Welcome to my website!

I am a second-year PhD student studying Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering (CMSE) at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. I am proudly part of the Krishnan Lab (pictured above) under the mentorship of Dr. Krishnan. My research focuses on applying methods from the field of natural-language processing to studying biomedical texts. In a way, I am trying to teach computers how to read! I train machine learning models from free-text to predict systematic annotations for tissues and cell types.

Research Interests

Boradly speaking, I am interested in the fields of computational science and data science. More specifically, I am interested in:

  • Drawing understanding and meaning from data
  • Natural-language processing
  • Machine learning algorithm design and implementation
  • Applying algorithms to cross-domain problems
  • Large-scale data analysis and visualization
  • Writing code in general

Hobbies

I’m a total nerd. My primary hobby is video games (add me on steam: the_nat_hawk). Some of my favorite video games of all time include:

  • Skyrim
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Dark Souls
  • The Last of Us
  • Risk of Rain 2
  • Cuphead

Big fan of speed running and Twitch as well! I love watching other people play video games almost as much as I love playing them myself.

I love everything to do with computers. Researching their components, building them, watching other people build them, you name it. My PC is nothing special, but I absolutely love it. Happy to chat about this stuff any time!

Outside of that, I also really enjoy:

  • Playing the ukulele
  • Watching anything with Gordon Ramsay in it (Kitchen Nightmare’s is my personal favorite) or anything narrated by David Attenborough
  • Running
  • Brewing (and subsequently drinking) beer
  • Playing Dungeons and Dragons (5e)

I’m also getting married next year, which is awesome. Here I am with my wonderful partner.

About Me

I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Physics from Michigan State as well with a minor in computational science. I like to tell people that my trajectory to my current position is a little non traditional: I have a degree in physics with four years of experience in education research doing computational biology, but at heart, I’m just a computer nerd. I entered my undergraduate with the intent of becoming a professor of physics, specifically wanting to teach. I started working with Dr. Caballero and Dr. Irving in the Physics Education Research Lab at Michigan State in the spring of 2015 through to the end of 2017. My research focused on understanding student’s perceptions of computation in introductory mechanics. We were able to publish our work as a conference proceedings paper at the primary national conference for physics education research, check it out.

In my junior year of undergraduate, I took my first computational science course. I quickly realized computers were a passion of mine. Computers and programming became such a natural fixation of mine. The logical flow of execution, tedious attention to detail needed to successfully create a program, and the seemingly endless possibilities for creation were the perfect fit for my nerdy brain. I started working with Dr. Piermarocchi in the summer of 2017 on computational biophysics research. We applied a neural network called the Hopfield model to studying single-cell gene expression data during the cell cycle, but my primary focus was on developing a cross-validation scheme for identifying the optimal number of clusters in single-cell expression data from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. This was part of a larger work to develop a voting-based algorithm for assigning cell types using curated marker gene lists. Check out our paper.

When I finished my undergraduate degree, I took a year to work with the Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering on a new education research project. I worked with Dr. O’Shea, Dr. Silvia, and Dr. Caballero on a project to understand the core competencies from the field of computational modeling and data analysis that students need to develop in their undergraduate careers to be successful in academia or indsutry. We’re currently working on finishing this up for publication.

Now I’m in graduate school studying computational science and computational biology working towards my PhD. If you’re interested in talking about research, hobbies, or want to get to know me, send me an email or reach out to me on social media.