Drexel Computer Science Theory Reading Group

Current Members


Vasilis Gkatzelis


Vasilis Gkatzelis is an assistant professor in computer science at Drexel University. He previously held positions as a postdoctoral scholar at the computer science departments of UC Berkeley and Stanford University, and as a research fellow at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. He received his PhD from the Courant Institute of New York University and his research focuses on problems in algorithmic game theory and approximation algorithms.



Manolis Pountourakis


Manolis Pountourakis is an assistant professor in computer science at Drexel University. He previously held positions as a postdoctoral fellow at the electrical and computer engineering department at the University of Texas at Austin and as a research fellow at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. He received his PhD from Northwestern University in 2017 and was a long-term visitor at Microsoft Research New England from 2014 to 2016. His research focuses on algorithmic game theory, algorithmic mechanism design, and approximation algorithms.



Dan Schoepflin


Daniel Schoepflin is a PhD student at Drexel University, where he is advised by Vasilis Gkatzelis. His research focuses on algorithmic game theory and combinatorial optimization. In particular, he is interested in multi-agent resource allocation problems. He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Drexel University. He has been a member of the reading group since the winter of 2018.



Jeromy Guinther


Jeromy Guinther is a PhD student at Drexel University, where he is advised by Vasilis Gkatzelis. An active duty Air Force officer, he is currently stationed at Misawa Air Base in northern Japan. Jeromy’s interests include complexity theory, approximation algorithms, and games. He is currently working on applying hardness of approximation to problems in algorithmic game theory and multi-agent resource allocation. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2002, and most recently received his Masters Degree in Computer Science from Drexel in 2017. He has been a member of the reading group since the winter of 2018.



Steve Earth


Steve Earth is a PhD student in Drexel's Computer Science department, under advisors Jeremy Johnson and Bruce Char, with a particular research interest in leveraging gamification principles to STEM education. Steve has over 25 years experience as a high school math teacher (M.Ed from Harvard Univ) and his background is primarily in mathematics (M.S. from Carnegie Mellon Univ). He has been a member of the reading group since the summer of 2018.



Patrick Brinich


Patrick Brinich is a PhD student at Drexel University under Jeremy Johnson. His research interests include Programming Languages and Formal Verification, but he also enjoys topics related to theory of computation, mathematical logic, and anything with algorithmic substance. Patrick received a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in German from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of the reading group since the summer of 2018.



Safa Aman


Safa Aman is a senior at Drexel pursuing a B.S and M.S in Computer Science, with a minor in Economics. Her interests include human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and algorithms. Safa has previously worked with Dr. Erin Solovey’s Advanced Interaction Research Group as a STAR Scholar. At Drexel, she is an active Student Ambassador and has been the President of the Women in Computing Society for 2 years. She has been a member of the reading group since the winter of 2019.



Xizhi Tan


Xizhi Tan is a senior at Drexel University majoring in Mathematics. Currently, she is the Research Assistant for Prof. Thomas Yu in nonlinear optimization that discusses some fundamental geometric properties of various gradient descent algorithms and Newton’s methods. She is also doing research with Prof. Gideon Simpson in implementing methods for numerical integration of stochastic differential equations such as Metropolis-adjusted Geometric Langevin Algorithm (MAGLA) and the Hamiltonian Monte Carlo Method (HMC). She hopes to explore more in the theoretical computation and scientific computation field. She has been a member of the reading group since the fall of 2019.



Hunter Heidenreich


Hunter Heidenreich is a junior at Drexel University majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in AI and Algorithms. Specifically, he is interested in natural language processing, reinforcement learning, and, all things optimization . During his time at Drexel, he has worked for SAP Conversational AI as a data scientist and in the ExCITe Center as a STAR Researcher working with Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). He has been a member of the reading group since the fall of 2018.



Minh Le


Minh Le is currently a junior at Drexel University, pursuing a degree in Computer Science, with concentrations in Artificial Intelligence and Data Structures & Algorithms. Previously, she has worked with Professor Andrea Forte in the Drexel Social Computing Group doing human-computer interaction research as a STAR scholar, and under Professor John Megdalia developing web interface for testing cognitive flexibility. She has been a member of the reading group since the fall of 2019.



Rishi Patel


Rishi Patel is a junior at Drexel, double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. His interests include the applications of mathematics to computer science. He has previously researched type systems and he spent two terms as a research co-op conducting research in the design and analysis of ascending auctions. He has also previously worked as a software engineer for Lockheed Martin. He has been a member of the reading group since the fall of 2018.



Nick DeFilippis


Nick DeFilippis is pre-junior at Drexel, pursuing a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science and a minor in Astrophysics. His interests are in using mathematics and computer science to develop solutions to real-world problems. He has previously conducted research involving the interaction of planetary systems with stellar bodies, and he currently works in the Data Normalization and Adaptation group at Susquehanna International Group. He has been a member of the reading group since the winter of 2019.



Marius Garbea


Marius Garbea is a pre-junior at Drexel, double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. He is from Romania and came to Drexel after focusing on computer science in general and data structures and algorithms in particular during high school. He is interested in algorithms that span the blockchain space, such as decentralization, cryptography, consensus in networks, and game theory. He has been a member of the reading group since the fall of 2018.



Dennis George


Dennis George is a pre-junior at Drexel University who is pursuing the B.S and M.S program in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. He is going to take his tracks in Artificial Intelligence and Computer & Network Security for his undergraduate degree. He wishes to combine his passion for mathematics with his passion for computer science to develop solutions for complex problems. He has been a member of the reading group since the spring of 2019.



Stephen Hansen


Stephen Hansen is a pre-junior at Drexel University, pursuing an accelerated B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics, with plans to take tracks in Artificial Intelligence and Data Structures and Algorithms. He currently works with Dr. Bill Mongan in the Drexel Wireless Systems Lab as part of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program, continuing his research established from the STAR Scholars program. Stephen's VIP work focuses on developing efficient signal processing algorithms for the Bellyband project. He has previously worked as a software developer for the Fixed Income Technology team at Susquehanna International Group, and is currently working as a software developer for the Video IP Engineering and Research team at Comcast. Stephen is also currently working as a teaching assistant for the College of Computing and Informatics. He has been a member of the reading group since the fall of 2019.



Yusuf Ozaydin


Yusuf Ozaydin is a pre-junior at Drexel University’s B.S. in Computer Science. He is interested in A.I. and machine learning, and wishes to pursue a career focused on Machine Learning. He has been a member of the reading group since the fall of 2019.



Daniel Schwartz


Daniel Schwartz is a pre-junior at Drexel, pursuing an accelerated B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science. He is interested in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and optimization. He has worked with Dr. Brian Stuart implementing Adaptive Probabilistic Finite Automata and currently works with Dr. Bill Mongan in the Drexel Wireless Systems Lab developing an algorithm that optimizes data collected from multisensor fusion. Additionally, he is working closely with Dr. Ali Shokoufandeh, learning key concepts of Deep Learning and Convex Optimization. He has been a member of the reading group since the winter of 2019.



Isaiah Siegl


Isaiah Siegl is a pre-junior at Drexel, pursuing a major in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science. He is interested in algebra and combinatorics. He currently works on natural language processing at Independence Blue Cross. He has been a member of the reading group since the winter of 2019.



Pranav Garimidi


Pranav Garimidi is a senior in high school, focusing on mathematics and computer science. He has competed in multiple high school math competitions and is currently conducting research with Vasilis Gkatzelis on the fair allocation of indivisible goods. He has been a member of the reading group since the fall of 2018.





Alumni


Bailey Flanigan


Bailey Flanigan was a visiting researcher at Drexel University during the 2018-19 academic year. She then joined computer science PhD program at Carnegie Mellon University. She is interested in questions at the intersection of computational game theory and networks. Prior to Drexel, she was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Yale Department of Economics. She received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin.



Curtis Bechtel


Curtis Bechtel graduated from Drexel University in 2019 with a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Computer Science. After graduation, he entered a PhD program at the University of Southern California. He is interested broadly in theoretical computer science with a focus on algorithms, graph theory, and algorithmic game theory. He previously worked as a software developer for the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, where he helped develop a large-scale parallel data analysis system.



Ross Griebenow


Ross graduated from Drexel University in 2019, with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. He is interested in information theory, machine learning, graph theory, artificial life, and the thermodynamics of computation.



Rob Ross


Rob graduated summa cum laude in 2019 as with a CS major and math minor as the only student in the class with a 4.0 GPA upon graduation. While at Drexel, Rob researched graph theory as a STAR scholar, worked on signal processing algorithms with the Drexel Wireless Systems Lab’s Bellyband project, and lead a senior design team to develop a CNN capable of detecting certain types of cells in human tissue slides. Rob is a Goldwater Scholar and has presented his research at IEEE-SPMB, NCRC, and NCUR. In July 2019, Rob began a position as a machine learning research scientist at Riverside Research.



Joe Urbano


Joe Urbano received both a bachelor's and master's degree in Computer Science through the BSMS program of Drexel University in 2019. His interests are in the applications of algorithms and AI, specifically in the areas of machine learning and computer vision. In addition to serving as a teaching assistant for the College of Computing and Informatics, he has most recently worked for Bentley Systems, where he contributed to a cloud-based 3D-model synchronization application.



Craig Carr


Craig Carr received a B.S. in Software Engineering from Drexel University, with minors in Mathematics and Economics in 2018. After graduating, he joined OSIsoft as a software developer, where he works on building software infrastructure for industrial IoT applications. As a hobbyist in mathematics, he focuses on applications of algorithms to network protocols and distributed computing.