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Larry Medsker

George Washington University

Professor of Physics

Professor Medsker has been involved with D.C.-area colleges and high schools for more than 25 years. He is the Associate Director for GWTeach, a program funded by the National Math and Science Initiative to train undergraduate math, science, and engineering majors to be excellent STEM middle and high school educators. In addition, he is the Program Associate on a Robert Noyce grant for Capacity Building for Disciplinary Experts in Math and Science Teaching, and the Co-Principal Investigator on the GW S-STEM grant that supports the Joint Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics program. During his career, he has conducted projects with D.C. teachers and a nonprofit group called Joint Educational Facilities (JEF) located in the high needs Anacostia area of Washington. Together with a JEF colleague, he developed--and for 13 years sustained--the annual D.C. Computer Science Conference for high school students. His work in physics education research includes studies of active learning in SCALE-UP (studio physics) environments.

Helen Zhao

Johns Hopkins University

B.A. in Biophysics and Philosophy

Helen is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she double-majored in Biophysics and Philosophy. While an undergraduate, she served as the Chief Executive Officer of The Triple Helix, Inc., an international undergraduate non-profit with over 20 university chapters, dedicated to promoting critical analysis of legally and socially important issues in science. In addition to research in biophysics, global public health, and philosophy, she was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship by the university to conduct a 3-year independent research project, which she used to analyze recommendations to health care providers for addressing parental concerns about vaccine safety in the clinical context. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, she graduated this May with honors in philosophy and the Detlev Bronk Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Biophysics. Beginning October 2016, she will be studying for an M.Phil in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine at the University of Cambridge. 

Kirsten Dimovitz

George Washington University

International Affairs '17

Kirsten is a rising senior at the George Washington University majoring in International Affairs and minoring in Public Health.  Her focus and training lie in gender mainstreaming, specifically surrounding the issue of sexual violence. As president of Students Against Sexual Assault, she pushed for the founding of the Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, which now comprises representatives from campus administration, students, faculty and staff. She also organized the first “It’s On Us” campaign in collaboration with the White House. She has interned with the biotech company Genomic Health, a local DC startup, the United Nations Population Fund, Save the Children, and the International Rescue Committee. Kirsten also volunteers on the National Sexual Assault Hotline for the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN). In addition, she is interested in the intersection of global issues, data science, and A.I., and has helped to organize the AAAI's Symposium "Humans and Machines: A Multidisciplinary Approach". She presented a poster at the 2016 AAAS conference on the future social, technological, and philosophical effects of A.I. In the long-run, Kirsten plans to create more targeted and effective national and international programs that address the prevention and response of sexual violence against men and women especially in times of conflict and among displaced populations.


Brooke Staveland

George Washington University

Mathematics '17

Brooke is a rising senior in the Honors Program at the George Washington University majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Mind/Brain Studies.  For the past year and a half, she has been leading a study on utilizing machine learning algorithms and graph theoretical techniques to predict treatment responses to Major Depressive Disorder under the guidance of Dr. Leanne Williams in the Personalized and Translational Neuroscience Lab at Stanford University. Brooke came across HUMAC her freshman year through one of Prof. Medsker's courses. Since then, she has collaborated with Prof. Medsker on multiple projects, including helping to organize the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence's Symposium "Humans and Machines: A Multidisciplinary Approach" and presenting a poster at the 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science conference on the future social, technological, and philosophical effects of artificial intelligence. She plans to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience specializing in clinical research and use her experience with A.I. as a tool in treatment predictions for psychiatric illnesses.