People 2019-2020

C. Estelle Smith, President


Estelle is a Computer Science PhD student with a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) focus in GroupLens Research---a social computing lab with a focus on building and understanding sociotechnical systems used by real people. In collaboration with CaringBridge.org, Estelle’s dissertation explores social and spiritual support in online health communities. Her interdisciplinary research has also touched on topics in HCI including value-sensitive algorithm design, science communications, and online misinformation. Estelle is co-advised by Professors Loren Terveen (Computer Science Department) and Susan O’Conner-Von (Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing). Estelle is a homegrown Minnesotan who loves huskies, yoga, rock climbing, and being way goofier than should probably be legally allowed.

Get in touch with Estelle at smit3694@u.

Jungseok Hong, Vice President


Jungseok is a Computer Science Ph.D. candidate focusing on robotics and a member of the Interactive Robotics and Vision Lab. Jungseok's research interests lie primarily in the area of perception for robotics applications, including object detection, generative models, etc. He is advised by Professor Junaed Sattar. Jungseok is a certified scuba diver. He enjoys lap swimming, playing tennis, and running in his spare time.

Get in touch with Jungseok at hong0442@umn.ed.

Patrick Perez, Secretary


Patrick is a Computer Science Phd Student advised by Maria Gini (Computer Science and Engineering, Minnesota Robotics Institute). He is primarily interested in researching intelligent user interfaces in domains such as robotics and art. He is highly considering getting a co advisor. He enjoys arts(martial, culinary, fine, etc) and sleeping. In reality his hair is much shorter.

Get in touch with Patrick at perez765@umn.edu.

Libby Ferland, Treasurer

Libby is a Computer Science Ph.D. candidate focusing on natural language processing and assistive technology design. She is advised by Maria Gini and part of the UMN Chatbot group. Her research focuses on user intent recognition and preference learning through dialogue, as well as relational agents for mental health and older users. She is co-advised by Wilma Koutstaal, a professor of psychology. She enjoys languages, crafting, art, music, and exploring new things

Get in touch with Libby at ferla006@umn.edu.

Michael Fulton, GRaDS Coordinator


Michael is a Computer Science PhD candidate focusing on robotics. As a member of the Interactive Robotics and Vision Lab, Michael works on field and marine robots, with a special emphasis on human-robot interaction, robot perception, and environmental applications of robots. Michael’s work has covered such topics as trash detection, designing and building multiple marine robots, and creating new methods for field robots to communicate to humans without dedicated interaction devices. He is advised by Junaed Sattar (Computer Science and Engineering, Minnesota Robotics Institute). Michael is originally from the North Country of New York state, and lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two cats, Harriet and Topher.

Get in touch with Michael at fulto081@umn.edu.

Eman Ramadan, Social Coordinator


Eman is a Computer Science PhD candidate focusing on Networks and a member of the Computer Networking Research Lab with the goal of transforming the current best-effort Internet to a more reliable, available, and secure information infrastructure for all kinds of communication activities. Eman's research interests lie in Content Distribution Networks (CDN), Routing, and 5G Mobile Networking. More specifically improving content caching policies, designing resilient routing protocols, understanding and improving the performance of emerging 5G Networks. Eman is advised by Professor Zhi-Li Zhang (Computer Science and Engineering Department). Eman is originally from Egypt and enjoys sports such as soccer, volleyball, tennis, boxing, snowboarding, and many others.

Get in touch with Eman at sheha008@umn.edu.

Mo Houtti, Slack Coordinator


Mo (left) is a Computer Science PhD student in GroupLens Research, with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction. He spent the first year of his PhD in the Knights Lab, working on a wide variety of research projects in computational biology. He is currently advised by Loren Terveen. Mo is from Morocco. No, Mo is not short for Morocco. He wishes people wouldn’t ask him that any Mo. Mo is the Minister of Slackery and supreme master of dank memery. He enjoys eating the many foods that others love to hate, such as Hawaiian pizza, fake maple syrup, and oatmeal raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies.

Get in touch with Mo at houtt001@umn.edu.

Yashasvi Sriram Patkuri, Web Coordinator


Yashasvi Sriram is a Computer Science Masters student with current research interests in robotic sensing and planning. He is an open-source enthusiast and believes in the unix philosophy and minimalism. He enjoys math, coding, travelling, adventure sports like snowboarding, rock climbing, surfing, and trying out new things in general.

Get in touch with Yashasvi Sriram at patku001@umn.edu.