Carmen Castaños, PhD

Carmen finished her undergraduate degree at MIT in civil engineering and architecture but came right back for grad school in mechanical engineering focusing on product design. Originally from Illinois, she has been able to travel lots and explore the architecture and structural design of the places she goes. In her spare time, she likes to read, go to museums and watch bad TV.

Elisa Young '17

Elisa is an undergraduate studying Computer Science. She enjoys taking photos, frolicking through online art sites, reading poetry, eating curry, and thinking about the world. She’s on an adventure to find a happy intersection between Computer Science and art.

Rachel Osmundsen '17

Rachel is an undergraduate student studying Materials Science and Engineering, with a minor in Energy Studies. After attending California College of the Arts for a summer, she realized that she would rather go to a tech school than an art school, but is so excited to have found a great arts community at MIT. Originally from Portland, OR, she loves exploring all the museums, theaters, and restaurants that Boston has to offer. She particularly enjoys oil painting and figure drawing. When she is not in classes or rowing on the Charles, Rachel bakes in every spare moment, with an emphasis on sourdough bread.

Carolyn Joseph G

Carolyn is a graduate student in Materials Science and Engineering. Joining the arts scholars as an undergraduate helped her realize that MIT is teeming with opportunities to make and appreciate art. She likes watercolor painting, decorating (and eating) sugar cookies, linocut printmaking, and singing (karaoke of course).

Matthew Arbesfeld '17

Matt is an undergraduate studying Computer Science and Mathematics, with a focus in Computer Graphics. Watching Monsters Inc. as a kid in the back seat of his family’s Honda Odyssey inspired him to explore computer-generated art, and he has been modeling things in 3D ever since. In his spare time he likes to eat, cook or run along the Charles so that he can eat more.

Edwina Portocarrero, PhD

Edwina Portocarrero is a PhD Candidate at MIT’s Media Lab. She designs hybrid physical/digital objects and systems for play, education and performance. She previously studied Design and Production with a focus on Lighting and Set design at Calarts. She has traveled extensively, lived in Brazil working at a documentary production house, as lighting designer in her native Mexico, hitchhiked her way to Nicaragua, lived in a Garifuna village in Honduras, documented the soccer scene in Rwanda and is currently trying to re­imagine the playgrounds of tomorrow as Networked Playscapes.

David Rolnick, PhD

Davie Rolnick is a PhD student in Applied Mathematics, also working in the Media Lab (Synthetic Neurobiology) and CSAIL (Computational Connectomics). His research involves training computers to understand the structure of the brain ­ a combination of machine learning, computational neuroscience, and discrete math. Davie finished his undergraduate studies at MIT in 2012 with a double major in Math and Music, and spent a year at the Free University of Berlin as a Fulbright Scholar. Outside research, Davie studies voice with Richard Conrad and performs with the Boston Cantata Singers, MIT Chamber Chorus, and other groups. Davie also enjoys running, writing, teaching, and wandering off into the woods to look at birds and insects.

Pip Mothersill, PhD

Pip Mothersill is a PhD student in the Object­Based Media group at the MIT Media Lab, where she explores the language of design, particularly how objects can communicate information to us through their form. Through research that connects design theory, synesthesia, and linguistics, she investigates computational processes for the design of static and dynamically expressive objects and explores how the design attributes of physical objects can become a more active medium for communication. Pip’s convoluted journey before coming to the Media Lab included a MEng in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Bristol, a joint MA/MSc degree in Industrial Design Engineering from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College, London, three years working as a product designer for Procter & Gamble, and lots of cooking, sewing, painting, theatre, ballet and art galleries.

CK (Chheangkea Ieng) '17

CK was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and moved to Massachusetts when he was 11. Currently, he is an undergraduate in the Department of Architecture, which means he gets to art almost every day of his life and he loves it. Yes, he does use “art” as a verb. CK wants to use art as a bridge to connect the world. Yes, he realizes he just made an architecture metaphor. Most of the time, you will find him in his studio, taking pictures around Boston, modeling on his computer, getting bubble tea, dancing, making videos, sketching pictures of buildings, watching TV or playing tennis.

Elizabeth Bianchini '18

Elizabeth, but you can call her Bibit, hails from the forests of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she was raised to love trees, hills, running, and just about any body of water. In her free time, she keeps busy building stuff, eating, and messing with people. She will admit that she is very attracted to power tools. When she gets old, she plans on shaving her head and buying a hundred acres where she’ll live in a tent until she finishes building her own house, probably in a tree.

Sam Rodriques G

Sam is a graduate student in physics, working in the Synthetic Neurobiology group at the MIT Media Lab on developing new experimental methods to study the brain. He has a long history with drama and musical theater, having directed 14 +/­ 1 shows since high school. While he tries to unravel the mysteries of the brain, he is interested in figuring out how to use science and engineering to generate new kinds of sensory experiences, opening up new artistic modalities. In his spare time, he plays the board game Go, and is trying to teach himself Chinese.

Marianna Sofman G

Marianna is currently a graduate student in the biomaterials/tissue engineering field, with interests in fabrication, regenerative medicine, and drug delivery.

Kimberly Toy G

Kim is a Master’s student studying computer science and hails from northern California. Her love of arts and crafts started with folding origami as a child and has expanded since then to include needle felting, making polymer clay miniatures, and sewing felt plushes. After coming to MIT, she has discovered the joys of wheel throwing and photography. She would love for other students to be able to discover their own favorite creative outlets too! Her one day dream is to open an Etsy shop and share her creations with the world.

Emma Castaños '17

Emma is an undergraduate studying Mechanical Engineering. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, she appreciates both U.S. coasts and the varied landscapes they offer. Emma enjoys traveling, hammocking, hiking, and climbing. She likes dressing up to go to the opera and dancing around her room alone. Emma became interested in photography in order to capture her adventures and companions.

Elizabeth Glista '17

Elizabeth is an undergraduate studying mechanical engineering. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, she did ballet, tap, and modern dance for ten years before coming to MIT. At MIT, she joined the crew team and now only dances for recreation. Nevertheless, her appreciation for art has increased since coming to MIT due to the richness of Boston’s museums and cultural opportunities. She spends her free weekends attending pieces at the Boston Ballet and hiking in the White Mountains.

William Yu G

William is an applied math PhD student in the Computation and Biology group at the MIT Computer Science and Al Lab. He majored in math, chemistry, and Germanic studies at Indiana University for undergrad and following that earned MRes and MPhil degrees from Imperial College London on Marshall Scholarship. William spends most of his free time either exploring movement, primarily dance and recreational gymnastics, or learning how to fail better at telling stories of all shapes, whether scientific journal article or short story.

Lia Coleman '17

Lia Coleman is an undergraduate majoring in Computer Science. She has dabbled in most of the visual arts: pencil sketching, mixed media, collage, sculpture, ceramics, spoon carving, soap carving, oil painting, and spraypainting– although recently the majority of her work is digital art, using Photoshop. She has been a Graphic Designer for the Campus Activites Complex, and a member of RingComm. She enjoys 2D abstract art– Picasso is her favorite, especially his black and white work. Being in the Guggenheim in NYC is like being a kid in a candy store for her.

Cynthia Odu '18

Cynthia (Syn) Odu is a third year student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. With interests primarily in urban art and design, they hope to better understand how art and beauty can influence new ways of being. Syn self­identifies as a cheating vegan, a closet existentialist, a lover of the natural world, and much, much more.

Hane Lee '17

Hane is an Electrical Engineering student minoring in music. She has lived with classical piano ever since she can remember, but she is increasingly spending more time plucking piano strings, reading pieces composed by friends, and listening to minimal music and bebop jazz. Hane also loves the visual arts (Vermeer! Cubists! Contemporary art museums!), literature, and often develops an impossible weak spot for performance art.

Jane Fessenden '18

Known as “jmfessy” by many and her brass rat, Jane was born and raised in the Berkeley, California, which explains her frequent use of “hella” and “chill”. Now a MechE, she first discovered her love of building in the garage of her 90 year old neighbor who would let her and all the neighborhood kids play with his power tools at an age much too young to be handling power tools. With her parents as photographers, grandfather as an architect, she was destined to love art, still continues to use it today. Jane also enjoys playing soccer for the MIT women’s soccer team, traveling, and saving the environment one compostable item at a time.

Samantha Cohen G

Sam is finishing her second year of her Master of City Planning degree at MIT. She is interested in urban ecovillages, performance art, trickery and water.

Jiwon Park '17

Jiwon hails from South Korea but grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A junior majoring in Chemistry, she is an avid classical music fan. She enjoys listening to Rachmaninoff piano concertos on repeat while studying. When not practicing piano, she can be found doing research on polymer materials and watching Korean rap contests.

Iris Fung '17

Iris is an undergraduate studying Biology. She is an aspiring medical illustrator, and loves browsing beautiful illustration and design pieces in her free time. She is also wildly enthusiastic about food and can generally be found eating her way around Boston.

Holly Haney '18

Holly is a junior at MIT studying Comparative Media Studies. She is passionate about making art that is publicly accessible, current, and political. She is interested in the shape of the music industry, the social effects of the internet, and the way that our constant media constructs our globalized worlds.

Johanna Greenspan­-Johnston '17

Hailing from Berkeley, California, Johanna is no stranger to the arts scene. She went to an arts high school where art was integrated into every aspect of the classes and culture. There she was introduced to (and fell in love with) drawing, painting, sculpture, dance, printmaking, photography, film, and more. She aspires to apply her passions for art and design as a double major in Architecture and Urban Studies & Planning, as well as take advantage of all of the opportunities for art, music and cultural exposure in the city of Boston during her time at MIT.

Grace Li '17

Grace is an undergraduate student studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Art, Culture, and Technology (ACT). Grace began taking art lessons at the age of five, starting off with a box of 100 colored markers and moving on to explore oil pastels, gouache, sketching, acrylic paint, oil paint, cut paper, and mixed media. Coming to MIT, she picked up some new forms of art­ photography, video, ceramics, metal casting, and installation art. She enjoys being at the interface between art and engineering. In her spare time, Grace loves to hike, eat, read historical fiction novels, and build things.

Neerja Aggarwal '17

Neerja Aggarwal is an engineer, artist, and athlete. She studied electrical engineering and theatre arts in her undergrad at MIT. She is continuing at MIT for a masters in electrical engineering. Neerja is originally from Houston, TX and grew up with a passion in both science and theatre. She trained as a stage director at MIT, has directed two major stage productions so far: The Importance of Being Earnest (Nov 2014) and Now Then Again (Nov 2015), and is currently working on her third production of Einstein’s Dreams. Neerja is interested in exploring the intersection of science and theatre. She has also competed on the MIT Women’s club ultimate frisbee team all through college.

Julia Rue '18

Julia Rue is a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Product Design. She has been creating art ever since she could remember, attended the Orange County School of Arts as a student in the Visual Arts, and now creates 2D art pieces for commission regularly. However, she is interested in all forms of art and how art elicits response from those who interact with it, and applies her love for art in her mechanical engineering projects. Her current favorite mediums of art are oil paints.

Madhurima Das '18

Rima is a junior in Course 2A (mechanical engineering). She loves doing anything hands on, whether that’s building robots or creating embossed cards to send to friends back home! Almost every art form has enchanted her at some point–she did competitive theater when she was younger and played piano for 8 years, she currently dances, writes, reads like a maniac, and does projects in the visual arts to de-stress from schoolwork. She’s excited to be an arts scholar and get more involved in the arts community at MIT!

Xin Liu G

Xin is currently a Master candidate in Fluid Interface Group, MIT Media Lab. Questions of body, perception, affect and sensation have been the focus of her works. Xin uses mixed media installations and performances to examine the intertwined relationship between body and mind. She is particularly interested in the transformation and adaption of a social, sensorial, corporal body in our current technology mediated life.

Laura Perovich, PhD

Laura Perovich is a PhD student in the Object Based Media group at the MIT Media Lab. Her research focuses on re-imagining the relationship between citizens and scientists through ubiquitous computing and artistic, emotionally-resonant approaches to data interaction. She is a textile artist, creating quilts, clothing, and handmade fabrics. She also enjoys ballroom and latin dancing.

Henry W Love '18

Henry is an undergraduate studying Electrical Engineering and was raised in Arlington, VA along with five siblings. Violin and good music hold a special place in his life. He also has experience creating ceramics, small metal sculpture, and doing some glassblowing, however, there is no limit to the art forms he wishes to explore.  In his free time, Henry plays violin (sometimes with friends), builds things, learns about web development, and watches YouTube videos on old cars and fine machining.  He has a particular fascination for old things, in which there is a beauty and clever simplicity to how such things work.  He also runs and bikes for exercise and recreation.

Sasha Rickard '18

Sasha is a 3rd year MIT undergraduate studying Math and Computer Science. She enjoys playing a variety of instruments in styles ranging from jazz to classical to pop. In her free time she enjoys being outside, going for extended biking trips, caring for her garden, writing and reading.

Jessie Wang '19

Jessie is an undergrad who is studying Computer Science because of her appreciation for logic. She also enjoys drawing, film photography, and concept art. She loves concept art-ing with all her heart, because it is creating logical worlds that can’t exist, and communicating them through visual art. Jessie hopes to be a visual development artist at Dreamworks one day, but meanwhile you can probably spot her on campus chasing dogs around with her camera.

Dan Novy, PhD

Dan Novy (also known as NovySan) is a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab, where he works to decrease the alienation fostered by traditional passive media consumption; increase social interaction through transparent, interconnected and fluid media; and create enriched, active, and inspired immediate experiences. He is an Emmy- and Visual Effects Society Award-winning VFX Technical Supervisor, Transmedia Experience Designer, and Artist. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he received a BFA in Theatre and an MA in Theatre History, with a double emphasis in the technical history of the theatre and shamanic ritual performance in pre-agrarian societies. He is the former Chair of the Visual Effects Society’s Technology Committee, former Visiting Scientist at Magic Leap, and Co-Instructor of the Media Lab’s ‘Science Fiction-Inspired Prototyping’ and ‘Indistinguishable From Magic’ classes.

Lenny Martinez '17

Lenny is an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering. Born in the Dominican Republic, Lenny did not become a photographer until he was at MIT. Photography has become a tool for him to explore and understand his relation to things in the world. He is most interested in immortalizing moments that would otherwise be forgotten.

Nolan Peard '19

Nolan is a theoretical mathematics major focusing on computational quantum chemistry. His current research with Grossman Group explores the electron transport properties of quantum dot thin films. Nolan also spends a large amount of time studying cello performance with his teacher at New England Conservatory and performing music with the MIT Chamber Music Society and Emerson Scholars, among others. He also dabbles in pottery, string instrument restoration, and piano. Nolan is currently interested in the music of contemporary classical Russian and Impressionist French composers, light-matter interactions, audio spectrum theory, and finding time to satiate all of his other interests.

Kate Weishaar '18

Kate is an undergraduate student studying architecture. She has loved art of all kinds since the young age of three when she used to draw instead of taking a nap. Since then she has enjoyed painting, photography, several forms of dance, singing, set design, visiting art museums, and watching plays and musicals. In her (limited) spare time, she also enjoys cooking, knitting, yoga, drinking tea, and caring for her plants.

Archana Ram '18

Archana is a junior studying electrical engineering and computer science with a focus on robotics. They are interested in the intersection between art and technology and are actively working on creating robots that paint (the most interesting being a 12-foot ABB arm). In their spare time, they enjoy drawing, making and watching disturbing films, browsing Etsy, playing vinyls, and contemplating their mortality. Their diet is equal parts squash, chili powder and coffee.

Garrett Parrish '17

Garrett is an emerging production designer, multi-disciplined engineer, and musician currently wrapping up his studies in Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Theater at MIT. His goal in both his professional and personal work is to combine the powerful tools of engineering with the emotional depth of design and culture to create products, experiences, and shows that push the boundaries of technology and art. His past work has spanned both ends of the spectrum, from working as a system engineer for Walt Disney Imagineering, to assistant-directing a professional theater production, to performing as a professional drummer in New York City. His purest mission is to create happiness, solidarity, and empathy in the world and all of his work directs him towards this goal.

Emily Zhang G

Emily is Masters student in Computer Science focusing on computer music analysis. She finished her undergraduate at MIT in 2015 with degrees in Computer Science and Music and now gets to combine the two to make computational musicology tools for the music21 Python library under Myke Cuthbert. In her spare time, Emily studies constructed languages, writes longform letters in cursive script addressed to nobody in particular, and lifts heavy things and puts them back down with good form at MIT’s gyms, which she thinks are the real hidden gems of the Institute.

Jierui Fang '20

Jierui is a freshman who adores the color orange and making art with just about every medium including photography, printmaking, charcoal, graphic design, oil, and acrylic.  Her first memorable experience with art was a five-pound book on Monet she “borrowed” from her aunt.  Beyond visual art, she also used to play the piano, flute, and violin and has moderate experience in traditional Chinese dance.  In her free time, she likes to skate, look at bodies of water, compulsively read the news, eat spicy foods, and make lists.  She’s hoping to keep on adventuring in different art forms at MIT, especially in glass, metalworking, and film.

Penny Webb G

Penny Webb is an interaction designer specializing in the integration of technology within product design. Her main interests are in HCI, material advancements and digital craft. Concept development and future thinking are key aspects of her creative practice, which she combines with a passion for craft and communication. With a Bachelors in Interaction Design from the University of the Arts London, Penny completed a Masters in Contextual Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Netherlands, and is currently an M.S. candidate and Research Assistant in the Tangible Media Group of the MIT Media Lab. Penny’s work has been exhibited internationally, and nominated for awards including the Design Museum London’s Designs of the Year.  Alongside designing, Penny also writes for a number of online and offline journals.

Cristina Sanders G

Cristina is a 2018 MBA candidate at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She completed a degree in biochemistry, with minors in French and Studio Art, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and went on to work at an international brand design agency in Trends and Innovation. She loves both creating and experiencing art—she is a practicing ceramicist, an avid museum-goer and has seen the Nutcracker ballet over 20 times. She also enjoys sailing, exploring her new home of Boston and baking pies.

Ivy Li '20

As an eight-year-old, Ivy began taking art lessons in pencil and charcoal, developing a foundation in traditional realism and portraiture. But after Ivy took AP Art Studio in high school, what began as a monochrome experience was soon flooded with the vivid colors of colored pencil, pastel, watercolor, and acrylic. Currently, Ivy is working on a watercolor project to capture surrealistic distortions behind glassware. When not working on art, Ivy is writing for The Tech, reading literature, dabbling in piano, or scripting terrible jokes of not being an autotroph.

Willy Vasquez G

Willy is a Computer Science graduate student with the Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative looking at embedding privacy-enabling technologies into blockchains. He is passionate about cryptography and computer security, and spends his free time participating in CTFs and reading papers. He is interested in ways that art can be used to visualize security and privacy flaws. When not on a computer, he enjoys reading, getting lost in cities, and cooking chili.

Amy Liu '19

Amy is an undergraduate studying computer science and design. She draws, paints, and codes in all sorts of mediums and languages, and is particularly fond of the complexity of Internet subcultures, graphic design, and electronic empathy. In her free time, Amy can be found hip-hop dancing, sketching, and/or sipping on a latte.

Sam Magee

Sam Magee is the Manager of Student Arts Programs at MIT. His background is in Art Education and student programming. Sam feels it is his primary duty at MIT to advocate for the arts at every turn and to involve students in arts experiences they may not have had a chance to participate in before. Sam also promotes the arts through a business – focused arts competition, community building through the continuum of student and alumni engagement, and educating students about the role of arts in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Art Scholars at the Boston Ballet.

Arts Scholars Alumni

Xenia Antipova ’13 – Linh Vuong ’13 – Sarah Bindman ’13 – Bianca Dumitrascu ’13 – Evie Adams ’13 – Katy Gero ’13 – Paulina Mustafa ’13 – Ryan Keating ’13 – Dan Parker ’12 – Kristen Railey ’13 – Stephen Serene ‘G – Yuliya Preger ’13 – Jing Jian ’13 – Noah Arbesfeld ’13 – Anjali Thakkar – Bina Choi- Christie Lin ’12 – Christine Hazlett – Leah Nation – Connie Lu – Farre Nixon ’13 – Irina Boreschenko ’12 – Jing Jian ’13 – Layla Barkal ’12 – Anna Waldman Brown ’12 – Anastasia Vishnevetsky ’12 – Melissa Skan ’12 – Nikita Consul – Nick Joliat – Paige Finklestien – Paula Te – Myryam Yoon – Ryan Keating – Yulia Preger ’13 – Sila Sayan ’14 – Jamie Kang ’14 – Kiarash Adl ’14 – Anna Ho ’14 – Angelique Nehmzow ’14 – Grace Young ’14 – Tara Ebsworth ’14 – Ruby Maa ’14 – Leslie Chan ’14- Sarah Don ’14 – Ashley Brown ’16 – Kate Tatar ’16 – Gabriel Alba, Natasha Balwit ’16 – Anjali Thakkar – Abra Shen ’16 – Sydney Carter ’16 – Alissa Borshchenko ’16 – Julia Cannin ’16 –