NRT - Program trainees
Current graduate students Cohort 2
Ketika Garg has had an inter-disciplinary background in science with a master’s in biology (bioinformatics) from India. She joined the Cognitive Science department here at UC Merced in the Fall of 2017. Her research interests range from anthropology, evolutionary biology to human cognition in general. Currently, she is planning to study human foraging patterns and their cognitive basis.
Primary Advisor: Chris Kello
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Shayna Bennett is a first year Ph.D. student in applied mathematics. Her research interest is modeling spatial movement of organisms and the influence of physical and mental barriers on movement. She is fascinated by the place where ecology, behavioral science, spatial analysis, and applied mathematics come together. Her undergraduate research ranged from GIS modeling of habitat patches for endangered species and mathematical modeling of invasive species to screening bacterial isolates for heavy metal resistance. Besides research, Shayna loves to teach and considers her time in front of a class as the best part of her week.
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Jordan Collignon graduated from CSU Monterey Bay with a Bachelor's of Science in Mathematics with a pure mathematics concentration. This year, he is a new student in
the Applied Mathematics Ph.D. program at UC Merced with Shilpa Khatri as his advisor. HIs current research interest is in mathematical biology, specifically how mathematical modeling can contribute to preventing the extinction of endangered species.
Other than doing math, he is an avid photographer of landscapes, birds, and some unusual things that he encounters on a daily walk. He also took a class in disc golf last semester and can take advantage of the course at Fahren's park every now and then. He participated in two REUs over his undergraduate career, which helped solidify his research interest. More information about his journey through two summers of undergraduate research can be found at https://jcollig.wordpress.com.
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Lesly Lopez is a first year PhD student in Quantitative and Systems Biology. She graduated with a Mathematics/Applied Science B.S. in the University of California, Los Angeles. She currently works with Dr. Emilia Huerta-Sanchez, studying human population genetics. She is particularly interested in looking for signs of introgression in humans with Neanderthals and Denisovans.
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Jose Alcala received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Merced. Next, he worked with Autonomous Vehicles in Pittsburg, San Francisco and Phoenix. Currently, he is a Ph.D candidate in Mechanical Engineering and his advisor is Dr. YangQuan Chen. His interested are in Mechatronics, Control Systems with a focus in Unmanned Aerial Systems.
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Ben Falandays is a PhD student in the Cognitive and Information Sciences program at UC Merced, working primarily in the Spivey lab. His research uses mainly behavioral methods, especially on-line, continuous measures such as eye tracking and computer mouse tracking, to investigate the structure of mental representations that subserve behavior. Ben is particularly interested in the ways that aspects of the extended environment — the tools we use, spaces we exist in, and cultures we inhabit — influence symbolic processing. Ben completed his BA in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Delaware in 2013 and his MS in Experimental Psychology from Villanova University in 2017.
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Tyrome Steven Sweet Jr. is a student from Donalsonville, GA. He received his Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Benedict College in 2012. Between 2012 and 2017, he worked in the industry as a Software and Systems Engineer for several companies that include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Total System Services, Raytheon, Samsung and IHS Markit. His future ambitions are to become a professor and researcher, and to use his work/knowledge to help others achieve their goals and dreams.
Major: Quantitative and Systems Biology (QSB) PhD Program
Designated Emphasis: Machine Learning
Research Interests: Brain-Machine Interface, Machine Learning, Robotics, Neuroscience
Advisor: Dr. Suzanne Sindi
Currently working on a Deep Learning application to classify Electroencephalogram (EEG) motor imagery Signals. More about Tyrome: http://graduatestudents.ucmerced.edu/tsweet/biocv
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