Angus Forbes, Director. Angus is an Associate Professor of Computational Media. His research investigates novel techniques for visualizing and interacting with complex scientific information; his interactive artwork has been featured at museums, galleries, and festivals throughout the world. He chaired the IEEE VIS Arts Program (VISAP) from 2013 to 2017 and was the Arts Papers chair for ACM SIGGRAPH in 2018. He will serve as the ACM SIGGRAPH Art Gallery chair in 2021.

Oskar Elek, Postdoctoral researcher. Oskar’s primary scientific interests revolve around the question “How can we model the visual reality and reason about it?”. His work towards that goal has touched on the topics of physically-based rendering, optically active media, Monte Carlo methods, efficient sampling, machine learning, color science, and computational fabrication. Oskar is universally passionate about finding connections between seemingly disparate topics— as such he’s always open to meaningful collaborations, overseeing student projects, or even good old debate over a cup of coffee. His prior affiliations include Charles University (Czechia) and Max Planck Institute for Informatics (Germany).

Brian Hansen, Postdoctoral researcher. Brain’s research focuses on computational audio, multimedia interfaces, and sound design. He is the founder of Sonimmersion, a music technology company that develops software and provides consulting services focusing on contemporary audio technologies. He also teaches CMPM 151 (Algorithmic Composition) for the Computational Media department. Brian holds a PhD in music composition and an MS in multimedia engineering from UC Santa Barbara, and has undergraduate degrees in both Mathematics and Music from the University of Saint Thomas.
Manu Mathew Thomas, PhD student. Manu explores machine learning techniques for real-time rendering applications. His research interest includes deep learning models for image reconstruction, ray tracing, and visualization. Before joining the PhD program, Manu worked at Intel’s advanced graphics research group investigating deep learning-based rendering techniques. Manu has a Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he worked in the Electronic Visualization Lab (EVL) on several visualization projects.

David Abramov, PhD student. David is interested in data visualization and machine learning, as well as the intersection between science and art. Current research projects include visualizing astrophysics data, developing a platform for linguists to generate and store annotations, and designing a diagram creation tool to represent biomolecular patterns and rules. Before joining UCSC, David lived in Chicago and worked as a data analyst in the biotech industry. He has a Bachelor’s in Biology and Physics from DePaul University.

Montana Fowler, PhD student. Montana’s primary research interest is building tools for artists at the intersection of computer graphics and human-computer interaction. Her work explores the space between artists and engineers to discover where gaps in communication and expertise create problems in tool design and use. Montana’s artistic pursuits are documented on her website and on her instagram.

Jeffrey Weekley, PhD student. Jeffrey’s research focuses on data-driven narrative, generative media, and game-enabled science communication. He was a principal researcher in the research consortium (CineGrid) to develop, demonstrate, and commercialize 4K digital motion picture technology during his time at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. Jeffrey has given invited talks on virtual reality, autonomous systems, advanced streaming media applications, and research IT throughout the world. Jeffrey serves as the UC Santa Cruz ITS Director of Research Consulting while concurrently pursuing his PhD. For fun, Jeffrey volunteers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as an interpretive guide, telling stories about ocean conservation, climate change, and marine biology.

Hongwei (Henry) Zhou, PhD student. Henry has done research in software engineering practices, video games and artificial intelligence. He has a wide range of interests, which include computer graphics, artificial intelligence, video games, and the liberal arts. His current research interest is to explore the potential of artificial intelligence and linguistics.

Ran Xu, PhD student. Ran’s research interests include data science, data visualization, and machine learning, and she is currently developing a VR application to analyze dynamic networks. She draws and paints during her free time. Ran completed both her undergraduate degree and her MS degree in Technology and Information Management at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Kyle Bryant Gonzalez, PhD student. Kyle’s research engages the history and theory of computational media through the lenses of critical theory, science and technology studies, and media theory, with a current focus on the historical development of computer graphics and data visualization technologies and their uses. When not reading theory or the technical research literature, Kyle likes to spend time working with algorithmic composition and sound design.

Milad Hakimshafaei, PhD student. Milad is interested in generative, algorithmic, and procedural approaches to producing complex forms and simulations, and his area of research is to explore the intersection of complex and intelligent systems with art, science, and technology. He studied architectural engineering and digital architecture in Iran and Spain. Before joining UCSC, he worked at SPECS lab as a digital heritage developer deploying procedural technics in VR, AR to reconstruct and visualize historical sites. In his free time, he enjoys creating visual effect content and documenting them on his Instagram page.

Stefany Arevalo Escobar, MS student. Stefany obtained her Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics with a Computer Science emphasis at the University of California, Merced. After working with numerics as an undergraduate, she developed an interest in data visualization and how it can be applied to facilitate interactive education. At UCSC, she is exploring machine learning, AR, and the psychological effects of human-computer interaction. Outside of academics, I enjoy digital art, video editing, and painting.

Akash Chaudhary, MS student. Akash has worked for the past 3 years as an HCI researcher, with a focus on designing a speech improvement application and critiquing dark design patterns on online platforms. Akash is currently interested in exploring the use of deep learning through novel forms of audio generation for the use of films and games. He is further interested in exploring creative visualization techniques to find intuitive forms of data representation, especially paralinguistic speech data. As hobbies, he likes content writing and sound designing.

Drew Ehrlich, MS student. Drew is looking to discover new ways to use technology to interact with the world around us. He has interest in human-computer and human-robot interaction, 3D printing, microcomputers, software creation, and exploring new areas he has not been exposed to previously. Drew completed his undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His previous work can be seen at

Kapil Gupta (FlexTrade); Mahika Dubey (Tesla); Sarah Frost (UC Irvine); Cassia Artanegara (Good Research); Anıl Çamcı (University of Michigan); Ronak Etemadpour (The City College of New York); Christopher Jette (Stanford University); Tommy Dang (Texas Tech University); Johnson Keiriz (Canon Medical Research); Paul Murray (The New York Times, Bloomberg News); Javier Villegas (Smule); Kyle Almryde (RocketMiles); Shiwangi Singh (KPMG); Francesco Paduano (Dropbox); Marco Cavallo (IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Apple); Giorgio Conte (Generali Italia); Andrea Purgato (UniCredit); Massimo De Marchi (inkOfPixel); Kristine Lee (Google); Shloka Mitesh Desai (Amazon/; Alessandro Chetta (Hyla Soft); Xing Li (Harvard University, Edgewise Networks)