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As summer marches on, NASA is thrilled to announce our Fall 2018 class of Datanauts.  We continue to be thankful for the diverse pool of skilled, knowledgeable, creative, and driven applicants.

These new Datanauts will have the opportunity to learn together, build together, and explore the dataverse with NASA subject matter experts and one another. Whether focusing on R or Python, discovering tools to enable their deep data dives, hearing about projects created within the community, or reaching out to give others a taste of their work, the Fall 2018 Datanauts have quite the voyage ahead of them. We’re looking forward to seeing where their collaboration takes them!

Today, it is our distinct honor and privilege to announce… the Fall 2018 class of NASA Datanauts!

  • Aishwarya Ghole is a geologist by profession and has a passion for art. Her artwork revolves around stars and clear skies. Pursuing Master's program in Geology has enhanced her imagination and creative mind, and she wants to work as planetary geologist.
  • Alexander Hurley spends most days on his PhD in Ecohydrology. Luckily, environmental issues are his passion! They are also his motivation for learning to code in order to produce actionable insights. Working with Microsoft Research and UNEP, as well as teaching R at a conference, are recent coding highlights.
  • Alexandra Garcia is a student at Embry Riddle University majoring in Systems Engineering. She loves everything about the space program and wants to be part of its future. She loves taking on challenges and learning new things and dreams to work for NASA and know that some of her work is heading to the moon, Mars, and beyond!
  • Andrea Black is interested in transforming complex and messy data to make it more accessible and understandable. She works as an acquisitions and metadata specialist in a university library, and her main joy in life is making things visible and available that were there all along.
  • Andriana Aivazians is a graduating senior at The City College of New York in Computer Engineering with minors in Public Policy and Economics. Post-graduation, Andriana will join the many women in tech as a data scientist. When Andriana is away from her Mac she enjoys reading and playing as much tennis as possible.
  • Anna Szabelska is a member of the Methods and Data Analysis board (and a lead methodologist for one of the studies!) at the Psychological Science Accelerator, to psychology what CERN is to physics. She is a youth STEM ambassador and Code Club volunteer who organises coding workshops for girls from underprivileged areas.
  • Azka Javaid is a data scientist at IBM Watson Health. She studied Computer Science and Statistics at Amherst College and is passionate about tech entrepreneurship, AI, interactive Shiny applications and blogging. She is specially interested in fostering meaningful engagement with modern technology.
  • Dr. Brandeis Marshall is an associate college professor and founder of a data education consultancy. She conducts research in data science education, social media and data analytics and works to broaden the participation of women and members of underrepresented groups in computing and data science fields.
  • Brian Zamora is a competitive breakdancer who loves to envelop himself in everything he does. Currently he's begun teaching himself C++ and has begun attending the Houston Robotics Club, where he's picking up everything of interest from the members there. 
  • Caroline Kalempouw-Williams is an aspiring data scientist and founder of the Chicago Astrostatistics Study Club (ASGChicago.github.io). Before she moved to the US, she worked for an Indonesian non-profit organization in the field of physics outreach and completed her Master's degree in Physics from the University of Indonesia.
  • Christine Laetitia wants to be a renowned data scientist. She's had remarkable data analyst internships, taken up datascience MOOCs and has a BSc in Applied Statistics. Finding simple optimal solutions for seemingly complex challenges thrills her, her math background and avid sudoku playing paying off. She also hikes a lot.
  • Diana Cabrera is from a small town in central California and works for Lyft as a competitive analyst and helps lead their Latino ERG. She enjoys finding new ways to drive decisions using competitive data sets and has a true passion for influencing younger generations to reach for the stars.
  • Drew Thompson is a rising senior in High School just beginning her data career. She is the co-leader of Robot code on her school's robotics team and completed the International Baccalaureate program. She's been coding and looking at the stars since she was young, and wants to combine these passions in the realm of data science.
  • Elan Parsons is a scientist and artist. She works as a freelance botanical scientific illustrator while finishing up her Master's degree studying environmental changes in forest fragments, and is using the coding, statistical, and scientific design skills she's developed to become a data scientist.
  • Elicia Inazawa has Masters degrees in Atmospheric Sciences – from her native Brazil – and in Computer Information Systems – from Colorado State University. She is passionate about data analysis, and as a mom of two girls believes in integrating science, technology, and education to increase the scientific literacy of girls and women.
  • Emily Bovee is a PhD candidate in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University. Learning R is her greatest adventure of 2018! She studies academic motivation in engineering, and is happiest when digging into a new dataset or learning a new data visualization technique.
  • Hatice Elif Yüksel is majoring in International Relations with a mission to view modern international relations through the lens of space science 
  • Holly Clark is a science educator at a natural history museum in Philadelphia, PA, and has a background in biology and environmental education. She is interested in how educational settings need to evolve to better use technology's potential for learning.
  • Irina Nikonova is passionate about space, math, programming, and dance! She completed her PhD studying the statistical analysis of light reentry capsule movement in the atmosphere. In addition to being a software engineer, she is currently working on an AI project related to time series forecasting.
  • Jeanette Juran is a high school science teacher. She graduated from Emory with a double major in Astrophysics and German, then taught physics and math in Tanzania as a Peace Corps volunteer. She wants to bridge the gap between science and the general public, and becoming a Datanaut is a huge step in that direction.
  • Jennifer Elliott is an educator at the Intrepid Museum in New York City and grew up in Florida watching shuttles launch from the bridge by her house. She has degrees in theater, astronomy, and museum studies. Her favorite pastime is disguising learning with fun. Seeing people connect the fun with the facts is the best!
  • Jesse Maegan is a molecular biologist turned public school teacher who eventually fell in love with non-profit data science. She considers herself to be a perpetual #rstats noob.
  • Katherine Simeon is a graduate student studying Communication Sciences and Disorders and is interested in natural language processing. She is passionate about science communication and is the former president of ComSciCon-Chicago. She is an R enthusiast and currently co-organizer of R-Ladies Chicago.
  • Kathryn Lynch is an undergraduate student of both mathematics and dance, with an interest in applied mathematics. She juggles both of her passions and loves exploring the intersections between the arts and sciences, which are broader than many people would assume.
  • Kaylin Pavlik lives in Fargo, ND, where she works as a data analyst for enrollment marketing at a small college. She started learning R in 2014 via a beginner data science course and discovered a love for unearthing hidden patterns. She enjoys text mining, natural language processing, and exploring all the data she can find.
  • Laura Ellis is a data geek who is passionate about revealing the stories within the numbers! She's been in the data field for 13+ yrs working on DBs, BI, data science, and real-time event streaming and led the user analytics group at IBM Cloud. While she focuses on a range of areas, her passion is dataviz and storytelling.
  • Leslie Thornburgh has integrated NASA lessons into her teaching as a math and GT teacher, and currently shares her love of space by teaching flight and space to middle schoolers. She holds a MEd in Mathematics Education with honors. She has attended numerous workshops including HESA Space Academy, UT Lift-off, and Eureka STEAMakers.
  • Lilian Carvalho is a Trekkie and marketing professor at a business school in Brazil and is interested in Big Data and astronomy. Her background is in evolutionary psychology.
  • Louise Lai is a Master's student in Data Science and a Forbes Under 30 Scholar. In her work as a Microsoft Civic Tech Fellow, Lou explored the unique intersection of politics and data science to increase civic engagement and help create a more equitable society for all. She loves all kinds of data!
  • Lydia Lawal is a senior data scientist with degrees in Statistics and Sociology from Columbia. Outside of work, she's always looking for how we can use data to tell better, more complete, and more nuanced stories about the human condition, hopefully moving from societally descriptive data to societally prescriptive.
  • Michelle Lillie is a middle school teacher at a STEM magnet school. Her main goal is to inspire her students to explore their interests and challenge themselves each day to learn something new. To this end, she's launching a new class, Engineering through Makerspace, for the 2018 school year.
  • Milena Mathew is a student who loves physics and programming. She's an intern in the physics department of her local university and helps plan and run STEM programs at the nearby library. In her free time, you can find Milena lounging on the sofa, baking cookies, or reading up on the latest discoveries.
  • Mookesh Patel is a Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University. He received his MFA in graphic design from the Rhode Island School of Design and is a practicing information and experience designer. He has received both a Fulbright Research Scholar Grant and a United Nations Development Program Grant.
  • Nanavati Low is an SF entrepreneur heading up operations at a computer vision startup. She's also an ex-SpaceX engineer, a Berkeley alumna, a grad student at USC and raconteur (a skill I developed as a history minor). A huge space nerd and data enthusiast, you can find her stargazing at the Berkeley Marina.
  • Natasha Stamler is an engineering student at MIT with a focus on energy and sustainable development. She loves building things: from 120-pound robots, to mini lightsabers, to a computer model of green infrastructure in New York City. Her goal is to use her passion for innovation to make the world a better place.
  • Navraj Narula studied computer science and journalism at Columbia University. She enjoys working with textual data and has used NLP to detect fake news headlines, generate poetry, and more. She uses her skills to uncover meaning in language and believes in data literacy as it may pertain to a variety of domains.
  • Numa Dhamani is a physicist turned data scientist who is passionate about using data for social good and advocating for diversity in STEM fields. Her heart belongs to Python, beautiful data visualizations, and strong coffee. Outside of data, she loves to paint, run, and climb mountains.
  • Paula Moraga holds a PhD in Statistics and works developing spatial methods and open-source software for disease surveillance. Her work informs policymaking to reduce the risk of diseases such as malaria in Africa and leptospirosis in Brazil. She is a member of R-Ladies and the R Epidemics Consortium.
  • Rahel Goitom is a proud University of Washington alumna, native Seattleite, and lover of arts, civics, and exploring the outdoors. She recently completed a Certificate in Data Analytics and is looking to apply her learning to practice. She excited at the opportunity to advance her data science skills while learning more about our universe with NASA.
  • Rebecca Carter is a biostatistician by training who is passionate about knowledge discovery for social good, and wrangling messy data. She loves exploring emerging topics by blending crowdsourcing with epidemiology and enjoys weaving statistical and computational inference to link publicly available and alternative data.
  • Riley Donlin studies Mathematics and International Affairs. She has worked in disaster response and international development and aspires to use data to solve cross-border economic and political issues. In her free time, Riley contributes to citizen science projects and loves watching documentaries.
  • Samantha Goldberg loves physics and the planetary sciences, especially astronomy. She is a NASA High School Aerospace Scholar and the vice president of her local chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. She would love to become an astrophysicist someday and devote the rest of her life to watching the stars.
  • Sarah Bowden loves exploring different types of data, making messy data more tidy and user-friendly, and finding ways to make her workflows more reproducible. Currently she is using her coding skills in the realm of public health and infectious disease ecology as a data scientist contractor at the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Sarah Schöttler is about to start a MSc in Advanced Design Informatics in Edinburgh. She discovered her love for coding, data science, data visualization, and great maps during her BSc in Technology and Liberal Arts and Sciences in the Netherlands. When not learning new things, she like to watch Star Trek and browse #creativecoding on Instagram.
  • Saumya Sharma is an aerospace engineering student at Georgia Tech. She loves space exploration and is excited to unlock more mysteries of our universe. Whether working on space mechanisms or designing RC airplanes, she hopes to keep innovating and learning in the aerospace field.
  • Sema Karan likes to dig into large data sets and tell stories with them in a visually appealing way. She enjoys creating visualizations to make data easy to communicate and is a featured author on Tableau Public. As hobby, she does yoga and salsa dances.
  • Shannon Hong is a student at Berkeley studying Data Science and Development Studies. She is passionate about measuring our impact in the world and has worked in fast-paced and purposeful environments in politics and in tech in France, China, and the US. Currently, she can be found capsizing a sailboat in the Berkeley Marina.
  • Suzan Baert is currently an R&D engineer, but is soon to be employed as a data intelligence consultant. After hours, you can find her knee-deep in data analysis or setting up databases to learn new tricks, blogging and writing R tutorials, co-organizing R-Ladies Brussels, renovating her house, or reading fantasy/scifi books.
  • Tamara Koliada is passionate about STEM, biotech, hackathons, and working on surface-based nanoscale analytical tools for scientists. She is the founder of a FreshSpace project focused on building solutions against climate change and bringing green life into space. Her hobbies are snowboarding, painting, and traveling around the world.
  • Theresa Elise Wege is a German living abroad in Canada, Belgium, and the UK. She is a PhD researcher in Developmental Psychology focusing on numerical cognition and an organizer of R-Ladies Loughborough who believes that we learn better together. She is a full-time open science and data nerd, an aspiring data scientist, and a baker of vegan pies.

We're looking forward to learning from this sixth class and to the shared adventure of seeking knowledge and insights through problem-solving with NASA data. The grand experiment continues...

About Claire

Datanauts Community Manager

NASA Ames Research Center

claire.a.little@nasa.gov