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PEOPLE

MAT Students

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Sabina Hyoju Ahn

PhD student

sabina (at) mat.ucsb.edu

sabinaahn.com

Sabina Hyoju Ahn is an artist engaging with various media represented through auditory perception, tactile sense, visual elements and a mixture of digital and analog technology. Her research seeks to find hidden rules and patterns in natural elements and multi-layered relationships between human and non-human beings by translating imperceptible data in natural elements into different perceptual experiences. In her work, biological materials are often used, combined or connected to machines, and transformed. Her recent research focuses on the physical nature of the human perceptual system driven by a post-digital media concept and applying a contemporary scientific and artistic research method.

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Alejandro Aponte

PhD student

aponte (at) mat.ucsb.edu

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Nathan Blair

PhD student

nathan (at) mat.ucsb.edu

nthnblair.com

Nathan Blair is a music producer, computer scientist, and emergent media artist from Los Angeles, California. He is currently looking for new ways to synthesize audio with machine learning. Prior to arriving at UCSB, he studied electrical engineering and computer science at UC Berkeley. He also spent multiple summers researching computer vision for asteroid and comet detection at NASA JPL.

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Samuelle Bourgault

PhD student

samuellebourgault (at) mat.ucsb.edu

sambourgault.com

Sam Bourgault (she/they) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Media Arts and Technology program at University of California, Santa Barbara. She completed a master of science from UCSB (2022), a Bachelor in Computation Arts from Concordia University (2019), and a Bachelor in Physics Engineering from Polytechnique Montreal (2015). Through collaboration with domain experts and research creation, she develops digital fabrication systems that support and extend craft practices. Her work has been exhibited at ISEA (Paris, 2023), perte de signal (Montreal, 2022), IEEE-ICRA-X Robotic Program (Montreal, 2019), Sight & Sound Festival (Montreal, 2019), Ars Electronica Campus Exhibition (Linz, 2018), OFFTA (Montreal, 2019), RIPA (Montreal, 2019), Mutek Festival (Montreal, 2017), Art Matters (Montreal, 2018), the VAV gallery (Montreal, 2018). She has participated in the Projet Émergent residency at perte de signal (2020-2022), the New Media Grant residency at OBORO (2019), and LA SERRE - You Are Here live art residency (2018). sam has performed at Mutek (Montreal, 2021), Nuit Blanche (Montreal, 2019), Induction (Montreal, 2019), VAULT (Montreal, 2018), LIP (Montreal, 2018), Algorave (Montreal, 2018), and more. Finally, she has published in conferences and journals such as CHI, UIST, COLA, VL/HCC, and ISEA.

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Emma Brown

MSc student

emma_brown (at) mat.ucsb.edu

nworb.io

Emma's work focuses on memory and mundanity. In her free time, she can be found inline skating.

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Deniz Çağlarcan

MAT MSc student, PhD student in Music

deniz (at) mat.ucsb.edu

Deniz Çağlarcan is a Los Angeles-based composer, violist, and conductor initially from Istanbul, Turkey. He investigates the sonic quality of electronic music by any means and realizes this idealized environment as a model for his musical language. Çağlarcan’s music explores the interaction between acoustic instruments and electronic sounds within their sonic morphology. Besides, he is intrigued to create an environment by utilizing various immersive audio techniques as well as visuals and spatial elements that surround the audience. He performs interdisciplinary works collaborating with media artists, computer graphics developers, and machine learning engineers.

His works include solo instrumental pieces, chamber music, large ensembles, tape/electroacoustic works, live-electronic, mixed works, audio/visual compositions, site-specific sound installations, arrangements as well as film and video games scores.

Besides his composition career as a violist, he performs in solo concerts, chamber music, new music ensembles, and popular music. He is also co-founder of the ADE Duo ensemble.

He studied orchestral conducting for over eight years, and at Central Michigan University, he continued very in-depth study with José-Luis Maúrtua.

He holds degrees in Master of Music in Viola Performance from Central Michigan University and a Master of Arts in Composition from Bilkent University.

Çağlarcan is currently a Ph.D. student in Composition studying with João Pedro Oliveira and Master of Science in Media Arts and Technology with Curtis Roads at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

He has studied with notable composers and performers; Mark Andre, Beat Furrer, Tolga Yayalar, Bruno Mantovani, Ken Ueno, Pierluigi Billone, Clara Iannotta, Alberto Posadas, Isabel Mundry, Ulrich Kreppein, Laura San Martin, Jay C. Batzner, Alicia Valoti, Sheila Browne, Scott Woolweaver, Yuri Gandelsman, Tatjana Masurenko, Walter Küssner, Hartmut Rohde, Alexander Zemtsov, Ulrich Mertin, Christine Ruthledge.

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Ana María Cárdenas

PhD student

acardenas (at) mat.ucsb.edu

amcard.myportfolio.com

Ana Maria Cardenas (She/Her/Ella) is a PhD student in the Media Arts and Technology Program in the Expressive Computation Lab. She received her M.S. in Information at the University of Michigan, her B.S. in Computer Science, and a B.A. in Design at Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. She has worked with the Museum of Memory in Colombia to create AR exhibitions for narratives of the armed conflict in Colombia. She has also worked with companies like Snap and Adobe, exploring AR’s use for social connection, storytelling, and performance.

Ana Maria is interested in creating technologies that support storytelling and foster human connection through narrative. She has experience designing and developing Augmented Reality experiences and studying users’ interactions with them. In her research, she is particularly interested in supporting artists, institutions, communities, and organizations using Augmented and Virtual Reality to create narratives that help foster empathy and understanding of sensitive stories.

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Enrica Costello

PhD student

enrica (at) mat.ucsb.edu

amaregalileo.com

Enrica was raised in an Italian hamlet by the Mediterranean sea; her deep sea diver dad taught her early on the value of knowing how to build her creative projects. She studied Architecture in Genova (Italy), urban design in Lyon (France) and media arts and technology in Santa Barbara (U.S.A.). In life she embraced creative fields in which it was indispensable to own the technical side of her creations. Architecture, more than any, requires the knowledge of design as well as construction, materials, and sustainable practices, all merging to make a living sculpture.

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Payton Croskey

PhD student

pcroskey (at) mat.ucsb.edu

paytoncroskey.com

Payton Croskey is a visual artist and tech justice scholar designing liberatory tools for a more just world. Pursuing a Ph.D. in UC Santa Barbara’s Media Arts & Technology (MAT) program, Payton’s research seeks to explore and create innovative technology that challenges the consentless, invasive narrative that characterizes today’s devices. Payton previously received her Bachelor’s in African American Studies and Computer Science at Princeton University. Outside of her studies, Payton is also the creative content director and lead researcher of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab. Ultimately, Payton’s work asks: What will bloom when we combine the beauty of the arts, critical thinking of the humanities, and specialized knowledge of the sciences to plant something freeing, beautiful and out-of-the-box?

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Stejara Dinulescu

PhD student

sdinulescu (at) mat.ucsb.edu

www.stejarasart.com

Stejara Iulia Dinulescu holds bachelors degrees in Psychology, Studio Art, and Creative Computation from Southern Methodist University. She is currently a fourth year PhD candidate in UCSB’s Media Arts and Technology Department, and is a 2021 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. Her doctoral research is on the development of haptic technologies that enable the sharing and reproduction of our touch experiences. Through her work in the Re-Touch lab, advised by Yon Visell, she is constantly learning about designing technologies for the sense of touch, perceptual phenomena arising from social touch, and wearable soft robotics for augmenting functionality of the body. Her physical and media art practice additionally consider topics of perception and behavior, agency, free will, consciousness, embodiment, and computational intelligence.

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Diarmid Flatley

PhD student

diarmid (at) mat.ucsb.edu

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Devon Frost

PhD student

dfrost (at) mat.ucsb.edu

devnfrost.com

Devon (they/them) is an artist, coder, and dancer. They are researching digital fabrication and creativity support in the Expressive Computation Lab.

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Kevin Gao

PhD student

ktgao (at) mat.ucsb.edu

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Jenni Hutson

MSc student

jhutson (at) mat.ucsb.edu

jennihutson.com

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You-Jin Kim

PhD student

yujnkm (at) mat.ucsb.edu

www.yujnkm.com

I'm interested in exploring new ways of interaction in immersive mixed reality. I strive to bring an immersive theater experience in augmented reality, designed for a wide-area outdoor environment. I envision a computational world that captures the delicacy of human communication and relationships. I love to infuse joy and play into the game world I make, where community and life can transform.

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Shaokang Li

MSc student

shaokang (at) mat.ucsb.edu

www.shaokang.cc

Shaokang Li is a creative programmer with a focus on Computer Graphics. He is currently a master's student in Media Arts and Technology at UC Santa Barbara and is interested in real-time audiovisual systems and real-time rendering techniques.

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Yuxi Lin

MSc student

yuxilin (at) mat.ucsb.edu

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Nefeli Manoudaki

PhD student

nefeli (at) mat.ucsb.edu

nefeliman.com

Nefeli is an Architect – Engineer, currently an MS student at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Media Arts and Technology (MAT) program, and, until recently, a researcher at the TUC TIE Lab in Greece. She is a member of the transLAB, a trans-disciplinary laboratory under the supervision of professor Marcos Novak. Her work lies in the intersection of Nature, human senses, and design through the implementation of emerging technologies. Her research includes immersive environment design, artificial intelligence, and exploring allotropic architectural forms in tangible and digital (VR-AR-XR- AI/ML) mediums. Her goal is to develop innovative experiences that immerse the user into the natural world and its traces by following morphological and cognitive principles. Her recent work embodies digital morphogenesis through emotions in XR and olfactory stimuli. Her works are featured in international symposiums and conferences, such as the ACM SIGGRAPH Sparks, Erasmus XR Symposium, MIT Reality Hack 2022, S. ARCH 2020, HCII 2020, and others.

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Ryan Millett

MSc student

rmillett (at) mat.ucsb.edu

Ryan is a musician and multi-media artist based in Santa Barbara, California. His work extends an ancient lineage of musical tradition through methods and models informed by contemporary computational theories, mediated by the inherent abstraction of sound, and imbued with a creative inspiration rooted in the primal complexities and chaotic harmony of the natural world.

Ryan holds a degree in Computer Science and Electronic Music from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently a graduate student and researcher in the Media, Arts & Technology program at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Erik Mondrian

MSc student

mondrian (at) mat.ucsb.edu

Erik Alessandro Mondrian (he/they) is a writer, visual artist, vocalist, musician, filmmaker, scholar, and longtime explorer of virtual worlds. He holds a BA in French, with a minor in Spanish, from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa; an MA in Communication, with a specialization in Mass Communication and Media Studies, from San Diego State University; and an Interschool MFA in VoiceArts & Creative Writing, with a concentration in Integrated Media, from the California Institute of the Arts. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Media Arts and Technology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Erik's video art was featured in the Supernova Digital Animation Festival three years in a row (prior to its rebranding as the Digerati Emergent Media Festival). Erik and his MFA thesis film have also been mentioned in The Guardian, appearing in an article about Second Life and its continued relevance to discussions around the so-called metaverse.

Erik was a Spotlight presenter at the 16th annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference in March 2023, with a talk called Perspective and Place in Virtual Spaces — inspired by a video essay he had made of the same name. More recently, some of Erik's SL-based images were selected for inclusion in the 2023-24 "Imagining California" exhibition at UCSB's Platform Gallery, curated by the university's Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.

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Iason Paterakis

PhD student

iason (at) mat.ucsb.edu

www.iasonpaterakis.com

Iason N. Paterakis is an Architect- Engineer, Media Artist, and researcher in the field of Extended Reality. He is currently pursuing an MSc degree in Media, Arts & Technology (MAT) at the University of California, Santa Barbara while working as a T.A. in the graduate and undergraduate program of MAT. He is a member of the transLAB, a trans-disciplinary laboratory under the supervision of professor Marcos Novak. He began his research in speculative architecture and XR in 2012 as a researcher at the Transformable Intelligent Environments Laboratory (TIE Lab) at the School of Architectural Engineering TUC, under professor Konstantinos-Alketas Oungrinis. His field is linked to researching and developing methodologies, mechanisms, and know-how for designing and fabricating paradigms of mediated environments. He has been actively involved in workshops, exhibitions, and international interdisciplinary conferences. (e.g. SIGGRAPH Sparks 2022, Erasmus XR - Onassis Symposium "The art and design of XR", Culture and Computing | HCII 2020, International Astronautical Congress / IAC2015 | EXTRA TERRESTRIAL HABITATS workshop, TUC TIE Lab, UH SICSA, NASA | "EcoRedux 02: Design manuals for a dying planet" Disseny Hub Barcelona, etc.).

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Anshul Pendse

PhD student

anshulpendse (at) mat.ucsb.edu

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Weihao Qiu

PhD student

wqiu (at) mat.ucsb.edu

www.q-wh.com

Weihao Qiu, originally from China, resided in his home country until he completed his undergraduate studies in Computer Science. He started his media arts practices when he commenced his graduate studies in Media Arts and Technology (MAT) program at the University of California Santa Barbara. Starting with a foundation in Photography, he expanded his media arts practice to include the creation of interactive installations, information visualization, and the generation of algorithmic images and sculptures. His artistic works have been displayed in various venues such as the Beijing Times Art Museum, FeraFile, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation (MOXI), SIGGRAPH, and UCSB MAT End of Year Shows.

Weihao is currently a PhD candidate in the Media Arts and Technology (MAT) program, where his research is centered on improving the modularity, customizability, and interactivity of Generative AI tools. His primary goal is to enhance the diversity, expressiveness, and audience connectedness of AI-based artworks. Weihao's research contributions have been published in conferences, such as Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), The ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), and The International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). His work reflects a dedication to advancing the capabilities and impact of AI in the realm of art and technology.

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Greg Reardon

PhD student

reardon (at) mat.ucsb.edu

gregoryreardon.com

Gregory Reardon is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he conducts research on new frontiers in haptics in the RE Touch Lab, directed by Prof. Yon Visell. His research interests include haptic science and engineering at the intersection of mechanics, computation, and perception. He previously completed a master’s degree in Music Technology at New York University and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics-Economics at Brown University. Publications by him and his colleagues have received several accolades, including two best paper awards for research on wave-mediated haptics (IEEE Haptics Symposium, 2020; IEEE World Haptics Conference, 2023), an honorable mention for research on wearable technologies for tactile sign language (IEEE Haptics Symposium, 2022), and an honorable mention for research on tactile augmented reality technologies (IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2022).

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Marcel Rodriguez-Riccelli

MSc student

riccelli (at) mat.ucsb.edu

marcelrodriguezricc.github.io/portfolio

Marcel is an artist, musician, and technologist currently working as a Masters student with the Media Arts and Technology program. He develops bespoke technologies for transmodal and transdisciplinary fixed space and performance based artwork.

Methodologies implemented in Marcel's practice include but are not limited to: programming for audio / visual processes, circuit design, and material fabrication.

Marcel is currently in the process of selecting a more specific research topic related to progressive technologies used in the development and implementation of multimedia systems.

Marcel holds a bachelor's degree in Music Technology from the California Institute of the Arts.

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Frida Figueroa Sanabria

MSc student

figueroasanabria (at) mat.ucsb.edu

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Jazer Sibley-Schwartz

PhD student

jazer (at) mat.ucsb.edu

jazergiles.com

Jazer Sibley-Schwartz is an audio/visual composer and maker. His work has been presented at SEAMUS, Max Expo, Five College New Music Festival, numerous New York venues, as well as internationally in Berlin, London, and Spain. He has collaborated extensively with Barbie Diewald Choreography with performances at Jacob’s Pillow, Performance Project Festival, and Ponderosa Dance Festival. He has Bachelor of Art degrees in Music and Physics from Skidmore College and Master of Music in Composition from the University of Massachusetts. His current research focuses on generative video and audio. When not making he can be found teaching, riding or fixing bicycles, and playing accordion.

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Mert Toka

PhD student

merttoka (at) mat.ucsb.edu

www.merttoka.com

Mert Toka is a researcher, computer scientist, and media artist. His research is focused on integrating computation into creative processes --through system engineering, digital fabrication, GPU programming, visualization, generative art, and design. He collaborates with domain experts, implements interactive audiovisual software, and develops techniques to make digital/physical artifacts. He is fascinated by the emergent self-organizing patterns in complex systems and how to model them computationally. He is also interested in the dichotomy between digital and physical environments, investigating how digital creative processes contribute/fall short in addressing issues in physical-making.

Mert is a Ph.D. candidate in Media Arts & Technology (MAT) at UC Santa Barbara. His interdisciplinary research is co-advised by JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, George Legrady, and Jennifer Jacobs. He currently works as a graduate student researcher in the Expressive Computation Lab.

He holds a master's degree from MAT as a Fulbright Scholar, where he focused on algorithmic composition and audiovisual live coding. He finished his bachelor's in CS at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkiye, where he worked as an undergraduate researcher at BAVLAB under the supervision of Selim Balcisoy.

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Ashley del Valle

PhD student

adelvalle (at) mat.ucsb.edu

www.ashleydelvalle.com

Ashley Del Valle-Morales is a fiber artist and electrical engineer who received her BS degree from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. She has been recognized as an NSF-GRFP awardee in STEM Education and Learning and a University Innovation Fellow (UIF). Currently, she is working in the Expressive Computation Lab (ECL), where she explores ways to support creative expression through the integration of digital fabrication and traditional textile crafts.

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Shaw Xiao

PhD student

yiranxiao (at) mat.ucsb.edu

ww.shawxiao.art

Shaw's journey as a Media Artist and Designer has been about finding the harmony between visuals and experience. With a background in UI/UX design and photography, she values the subtle intricacies of visual storytelling and the tactile touchpoints of user interaction. Shaw strives for resonance in creating digital spaces. You'll find her immersed in video games or embracing nature in her free time, drawing both energy and inspiration from their captivating world.

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CY (Chengyuan) Xu

PhD student

cxu (at) mat.ucsb.edu

cy-xu.github.io

CY is a PhD candidate in Media Arts and Technology and a master's student in Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara, where he is advised by Professor Tobias Höllerer. His research focuses on computer vision, human-AI collaboration, and their application to real-world data and problems.

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Lu Yang

MSc student

lu_yang (at) mat.ucsb.edu

meta-nomads.com

Lu Yang is a New Media Architect and Human-computer interaction (HCI) researcher whose work encamps in the interzone of computational architecture, cybernetics, game design and Mixed Realities. His multidisciplinary design and research primarily investigate human-architecture interaction (HAI), an alternative gamified human-computer interface. His vision of HAI invites humans to embody their interactions with computational generative immersive environments, where the space becomes an intelligent computational entity capable of observing, processing, reacting and anticipating the body and mind of its inhabitants.

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Yifeng Yuan

MSc student

yifengyuan (at) mat.ucsb.edu

www.yvonneyuanmusic.com

Yifeng Yvonne Yuan converts the frequency of herself losing socks into the frequency of the pitches; she weighs raindrops to determine the weight of her noteheads. She is a composer, performer, and media artist, born and raised in Taiyuan, China, and currently resides between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Yvonne is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Music Composition at UCSB. She is also a master's student in the MAT department. Yvonne holds a master’s degree in Music Composition and bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Musicology from UCLA.

Yvonne draws inspiration from the ritualistic practices of early human beings. Her works explore the transient and vulnerable aspects inherent to human existence. Sound and poetry are currently her primary mediums of artistic expression.