Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Graduate Fellows

Picture1Jonathan Hersh became a Hariri Graduate Fellow in May, 2016. He is a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics. His research focuses on topics in development, international economics, and applied microeconomics. Hersh is interested in applying methods from machine learning and data science to open questions in economics, with a particular focus on methods used for prediction and inference. He is also a consultant in the Poverty and Equity Global Practice at the World Bank, where he was a co-awardee of a Big Data Innovation Challenge Grant. He was previously a visiting lecturer at Wellesley College.

Picture1Rawane Issa became a Hariri Graduate Fellow in May, 2016. She is a first year PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science. Her research interests include software engineering and computational biology. Issa earned her BE in computer and communication engineering from the American University of Beirut, and has interned at UBILITE. She earned two prestigious awards for her innovative work on the temporal entity extraction and normalization of Arabic text in the field of neuro-linguistic programming. Currently, Issa is focusing on the implementation of reduced-order models of the respiratory airways in a circuit environment.

KOLLERJared M. Koller was named a Hariri Graduate Fellow in May, 2016. He is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Archaeology, who, for the past three years, has worked with local communities in the Philippines to investigate social and religious change through archaeology.  Mr. Koller’s research takes an archaeological approach that explores the relationship between visual and acoustic information in and around Spanish missions and plaza complexes in the Philippines from the 14th – 18th centuries CE.  Archaeologists typically focus on material culture.  Less well understood is how sound influenced daily life in the past.  By combining audio information with material remains, Koller’s research aims to provide a richer understanding of human motivation and behavior in the past. Prior to beginning his PhD program at Boston University, Mr. Koller served as a Researcher for the Asian Cultural History Program (ACHP), part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Anthropology Department in Washington D.C.  His work at the Smithsonian included archaeological and historical research, training international partners in collection management systems, and coordinating of cultural events for Azerbaijani, Georgian, Indonesian, Kazakhstani, Korean, and Turkmen, and Turkish communities.

Picture1Rajita Menon was named a Hariri Graduate Fellow in May, 2016. She is a fifth year PhD candidate in the Department of Physics. She uses a computational perspective to understand how physical constraints control the function of microbial communities. Her research focuses on game-theoretical modeling of nutrient exchange in microbial ecosystems, statistical learning for dysbiosis in chronic diseases of the gut, and predicting network properties that make microbial communities productive. Menon received her BS in Physics from the University of Delhi in 2010, and her MS in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi in 2012.

Picture1Elizabeth Heller Murray was chosen as a Hariri Graduate Fellow in May, 2016. She is a PhD candidate in the STEPP lab for Sensorimotor Rehabilitation Engineering Lab, within the department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences of Sargent College. She received her BA in psychology and linguistics from Emory University in 2009, her MS in speech-language pathology at MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2013, and completed her certification for clinical licensure as a speech-language pathologist at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2016. Her research interests include using data-driven methods to improve both rehabilitation and evaluation techniques for children and adults with voice disorders.

Picture1Yicheng Song became a Hariri Graduate Fellow in May, 2016. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Information Systems at Questrom School of Business, advised by Professor Nachiketa Sahoo and Professor Chris Dellarocas. Previously, Song received his BS from Wuhan University in 2006 and PhD in computer science from the Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2012.


ShahroozZarbafianShahrooz Zarbafian was chosen as a Hariri Graduate Fellow in May, 2016. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. His research area is controls and optimization and his projects involve algorithm development for the interdisciplinary problem of computational protein docking at the Structural Bioinformatics and Network Optimization and Control labs at Boston University. Zarbafian’s research focuses on developing computational tools to facilitate the drug discovery process where the goal is to discover new drugs or identify effective current medications for treating emerging diseases. Specifically, he uses optimization and machine learning frameworks to simulate the protein-protein interactions.

SarSarahZhengah Zheng was named a Hariri Graduate Fellow in May, 2016. She is a doctoral student in the Operation and Technology Management department at Questrom School of Business. Her research has been featured in media outlets such as U.S. News & World Report and Wolters Kluwer. Her research vision is to combine her knowledge of the operations management literature and her data analytics training to design systems and processes to improve performance. She is particularly interested in examining how health care organizations can achieve higher performance by improving their internal operations at the process level, and engaging patients into operations through cost-sharing at the system level. Prior to BU, Sarah worked at Boston Medical Center on massachusetts health reform studies. She earned a Bachelor of Economics from Peking University, China and an MA in economics from BU.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Ronen AdatoRonen Adato is a Hariri Postdoctoral Fellow, funded as part of the Hariri Research Award Securing CMOS Integrated Circuits Using Nano-antenna-Based Optical Watermarks, granted to Ajay Joshi, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Boston University. Ronen has been a postdoctoral fellow with Bennett Goldberg and Selim Ünlü, Optical Characterization and Nanophotonics lab in the Boston University Photonics Center . He currently leads work on new nanophotonic methods for integrated circuit testing and security. His research focuses on developing nanophonic and computational tools for sensing, microscopy and spectroscopy. He received his PhD in 2013 from Boston University and the Outstanding Dissertation Award in Electrical and Computer Engineering for his thesis work on surface enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy. He received his B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics from Duke Universiy.

Foteini BaldimtsiFoteini Baldimtsi is a postdoctoral researcher in the BU Security group (RISCS) at Boston University. RISCS, the Center for Reliable Information Systems & Cyber Security, is part of the Hariri Institute for Computing. Foteini also has a research affiliation with the Crypto.Sec group at University of Athens. Her research interests are in cryptography, security and data privacy with a special focus in electronic cash and private authentication techniques. She received her Ph.D. from Brown University in May 2014 where she was supervised by Anna Lysyanskaya. During her time at Brown she spent a semester at Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA working in the Cryptography group with Melissa Chase and a summer at IBM Research in Zurich working as a member of the Cryptography and Security group.

Yossi GiladYossi Gilad is a postdoctoral researcher in the BU Security group (RISCS) at Boston University.  Previously, as a research staff member at IBM, he worked at the cyber-security research group located at Ben-Gurion University. He is also a postdoctoral researcher at the Computer Science Department in the Hebrew University where his host is Dr. Michael Schapira. He works on various aspects of communication networks and protocols, in particular focusing on their security. Gilad completed his Ph.D. at the CS department in Bar-Ilan University, where he was a part of the network security research group. He spent a few months at Google Cambridge MA, working on SPDY and prior to that worked at IBM Research Zurich laboratory on improving password based authentication. During his studies he spent one semester as a research scholar at Boston University, working with Prof. Ari Trachtenberg on design and implementation of a secure platform for mobile devices. Prior to all these travels Yossi was a software architect at Marvell’s Switching division.

Jason HennesseyJason Hennessey is a member at the Cloud Computing Initiative (CCI) at Boston University. Prior to joining the CCI, Jason worked in industry, including several years at Digital/Compaq/HP as a Unix kernel engineer and VMware working on cloud computing. As part of his PhD work, he studied the preservation and longevity of digital resources used in scholarly literature. At the CCI, and as part of the Mass Open Cloud efforts, he is focused on researching several aspects of implementing a large, multi-tenant, multi-provider cloud including scheduling, security, privacy, cost assessment models and the overall architecture.

Alessandra ScafuroAlessandra Scafuro is a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University and Northeastern University. Previously she held a post-doc position at UCLA hosted by Prof. Rafail Ostrovsky. She obtained her Ph.D. in April 2013 from University of Salerno, under the supervision of Prof. Ivan Visconti. Her research interests are in Cryptography, with focus on Secure Computation.

Please visit Past Fellows page for prior Postdoctoral Fellows