell protects Yardi’s corporate and fiscal interests and oversees day-to-day operations. He has been with Yardi since 1990, following eight years as founder and president of Santa Barbara Softworks, a developer of educational software. Before this, he was an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology and Human Development at the University of Maine and the Director of Childcare Services for Santa Barbara County Schools. Gordon holds a PhD from the UCSB, an M.Ed. from the University of Hartford, and a BA from Syracuse University.
Osnat Ben-Shahar received her PhD in Neuroscience from UCSB and, after a postdoctoral position at the Scripps Research Institute, returned to UCSB as a research scientist studying the neurobiology underlying drug addiction for over 10 years. She recently transitioned away from academia and now works as a medical editor for Motive Medical Intelligence, providing evidence-based clinical support for health care providers.