Ahmanson Lab Innovation Scholars

Each academic year, a cohort of dedicated and creative students join us at the Ahmanson Lab as Innovation Scholars. Innovation Scholars work over the year with faculty, experts, artists, designers, and fellow students in one of our team-based Collaboratories. As part of their yearlong residence Innovation Scholars are also awarded $1000 stipend and given access to the Lab’s technology and space.

A call for applications is announced each summer. Let us know if you’d like to receive our next call.

Ahmanson Lab Innovation Scholars, 2018-2019


Kathryn Dullerud

Economics; Math

Kathryn Dullerud is a freshman majoring in Economics/Mathematics and minoring in French. She was born and raised in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, the home of the University of Illinois. She is very excited to be a part of the Futures of Democracy collaboratory and is looking forward to getting involved in the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Studies in more ways in the future.

Futures of Democracy

Huiyeon Eim

Environmental Studies, Informatics with Honors in Multimedia Scholarship

Huiyeon is an avid student from South Korea, sophomore at USC, studying environmental studies, informatics and media scholarship. She wishes to study EVERYTHING; these are the list of things that she has studied: anthropology, political theories, philosophy, chemistry, environmental science, cultural studies, art history, data science, you name it. Outside of academics, she is an athlete of many sports, including tennis, lacrosse, hiking, and boxing and also loves jazz, art museums, photography, sudoku, traveling, and talking about environmental issues.

Collaboratory: Terraforming Mars

Mansi Ganatra

Data Informatics (Masters)

Mansi is a Master's student in Data Informatics in the Viterbi School of Engineering. She has a B.Tech in Computer Science and has worked with Infosys Ltd. for four years and has led a ten-member team for the past two years. She is currently working and studying in areas of machine learning and data science.

Collaboratory: Mapping and App-ing Los Angeles

Pragati Gupta

Computer Science (Masters)

Pragati is a happy-go-lucky person who likes to program for a motive. She is pursuing a Master's in Computer Science at USC in order to learn how to bring the best out of herself to help the world become a better place. She also wishes to explore more about Computer Science, which is an ever-growing field, and to learn with like-minded people of different cultures.

Collaboratory: Mapping and App-ing Los Angeles

Nam Thai Hoang

Computer Science

As a Vietnamese national who grew up in Thailand but mainly spoke English, Nam sees himself as a citizen of the world. Some of his favorite pastimes include reading, cooking, dancing, and practicing martial arts!

Collaboratory: Mapping and App-ing Los Angeles

Jordan Kessler

Theater; Psychology

Jordan Kessler is a Trustee Scholar studying theater and psychology. She has conducted undergraduate research at USC under Professor Della Gatta and abroad through the Thematic Option department. She hosts her own radio show through KXSC and is a media editor for Palaver Arts Magazine.  

Collaboratory: Futures of Democracy


Iris Kim

Business Administration; Human Rights

Iris (Yi Youn) Kim is a senior majoring in business administration and minoring in human rights at the University of Southern California. She previously served as co-president of Global Brigades at Marshall, where she worked with microfinance institutions in rural Panama and Honduras. She has covered global women’s issues as a columnist for the Daily Trojan and completed internships at tech startups in Taipei, Tel Aviv and Washington, D.C. Iris is passionate about writing, politics and promoting diversity in entertainment. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and longform articles, singing, reading, and running.

Collaboratory: Futures of Democracy

Emily Liu

English; Political Economy; Environmental Studies; Computer and Digital Forensics

Emily is a junior studying English Literature and Political Economy, with minors in Computer/Digital Forensics and Environmental studies. Outside the Ahmanson Lab, she's also a URAP recipient working on a digital humanities research project, an Executive Articles Editor of USC's Journal of Law and Society, and the TA for ITP479 Cyber Law and Privacy. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking (and eating!), and watching The Office.

Collaboratory: Terraforming Mars

Naylee Nagda

Art, Technology and the Business of Innovation

Naylee Nagda is a design researcher and a creative technologist who is passionate about interactive storytelling. She is currently a senior at the USC Iovine Young Academy majoring in Art, Technology and the Business of Innovation. She is working as the UI design lead in creating an Augmented Reality experience out of the LA Times archive. She speaks 5 languages, has lived on 4 continents and can be found exploring Salvadorian food in LA!

Collaboratory: Mapping and App-ing Los Angeles

Nathan Ramo

Religion; Archaeology

Nathan Romo is a religious studies undergrad from South Texas. His areas of interest include American Religious traditions, American Pentecostalism, and Chicano studies. He plans on pursuing a PhD in Religious studies after graduation.

Collaboratory: Mapping and App-ing Los Angeles

Angel-Emilio Villegas Sanchez

Physics; Philosophy

Angel-Emilio Villegas Sanchez is a junior studying Physics and Philosophy (double major), with a specialization in Computer Programming. Though originally interested in becoming a film director, his interest in mathematics and philosophy led him to academia. For two years he worked at the USC's Digital Library's Imaging Lab, where he aided in the digitization of historical documents and materials (e.g. Christopher Commission regarding L.A. Riots, ONE Magazine correspondence, etc.). Though born in the U.S., he lived most of his childhood (14 years) in Baja California, Mexico. In his free time he dedicates to piano, video games, and filmmaking.

Collaboratory: Terraforming Mars

Cole Schroeder

Computer Science

Cole Schroeder is a dedicated freshman college student studying Computer Science at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering. He enjoys learning about all things related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In his free time, Cole reads science fiction and fantasy books, practices volleyball, plays board games, and creates art.

Collaboratory: Terraforming Mars

Abhishek Sharma

Biology; Consumer Behavior

Abhishek is a senior, finishing up his last year at USC majoring in Human Biology and studying Consumer Behavior. In addition to starting the University's first Undergraduate Medical Review, Abhishek enjoys opportunities to challenge himself in novel ways, running his first half marathon recently and learning Korean Drumming at USC. Apart from academic interests, Abhishek is also an Emergency Medical Technician and enjoys learning about how science and opportunities differ among people of different socioeconomic status.

Collaboratory: Terraforming Mars

Pooja Mahadev Soundalgekar

Computer Science (Masters)

Pooja is pursuing a Masters in Computer Science at USC. She previously completed a Bachelors in Information Technology from NITK Surathkal, India. She has industrial experience in full stack development and research exposure in machine learning and high-performance computing. She is highly obsessed with programming.

Collaboratory: Mapping and App-ing Los Angeles

Cynthia Syren

Business Administration; Philosophy, Politics, and Law

Cynthia Syren is currently a freshman studying Business Administration on the pre-law track at the University of Southern California. She is also passionate about political science and is interested in social and political research. She is originally from Holmdel, New Jersey.

Collaboratory: Futures of Democracy

Elisabeth Vehling

Informatics, Cognitive Science

Elisabeth is a sophomore double-majoring in Informatics and Cognitive Science; she is also a Dornsife Ambassador, a mentor in USC Troy Camp, a member of USC's Club Beach Volleyball team, and an ambassador for Runaway, a social entrepreneurial venture that aims to provide accessible mental health resources. In her free, time she enjoys drawing and graphic design, playing piano, and plans on applying for a progressive masters degree in Viterbi's Applied Data Science program next semester.

Collaboratory: Terraforming Mars