Magnet Alumni News: Fall 2017
Amir Caspi '96 led a NASA-funded aerial observation of the solar eclipse.
Grace Brannigan '96 is a professor at Rutgers conducting biophysics research.
Mikey Cohen '10 passed away suddenly in September, and his classmates and teachers share their memories.
Awards and Recognition:
Samir Paul '06 was recognized by the NEA as one of 30 under 30 educators making a difference.
Jean Fan '09 received a Systers Pass It On Award at the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration.
Jacob Lurie '96, a mathematics professor at Harvard, has updated his book, Higher Algebra, which is available for free download (pdf).
Jonathan Needleman '99 is an associate professor of mathematics at LeMoyne College, where he is a co-investigator on an NSF grant to prepare undergraduate STEM majors to be secondary teachers.
Bingni Wen Brunton '02, a biology professor at the University of Washington, was awarded a grant from the U.S. Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program.
Griffith Rees '03 finished his doctorate in Sociology at Oxford University.
Emily Tsui '04 joined the faculty in Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame.
Michael Forbes '05 joined the faculty in Computer Science at the University of Illinois.
Nathan Blustein '06, a Ph.D. candidate in music theory at Indiana University, is an instructor and music director at American University.
Emily Jones '10 received a Genentech Fellowship for her graduate studies at UCSF.
Research Journal Publications:
Samie Jaffrey '89 is a co-author on a letter published in Nature Medicine showing that people with acute myeloid leukemia have unusually high levels of an enzyme that places chemical marks on messenger RNA (cornell.edu).
Dan Bergstralh '93 is the lead author of a review published in Development: Spindle orientation: a question of complex positioning.
Joshua Weitz '93 submitted comments on an article about Lysis, lysogeny and virus–microbe ratios that were published in the September issue of Nature.
Erica Hartmann '05 is a co-author on a review published in Microbiome: Schrödinger’s microbes: Tools for distinguishing the living from the dead in microbial ecosystems.
Jeremy Goodman '06 published an article in the Review of Symbolic Logic: Counterfactuals and propositional contingentism.
In the News and Online:
Matias Duarte '92 was interviewed by Surface Magazine about his childhood in Chile and Maryland, and his career at Google.
Haroon Mokhtarzada '97 was interviewed by the Washington Post about his company Minder, a Muslim dating app.
Jess Zimmerman '97 was interviewed with her co-author Jaya Saxena about writing their book, Basic Witches.
Jonah Berger '98 was interviewed for a Knowledge@Wharton podcast about his research on candid and posed photos.
Jon Simon '00, was identified as a Rising Star by OZY and interviewed about his research using photons as quantum materials.
Arts, Entertainment, and Sports:
Rosamond King '92 is the creative editor of sx salon: a small axe literary platform for innovative critical and creative explorations of Caribbean literature.
Jarvis Yu '02 was interviewed for a podcast and blog about playing competitive Magic: The Gathering.
Raymond Burtnick '14 is the leading wide receiver for the Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers. He caught his NCAA Division III leading 13th touchdown pass on Saturday, October 21st, in a loss to Franklin College.
Political Commentary and Activism:
Joshua Fischman '90, a U.Va. Law Professor, contributed to a FiveThirtyEight analysis of Justice Gorsuch's ideology.
Josh Oppenheimer '92 was recognized by U.S. Senator Tom Udall, Voice of America, and the New York Times, for the impact that his Oscar-nominated documentary films Act of Killing and Look of Silence had in publicizing the 1965-66 Indonesian massacre and leading to the declassification of related U.S. government documents (nsarchive.gwu.edu).
Gautam Mukunda '97, a Harvard Business School Professor, was interviewed by the Washington Post about John Kelly's management of the White House.
Reena Arora '99, a lawyer with the Urban Justice Center, was interviewed by the New York Daily News about her representation of domestic workers in a lawsuit against their German diplomat employers.
Alex Berengaut '99, spoke to the New York Times about his representation Janet Napolitano and the University of California system in a lawsuit challenging the rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Tom Hunsicker '00 of WUSA9 Sports, shared his opinion that kneeling during the national anthem is as American as it gets.
Sarah Oh '00, a research fellow and economist with the Tech Policy Institute, was interviewed by CNET about restoring Puerto Rico's telecommunications infrastructure.
Brinda Thomas '01 submitted comments in response to the Department of Energy's proposed rulemaking for grid resiliency payments for coal and nuclear power plants.
Jeff Guo '07, writing for Vox, analyzed President Trump's support in battleground districts.
In 1988, Duarte enrolled at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He had been selected as part of a “magnet” program for math, science, and computer science students that was, as he puts it, “intended to do two things: one was to better serve students who were high potential for these fields; the other was to increase the ethnic diversity at the area’s schools. At least that’s how I understood it.”
“The chance for me to go to this school was like Harry Potter going to Hogwarts, almost literally,” he says. “The school itself was this fascinating rabbit warren of old, interconnected buildings. It was a maze—there were places faculty didn’t know how to get to. It really had this character of taking you to another world that was Baroque, fantastical, half-functioning.” The school, at the same time, provided access to computers, robotics, and other cutting-edge tools. A lab there was outfitted with Macintoshes, some of them with hard drives—a rarity at the time. There was also a VAX computer. It was there that Duarte had his first interaction with the internet, and during his sophomore year he even got an email address, which he admits he “never did anything with.”
Deep Sran '89 (deepforcongress.com; @drdeepsran) is running for Congress in Virginia's 10th Congressional District, representing Loudon County, Manassas, and the north end of the Shenandoah Valley. He was recently interviewed by the Washington Post about his efforts to restore a historic schoolhouse in Ashburn.