Alumni Stories

  • July 16, 2018

    Merging disciplines, alumna found her niche in M&A

    Linda Yao wasn’t the type of kid who was dead-set on becoming a lawyer or doctor when she grew up.

    With wide-eyed curiosity and a bit of indecisiveness, she was tugged in dozens of different directions until she landed at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Applied Sciences (SEAS), where she chose an applied math concentration because of the field’s flexibility.

  • July 3, 2018

    Creativity is key for this data scientist and concert pianist

    For Omar Abboud, machine-learning models and classical piano concertos have more in common than meets the eye (or ear). A data scientist by day and concert pianist by night, Abboud unravels complexity, whether he is sitting at a keyboard or behind the keys of a baby grand.

  • June 21, 2018

    Using innovative technology to help paralyzed individuals regain lost function and independence

    For the hundreds of thousands of individuals in the U.S. who suffer from paralysis or weakness in an arm or hand, daily tasks like lifting boxes or cooking dinner can be nearly impossible. Sam Kesner is working to help them regain some lost function.

  • June 19, 2018

    Using technology and education to break down barriers

    Growing up in New Delhi, India, Upasna Sharma never considered attending college in the U.S. She hadn’t even heard of the SAT until she was in 12th grade.

  • May 29, 2018

    Work meets play for this computer engineer-turned-toymaker

    A few years ago, alumna Meeta Gupta was working with one of the most technologically advanced supercomputers in the world. Today, she spends her days designing wooden toys that are so simple they don’t even require batteries.

  • May 23, 2018

    Amid stiff competition, Australian national curling coach lets things slide

    Despite Australia’s subtropical climate, alumnus and Melbourne resident Pete Manasantivongs spends a great deal of time on ice. As coach of the national curling team, he led the Aussies to an 18th place finish at the world mixed doubles championship in Sweden. The team nearly defeated the world champion Swiss—not bad for a nation that largely lacks ice or snow.

  • April 25, 2018

    Driven to improve workplace safety and comfort for autoworkers

    From massaging leather seats to intricate climate control capabilities, new cars offer an array of features with driver and passenger comfort in mind. But what about the comfort and safety of the people building those cars?

    The auto assembly line is the focus of alumna Katie Grosteffon, S.B. ’09, senior consultant and ergonomic specialist at Humantech. She is implementing a proactive ergonomics program at a major automaker.

  • April 16, 2018

    Using technology to make city streets safer

    Boston experienced five horrific bicycle fatalities in the summer and fall of 2012, raising awareness of the dangers involved when cyclists and trucks and buses navigate the city’s narrow streets.

  • March 23, 2018

    Seeking sustainable solutions to make Washington, D.C. accessible and welcoming

    With more than 250,000 housing units, nearly 1,500 miles of sidewalks, 1,600 traffic signals, and the third busiest rapid transit system in the U.S., Washington, D.C. is a complex system.

  • March 19, 2018

    Program manager in NOAA’s Climate Office helps research projects take flight

    Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and several major universities will soon embark on a national research mission, FIREX-AQ, flying high above western wildfires to measure and track dangerous pollutants.

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