PhD Students

Current PhD Students 


Madhur Atreya received a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MS from the University of Southern California. For the past 5 years, he has worked on a wide variety of manufacturing and design projects ranging from an aircraft engine test pylon to premium motorcycles. Madhur is researching design methodology and automated design synthesis. He plans to develop concept generation tools to help quickly design prototype solutions in resource-constrained situations. His advisors are Dan Szafir, who is an assistant professor of computer science rostered in the ATLAS Institute, and Mark D Gross, who directs the ATLAS Institute.


Donna Auguste worked in software and consumer electronics industries for about 20 years, volunteered for international mission work for about 10 years, and recently developed innovative sensors for the Internet of Things. Her current research, DataTip, involves using smartphone sensors to engage non-technical youth and adults in STEM learning as they create content relevant to daily living. Donna received her BS-EECS from the University of California at Berkeley and her MS from Regis University.

Photo of Chris Bopp

Christopher Bopp studies how social service organizations use data and information systems to evaluate and improve their programs. Over the last 10 years, he has consulted for a variety of organizations in the areas of data science, IT engineering and information security. He has conducted research around the diffusion of information through social media during natural disasters with Project EPIC and was a Data Science for Social Good fellow at the University of Chicago. Bopp received his BS from Rochester Institute of Technology and his MS from the ATLAS program in Information and Communication Technology for Development. His advisor, Amy Voida, is on the faculty of the Department of Information Science.

Photo of Jackie Cameron

Jackie Cameron BA Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley 2010, Post baccalaureate courses in Biology, University of Pittsburgh 2012 (Advisor: Professor Yeh): Jackie plans to explore how technology can be used to support democratic educational environments that promote student voice and interest. She works on NatureNet with Tom Yeh, an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department.


Lila Finch seeks to explore how the natural beauty in scientific processes can be used to trigger innate curiosities in students that lead them to be life long explorers. As an artist, crafter, scientist and educator, she is interested in studying the use of artistic multimedia and visualization tools for students to collect, analyze, and present scientific ideas as a way to facilitate their learning and enhance their creativity. Lila taught high school chemistry and art at KIPP San Jose Collegiate, initially through Teach for America, for four years before continuing her own education at the California Institute of Technology where she earned an MS in Chemistry in 2016. Lila received a BA in Chemistry and Art from Lewis & Clark College in 2009. Her advisor is Ben Shapiro, who is a faculty member of computer science rostered at the ATLAS Institute.

Katie Gach

Katie Gach is a digital ethnographer studying human experiences on social platforms. Her past work looked at real name policies and kindness on discussion boards about charity campaigns. She is working on the Facebook Legacy Contact, finding ways to build compassion and empathy into social media. Katie earned an MA in Communication, Culture, and Technology at Georgetown University in 2015, and a BA in Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University in 2009. Her advisor is Jed Brubaker, an assistant professor in the Information Science Department.

Photo of Simone Hyater-Adams

Simone Hyater-Adams (BS Physics, Hampton University 2014) is interested in the study of a student’s “physics identity.” She is investigating how a student develops their like or dislike of physics, and ways that the performing arts and digital media can be used to attract underrepresented students to the field. Her advisor is Noah Finkelstein, a professor of physics.

Annie Kelly

Annie Kelly holds a BS in Computer Science and is a lover of all things musical – whether it’s jamming with friends or rocking out at concerts. Annie is interested in creating new audio visual music technologies for collaborative performances. She wants to analyze how different musical interface designs can empower performers to unlock their creative potential. She began working in the ATLAS Lab for Playful Computation during her undergraduate studies and she is continuing on in graduate school with Ben Shapiro as her advisor.

Photo of Brittany kos

Brittany Kos (BS, MS Computer Science, University of Colorado Boulder, 2012, 2014) is studying introductory computing classrooms. She is researching how these spaces build community and construct social norms and how students choose to align themselves with these communities as they build a computing identity. Her advisor is Lecia Barker, associate professor of information science in the College of Media, Communication and Information.


HyunJoo Oh holds two master’s degrees: one from Carnegie Mellon University in entertainment technology and a one in Media Interaction Design from Ewha Woman’s University, South Korea. She works on digital craft, tangible interaction and creative play. By encouraging deep engagement in playful environments, Oh seeks to inspire children to actively explore their ideas, while bridging the digital and physical worlds. She is co-advised by Mark D Gross, professor of computer science and director of the ATLAS Institute, and Michael  Eisenberg, professor of computer science.

Photo of David Oonk

David Oonk studies how students learn about controversial science topics, such as climate change, and how multimedia and artistic tools can be used to help facilitate their learning. For the past four years, he has worked for the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Education and Outreach, and communications groups. In that time he has worked with Navajo Nation tribal college students on a project documenting environmental and land use change on the reservation through photography, and with middle and high school students across Colorado on climate change documentaries. Oonk received a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.F.A in Film Studies from the University of Colorado–Boulder. His advisor is Max Boykoff, an associate professor of Environmental Studies at CIRES.

Photo of calvin Pohawpatchoko

Calvin C. Pohawpatchoko Jr. is a member of the Numunu People (Comanche Tribe) from the Quahada (Antelope) clan. He has a BS Computer Science from Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Okla.; a MS in Computer Information Systems from Regis University, Denver; and has done doctoral studies in Educational Technology at University of Northern Colorado and Computer Science at Colorado School of Mines as a GK-12 Fellow. He has worked for 25 years in the IT industry. Calvin serves on the Navajo Technology University Engineering Board and has served on University of Colorado Multi-Cultural Engineering Program Advisory Council and with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE). His research applies Cultural Constructionism in computing, commerce, emerging economies and building human intellectual capital through educational research for indigenous people. His advisor is Clayton Lewis, a professor in Computer Science.

Photo of ABigale Stangl

Abigale Stangl studies how people design assistive technologies, accessible media, and meaningful learning experiences for people with visual impairments. She facilitates the design of curriculum to support fabrication and learning, multi-modal literacies and 3D printing accessible materials. She holds a Masters of Science in Information Communication Technology for Development (ICTD) from the ATLAS Institute at CU-Boulder, a graduate diploma in Landscape Studies from Lincoln University, and a Bachelors of Environmental Design from CU-Boulder. She is a founding director of the Visionaria Peru program, an initiative to support clean cooking and women’s empowerment in Peru. Her advisor is Tom Yeh, assistant professor of computer science.