Hailing from the lovely city of Pittsburgh, PA, Anna Premo is stoked to be spending a third consecutive summer with MEET. She will be returning to MIT in the fall for the second and final year of her masters with the International Development Group of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. When she’s not teaching or being taught, she enjoys dancing, playing her harp, drawing, painting rooms, and woodworking.
A native of Vietnam, Christy Le holds a BA and an MPhil in Economics from Oxford University, and recently graduated with an MBA from MIT Sloan where she was a Fellow at the MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship. Prior to MIT, she worked in investment banking and later was a co-anchor for a stock market TV show that aired nationally in Vietnam. Christy loves flowers, adventure travel, and steak. She now works at McKinsey in Boston.
Derek is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who is entering his senior year at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a degree in Mathematics. Before joining MEET, he worked in disaster response and prevention through AmeriCorps and the U.S. Forest Service. This is his first time living abroad, and he is loving every minute of it.
Eirik is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at MIT CSAIL, originally from Bergen, Norway. He has a Master’s degree from MIT and a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. Before going to the US in 2004, Eirik performed his national service by spending a year as an end-user of an aquatically themed database system made specifically for the administration of public Norwegian schools of music, theatre, and visual arts. He now spends his time doing research on general-purpose user interfaces for database applications.
Elena Agapie is a second year PhD student at Harvard in Computer Science. Originally from Romania, she loves to travel. She spent her undergrad in Romania, France, Germany and the US. Elena is passionate about using technology to solve social problems. In her spare time she loves to make pottery and to run by the Charles River in Cambridge.
Emily is originally from central New Jersey, and graduated in 2010 from MIT with a degree in Chemical Engineering and minors in Physics and in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science. After graduating, she joined Teach For America and currently teaches high school chemistry and physics in Richmond, California. Even though she loves working with students, she hopes to eventually go back to graduate school in engineering. In her free time, Emily loves cooking, hiking, reading, and exploring new places.
Evan Iwerks has been studying for many, many years. Most of those years, he has also been teaching. From Mathematics to Robotics, and from Computer Science to Theater Design, he’s learned and taught quite a bit. He earned a BS in Computer Science & Engineering in the spring of 2010; he continues to study for a Masters in Artificial Intelligence. In addition to his educational focus, Evan can often be found cooking in the kitchen, playing a percussive instrument, or leading his friends through one of his favorite games.
A southern California native, Justin Sharps graduated June 2010 from MIT with a degree in Chemical Biological Engineering. A passionate student of many subjects, he enjoys computers and programming as a hobby, and for the freedom to solve problems of interest afforded by modern technology. In his free time, he enjoys running, playing tennis, and learning about new languages and cultures.
Lorenzo Brown graduated from MIT in June 2011 with a degree in Mathematics with Computer Science and a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies. Originally from Dallas Texas, Lorenzo enjoys barbecues and outdoor parties. He has a strong interest in multi-lingual education especially in the math and science field and also tries to learn new languages in his own free time.
Mark Wittels, known to his friends as “Mark,” is going into his third year studying math and computer science at MIT. He enjoys stand-up comedy, learning, and most kinds of music. He does not enjoy puns, smooth jazz, or mincing words.
Matt Landreman is a plasma physicist at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He received his PhD from MIT’s physics department in June 2011 and he is continuing his research at the Center as a postdoctoral fellow. In addition to MEET, Matt is involved in several other international education programs. He serves as an advisory board member and as the volunteer coordinator for the Sabre Foundation, which provides textbooks to universities in many developing countries. He has also spent several months teaching mathematics and science in Zambia. Outside of work, Matt enjoys long-distance running, cooking, cycling, and eating hummus.
Selim Temizer received his PhD degree in Computer Science and Engineering from MIT in February, 2011. Selim is from Turkey. He is already a part of the Middle Eastern culture, but he has been amazed by the MEET program from day one, and he found the opportunity to do some growing up himself, both technically and socially, along with all the wonderful students within the unique atmosphere that MEET provides. Selim enjoys developing software and biking.
Shelly Manber holds a BS from MIT in math and a graduate certificate from UMass Boston in Dispute Resolution, and will begin a PhD in math at UC Berkeley this fall. She has been involved with MEET since summer 2006. Aside from math and computer science, she enjoys ballet, modern and folkdance, long distance running, aerial silks, singing, and creative writing.
A southern California native, Justin Sharps graduated in June from MIT with a degree in Chemical Engineering. IN his free time, he enjoys running, playing tennis, and learning about new languages and cultures. After the summer, Justin plans to find an internship in the field of alternative energy.
Kim Jackson just graduated from MIT in June with her Bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering. In her rare moments of free time, she enjoys playing piano, reading, traveling, and being outdoors. In the fall, Kim will return to MIT to begin a Master’s degree in the Humans and Automation Lab in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Larisa Berger is a junior at MIT majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Creative Writing. In her free time she plays with MIT’s Balinese Gamelan ensemble, Galaktika and writes music with her duo: Wizard the Lizard. In her previous summers at MIT, she has built music robots with Ensemble Robot and worked on making music education more accessible through technology at the MIT Media Lab.
Michaela LaVan is a rising junior at MIT majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Applied International Studies. She enjoys traveling, singing, learning languages, experimental cooking, and playing connect-four.
Shin Nee Wong is a sophomore studying Mathematics and Computer Science at MIT. Aside from MEET, she’s also involved in DigiLiteracy, a student charity that teaches sustainable curriculum to middle school children on the OLPC XO in Cambridge, Boston, Nicaragua and in the future, Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa. She enjoys philosophizing, playing music and drawing comics. Eventually, she would like to work in software animation and film.
Shiri Azenkot is currently a PhD student in the Computer Science department at University of Washington in Seattle. She’s interested in accessibility, using technology to help people with disabilities. Shiri is involved in outreach efforts to increase the number of students with disabilities in computing. Before graduated school Shiri received a BA in computer science from Pomona College in CA and worked as a software engineer for a few years in Silicon Valley. Other than computer science, Shiri loves playing the piano and listening to music.
Alessondra Springmann is a graduate of Wellesley College and was a graduate student in Earth and Planetary Sciences at MIT. She is currently works as a tutor and freelance writer, though she loves the “big ideas” of computer science. In her free time, Sondy also enjoys SCUBA diving, sailing, and hiking, as well as serving on the board for a non-profit in California.