Learn more about the postdocs who are advancing their careers and contributing to a vibrant research community at the Allen School:
Nigini Abilio Oliveira
Nigini Abilio Oliveira is a postdoctoral research at the University of Washington's Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. Working with Professor Katharina Reinecke, he is searching to improve the user experience - for both researchers and volunteers - in the context of large-scale, volunteer-based online studies. Nigini has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Universidade Federal de Campina Grande in Brazil, where he worked with Nazareno Andrade on designing social Question & Answer sites that are equally engaging across global audiences. His research interest is in the broad Human-Computer Interaction area focusing on online collaboration, cross-cultural studies, open science, and community design.
Laura Arjona is a Research Associate in the Paul Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. She works in collaboration with Allen School and Electrical & Computer Engineering professor Joshua R. Smith and Rehabilitation Medicine professor Chet Moritz. Laura’s research focuses on high performance readers and protocols for backscatter-based neural implants. Laura believes that neural implants have the potential for significant impact in medicine, from restoring the use of limbs after spinal cord injury, to “electroceutical” alternatives to drugs, to brain-computer interfaces. Laura holds a doctoral degree from the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. She received a master’s degree from UNED University in Madrid, Spain, and a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Granada, Spain.
Tapomayukh "Tapo" Bhattacharjee is a postdoctoral research associate in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, working with Professor Siddhartha Srinivasa in the Personal Robotics Lab. He completed his Ph.D. in Robotics from Georgia Tech under the supervision of Professor Charlie Kemp. His primary research interests are in the fields of haptic perception, machine learning, manipulation and human-robot interaction. He believes in the potential of using multimodal haptic signals to enhance robot manipulation capabilities in unstructured environments as well as around humans. He aims to achieve this by inferring relevant properties of the world using physics-based and data-driven methods.
Maria Eugenia (“Maru”) Cabrera is a postdoctoral research associate in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, working with professor Maya Cakmak in the Human-Centered Robotics Lab. She completed her Ph.D. from Purdue University under the supervision of Professor Juan Wachs. Her research interests include human robot interaction (HRI) and multimodal interactions based on embodiment, including gestures. More specifically, she wishes to conduct research in naturalistic and novel approaches to include cognitive and physiological aspects of human performance in collaborative tasks with other robots or other humans, either co-located or remotely.
Kevin Deweese is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington working with Professor Andrew Lumsdaine and other scientists at PNNL's Northwest Institute for Advanced Computing. He recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara under the direction of Professor John Gilbert, where he studied theoretically fast Laplacian solvers, a topic at the intersection of graph theory and linear algebra. He currently works with physicists at C-SWARM, a large materials modeling collaboration at the University of Notre Dame. He also remains involved in the GraphBLAS community, which aims to develop a common API for large scale graph algorithms.
Kameron Decker Harris is a postdoctoral research associate in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. He is analyzing human brain electrocorticography recordings in the labs of Allen School professor Rajesh Rao and Biology professor Bingni Brunton. His interests are in computational and theoretical neuroscience, in particular networks, dynamical systems, and data analysis. He earned his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington under Eric Shea-Brown. Prior to that, Kameron studied bus traffic optimization as a Fulbright Scholar in Chile, and his undergraduate and masters work at the University of Vermont included sentiment analysis of large-scale Twitter data.
Julian Katz-Samuels Julian Katz-Samuels is a postdoctoral researcher working with Kevin Jamieson at the University of Washington. His research focuses on designing data-efficient algorithms for adaptive data collection with applications ranging from crowdsourcing to biological experiments. He received his Ph.D from the University of Michigan where he focused on settings in which the feedback and metrics of the experiment are multi-dimensional in nature..
Batya Kenig is a postdoctoral researcher in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, working with Dan Suciu. Her research interests lie at the intersection of data management and AI and include probabilistic inference, preference analysis, and enumeration algorithms. She completed her Ph.D. in Information Systems Engineering at the Technion, and her M.Sc. in Computer Science is from the Open University in Israel.
Matthäus Kleindessner is a postdoctoral researcher in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. He is working with Jamie Morgenstern. His research interests are in the theory of machine learning. Recently, he has been interested in studying fairness in machine learning and in designing algorithms that do not discriminate against various demographic groups. Matthäus Kleindessner received his Ph.D. from the University of Tübingen, Germany. Before he joined the University of Washington, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University.
Rik Koncel-Kedziorski is a postdoctoral research associate in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, working with professor Noah Smith. His research focus is developing machine learning techniques for intertextual understanding of scientific and technical documents. He completed his Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Washington under the supervision of Profs. Hannaneh Hajishirzi and Gina-Anne Levow.
Weihao Kongis a postdoctoral researcher working with Sham Kakade. His research focuses on the information-theoretic side of machine learning, with the goal of developing efficient algorithms that extract accurate information from modest amounts of data under varies settings (e.g., high-dimensional, distributed, etc.). More broadly, his research interests span statistical learning, high-dimensional statistics, and theoretical computer science. He got his Ph.D. from the Computer Science Department at Stanford University advised by Gregory Valiant. He received his B.S. from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Ramya Korlakai Vinayak
Ramya Korlakai Vinayak is a postdoctoral researcher in Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, working with Sham Kakade. Her research interests broadly span the areas of machine learning, crowdsourcing and optimization. Ramya completed her Ph.D. at Caltech where she worked with Babak Hassibi. She received her B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.
Shrirang Mare is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington where he works with Richard Anderson, Yoshi Kohno, and Franziska Roesner. His research is focused on improving the security and usability of digital financial services in developing regions. Shrirang received his Ph.D. in 2016 from the Dartmouth College, where he worked with David Kotz on usable user authentication methods for personal devices. He earned his Bachelor's from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) in Pilani, India.
Alex Mariakakis is a postdoctoral researcher whose research is focused on the creation of mobile apps that make subjective health measures more objective through the use of smartphone sensors. He is now interested in making such apps useful for ordinary people. This includes adding real-time guidance to testing procedures, leveraging passive sensing to improve the test results, and helping developers ensure their tests will be well-received. He received his Ph.D. at the Allen School and had a double major in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University.
Christoforos (Chris) Mavrogiannis is a postdoctoral research associate in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, working with Prof. Siddhartha Srinivasa and the Personal Robotics Lab. He is broadly interested in the algorithmic foundations of robotics, with a particular emphasis on the design of efficient, safe and robust motion planning algorithms for robot navigation, multi-robot manipulation and human-robot interaction applications. He is passionate about enabling robots to integrate seamlessly in human environments. Chris earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University, under the supervision of Prof. Ross A. Knepper. Prior to that, he received a diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens
Joseph McMahan is a postdoctoral researcher at the Paul Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, working with the SAMPL group on deep learning research. His current work there deals with connecting the rapidly-changing demands of machine learning models with agile hardware support to enable faster and more dynamic ML development and research. His previous research has been at the intersection of computer architecture, formal methods, and security. He received his Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara in computer architecture, but decided to leave the simulated reality of Santa Barbara because it had too much sunshine; his life-long coffee addiction meant that Seattle was the next logical destination. He enjoys books, games, and music, and built his own 3D printer from scratch. He holds a B.A. in physics from Princeton University.
Peter Ney is a postdoctoral researcher in Computer Science at the University of Washington where he works with Prof. Tadayoshi Kohno and Prof. Luis Ceze. He is leading a research effort to study how increasing computerization and automation in the biotechnology sector is creating new cybersecurity threats. He has previously studied the security of consumer genetic services and was the first to demonstrate that molecular information, like DNA, can be a possible vector for malware. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Washington and holds bachelor's degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Nikolaos Pappas is a postdoctoral researcher in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington working with professor Noah Smith. Nikos is interested in creating unified, structure-aware, and sample efficient models of natural language. Previously, he did a postdoc with doctor James Henderson at the Idiap Research Institute's natural language understanding group and earned his doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering at EPFL with professors Andrei Popescu-Belis and Hervé Bourlard.
Dustin Richmond is a postdoctoral research associate in the Paul Allen School for Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. He is working with Michael Taylor, Luis Ceze, and Mark Oskin developing hardware architectures that can be dynamically optimized by software runtimes, building scalable hardware accelerators for cloud services, and studying agile hardware development methodologies. Dustin also has active projects on information side-channels in reconfigurable hardware devices. He received his PhD in 2018 from the University of California San Diego under the tutelage of Ryan Kastner and received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington.
Babak Salimi is a postdoctoral research associate in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he works with Dan Suciu and the Database Group. He received his Ph.D. from the School of Computer Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and his M.Sc. in Computation Theory (2009) and B.Sc. in Computer Engineering (2006) from Sharif University of Technology and Azad University of Mashahd, respectively. Babak's research interests cover Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Database Theory, Causality Theory, Statistical Inference and Data Analysis. Specifically, he would like to explore notion of causality and explanation in data exploration. In particular, the intention is to adapt methods from statistical inference to the task of explaining phenomena in databases. His Ph.D. research, advised by Professor Leopoldo Bertossi, focused on causality and reverse data management problems.
Spencer Sevilla is a postdoctoral researcher in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, where he works with Kurtis Heimerl and the ICTD Lab. His research is focused on improving internet access in remote and disconnected parts of the world, with a current focus on rural and indigenous cellular networks. Spencer received his Ph.D. in 2017 from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he was advised by J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves.
Jesse Thomason is a postdoctoral researcher working with Luke Zettlemoyer at the University of Washington. His research interests are primarily in semantic understanding and language grounding. Thomason received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, working with Ray Mooney at the intersection of natural language processing and robotics. He developed algorithms that bootstrap robot understanding from interaction with humans, improving language understanding and perceptual grounding for embodied robots.
Chun Zhao is a postdoctoral research associate in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, working with Professor Michael Taylor in the Bespoke Silicon Group. His primary research interests are in the fields of computer architecture, digital integrated circuits, system on chip and embedded systems. His current research focuses on RISC-V based open source microprocessors and peripheral interfaces, with an emphasis on the design and implementation of memory controller and PHY IPs. Chun received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received his B.E. from Harbin Institute of Technology.