ScienceWonks aims to provide new perspectives on scientific issues, present commentary on current events, and inspire readers to participate in the conversation. As graduate students at MIT, much of our research is relevant to current science policy debate, and this gives us unique insight into these topics. We wish to address these issues in a straightforward and objective manner that is accessible to a wide audience, fosters discussion, and will become a useful resource for journalists, policymakers, investors, students, and other interested readers who seek original views on the intersection of technology and society.
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Amanda Cuellar is a Master’s student in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Chemical Engineering and Plan II Honors (a liberal arts honors degree) in 2009. Her current research focuses on the energy, greenhouse gas emission and economic consequences of converting biomass to electric power in existing coal plants. As an undergraduate her research focused on the nexus of food and energy. Click here for Amanda’s articles.
Michael Chang is a Master’s student in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. In 2011, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Computational Engineering Science from the University of California, Berkeley, with a minor in Mechanical Engineering. As an undergraduate, Michael did research in a diversity of fields, ranging from solar astrophysics to vertebral biomechanics. His current research focuses on improving the design of batteries for electric vehicles. Click here for Michael’s articles.
Shreya Dave is a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, conducting research in the use of new materials for the desalination of water. Previously, her Master’s research focused on building energy efficiency technologies and she has experience in life cycle analysis, solar energy for developing world applications, STEM education, and energy building modeling. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and completed a Master’s in Technology & Policy also from MIT. Click here for Shreya’s articles.
Jan Eide is a Master’s student in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Institut National des Sciences Appliquees (INSA) in Toulouse, France. Currently his research focuses on how to better design carbon capture and storage demonstration programs. Jan is also a Fulbright scholar and has a background in politics from being a political advisor to the commissioner of Health and Social Services in Bergen, Norway. Click here for Jan’s articles.
Matthew Bruchon is pursuing dual Master’s degrees at MIT in the Technology & Policy Program and in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University with Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and English. He has professional experience as a software engineer at Applied Research Associates. His research interests involve next-generation, software-enabled infrastructure systems, with a current focus on demand-side management of electric grids.
Amanda Giang is a Master’s student in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto in 2011. Currently, her research focuses on developing integrated assessment methods to quantify the welfare benefits of mercury pollution control. Her undergraduate research experiences range from quantifying the stock of persistent organic pollution in urban environments to the metabolic engineering of yeast for cellulosic ethanol production. Click here for Amanda’s articles.
Mac Hird is currently a Masters student in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT and a research assistant in the MIT Education-as-a-Complex-System Group. In 2011 he received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Texas at Dallas, where he was a Eugene McDermott Scholar. His current research focuses on modeling the K-12 STEM Education system to develop better policy solutions. Mac also has experience in national science education policy at both the Kindergarten through Grade 12 and Undergraduate levels. Click here for Mac’s articles.
Tommy Leung is a PhD student in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT. He holds a Master’s in Technology and Policy from MIT and a Bachelor’s in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College. Before returning to graduate school, he worked for five years as a research and development engineer designing FPGA-based embedded systems devices at an industrial automation company. Currently, his research interests focus on electric power systems, electricity market regulations, and renewable generation technologies. Click here for Tommy’s articles.
Mark Staples is a graduate student in the Technology & Policy Program at MIT, and a Research Assistant in the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta, and has professional experience in the aerospace, heavy construction and upstream oil and gas industries. Mark is from Edmonton, Canada. Click here for Mark’s articles.
Ralph Turlington is a Master’s student in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. In 2010, he received a B.S. in Environmental Science and B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia, after completing two years of coursework at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY. His undergraduate research focused on atmospheric science and pollution transport in the Nepal Himalaya. He is currently researching the security implications of synthetic biology with Dr. Kenneth Oye. He is also interested in nuclear technologies and counterproliferation. Click here for Ralph’s articles.
Judy Wang is a recent alumna of the MIT Technology & Policy Program and has experience in health care systems and technology and policy implementations across the public and private sectors. Most recently, she was part of the team at San Francisco-based health tech startup Pipette, and her work in interpreting and incorporating policy initiatives into business strategy contributed to the company’s recent acquisition by Cambridge-based Ginger.io, a behavioral analytics company featured in Fast Company, TechCrunch and the Economist. Judy also remains active in marketing and communications efforts for MIT Hacking Medicine, a student-led group promoting health care entrepreneurship, and occasionally blogs for Hacking Medicine on relevant policy topics at http://hackingmedicine.mit.edu
Melanie Wong is a Master’s student in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT and an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. In 2011, she received a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Maryland. As an undergraduate, she conducted research on hydrologic statistical methods, ocean wave energy conversion, and the environmental impacts of shale natural gas. Her current research focuses on flexible decision making frameworks and tools for water resource systems in the face of risk and uncertainty. Click here for Melanie’s articles.
Samuel Brinton is currently pursuing a double M.S. program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Nuclear Engineering and the Technology and Policy Program. He is a graduate from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering and a B.A. in Vocal Music Performance and a minor in Chinese Language. His research interests are concentrated on nuclear fuel cycle system analysis with subtopics of interest including fuel cycle economics and dry cask storage analysis. Samuel has had internships at the Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and Dow Chemical Company in various projects relating to nuclear engineering and systems analysis. Click here for Sam’s articles.
Claire Poulizac is a Master’s student in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the École Polytechnique in France in 2011. Her research experience as an undergraduate includes the optimization of infrared photodetectors at the III-V Lab in France. Her current research focuses on assessing the economic and institutional risks associated with the use of strategic materials with a constrained supply. Click here for Claire’s articles.
Ingrid Akerlind‘s bio is coming soon! Click here for Ingrid’s articles.
Michael Davidson‘s bio is coming soon! Click here for Michael’s articles.
Shahed Al-Haque‘s bio is coming soon! Click here for Shahed’s articles.