Siegel PIT Summer Fellowship – 2023 Student Bios

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Avi Attar (Princeton University)

Avi Attar is concentrating in Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs with minors in computer science and values and public life. He hopes to use his education to address challenges posed by emerging technologies like artificial intelligence in technologically-aware, ethically-informed ways. On the bright side, he also believes that emerging technologies have the capacity to do good and is excited about ways of maximizing benefits while reducing harms. The task ahead is formidable, and he hopes to face it alongside many others by creating interdisciplinary spaces where technologists, ethicists, and policy makers alike can come together.

Attar is working with the Federal Trade Commission

Photo of Sarah de VegvarSarah de Vegvar (UC Santa Cruz)

Sarah de Vegvar is studying cognitive science at UC Santa Cruz with a specialization in artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction as well as minoring in statistics. She is interested in how changes in technology impacts information spread and influences how people interact with each other. She has performed a scoping review of how health information dissemination works on TikTok and community-based participatory research on culturally tailoring diabetes self-management education. She believes that policy decisions will play a key role in guiding the impacts of these new technologies as many sites switch to ai-driven platforms which is why she was drawn to the CITP fellowship.

de Vegvar is working with the Federal Trade Commission

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Katerina Kagnovich (Barnard College)

Katerina Kaganovich is a political science major at Barnard College. As a student and future lawyer, she is excited to enter the thick of political and legal questions involving ethical use of technology, surveillance, and free speech. Inspired by her previous work at the Knight First Amendment Institute and at the United States Supreme Court, Kaganovich looks forward to finding interdisciplinary solutions to protect users of technology. She is the Publisher of the Columbia Political Review where she also writes about constitutional law and tech policy, the intersection of which she hopes to continue mulling over for the next 30 years.

Kagnovich is working with the Federal Trade Commission

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Hailey Mead (Princeton University)

Hailey Mead is majoring in public and international affairs with certificates in entrepreneurship and creative writing. In addition to her studies, she is on the varsity open-weight rowing team, where she is an NCAA and Ivy League champion. Mead is interested in researching and analyzing policies that regulate the negative effects that occur alongside the advancement of technology. In particular, she is interested in how social media contributes to declines in mental health, the spread of misinformation, and the exploitation of consumer data. Her focus will be on how policy can ensure that innovations in technology solve problems, instead of creating them.

Mead is working with the Texas Attorney General’s office

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Cecilia Quirk (Princeton University)

As a rising senior at Princeton University concentrating in operations research and financial engineering (ORFE) and pursuing a certificate in humanistic studies, Cecilia Quirk is particularly interested in the ways our civil liberties are challenged and protected in an increasingly technological society. While Quirk frequently finds herself optimizing over factors such as time, cost, or resources as part of the ORFE curriculum, there is one optimization factor that interests her the most: social good. This combined passion for science, technology, and public policy which Quirk has explored through coursework, research, and extracurriculars such as the Princeton Legal Journal and Engineers Without Borders has motivated her to spend the summer better understanding and influencing public interest technology policy through the Siegel Fellowship.

Quirk is working with the State of New York’s Broadband office

Photo Alondra Rodriguez Solis

Alondra Rodriguez Solis (University of California Berkeley)

Alondra Rodriguez Solis studies social welfare and Global environmental politics at UC Berkeley. She is passionate about a wide scope of issues regarding tech policy including privacy, AI, and broadband. Solis was first exposed to tech policy in her role as an intern where she spearheaded a policy tracker to get a better understanding of legislation being introduced around technology including content moderation and the public perception on tech regulation. She believes in the potential of technology to harbor innovation as equally as she believes that people’s privacy and online safety should be protected. Although her long term goal is to work towards ensuring all communities around the country have access to broadband in order to tap into the

Rodriguez Solis is working with the State of New York’s Broadband office

Photo Nicole Rogers

Nicole Rogers (University of Arkansas)

Nicole Rogers studies data science at the University of Arkansas with concentrations in both social data analytics and cybersecurity data analytics. Rogers is interested in the gap between technology and social infrastructure. She has explored these themes through her interdisciplinary coursework and an internship with the Terrorism Research Center’s (TRC) Crime and Security Data Analytics Lab. The TRC is a federally funded nonpartisan research organization using data analytics and social science tools to promote safer communities. To further explore using technology to help aid in public interest goals, she received a research grant to conduct a spatiotemporal analysis of violent crime in Little Rock, Arkansas. This public interest work led to insightful forays into data privacy and policy and inspired her to join the PIT fellowship. She is looking forward to spending her summer in Washington DC applying these data science skills and connecting with peers and mentors.

Rogers is working with the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau

Photo Micah Schulman

Micah Schulman (Duke University)

Micah Schulman is a rising junior at Duke University studying computer science and public policy. He is interested in the ways in which technology, ethics and policy intersect and has been pursuing the study of technology policy in both academic and extracurricular settings. In particular, he is interested in policy surrounding data protection and AI regulation. He is excited to explore this issue area from a federal policy level, and with a more legal lens this summer at the Federal Trade Commission.

Schulman is working with the Federal Trade Commission

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Anjali Tandon (University of Michigan)

Anjali Tandon is a junior at the University of Michigan studying information analytics and quantitative methods in social sciences on the pre-law track. She is passionate about using her background to help bridge the gap between technologists and the public sector.

Tandon has engaged with public interest technology on campus by writing for Michigan graduate school’s Technology Law Review, leading a curriculum redesign project for the College of Engineering to include more tech ethics education, and researching how to use cryptocurrency payment portals to enable safer women’s healthcare access.

In the past, Tandon has interned in tech and venture capital, gaining an industry perspective on emerging technologies such as computer vision and blockchain infrastructure. She is excited to work in the government this summer, bringing her interests in technology, finance, and advocacy to help keep consumers safe.

Tandon is working with the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau

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Sarah Tran (University of Washington)

Sarah Tran is majoring in political science and minoring in informatics at University of Washington. Through her research with the Council Data Project, she has learned how to apply natural language processing (NLP) and other forms of machine learning to take on a quantitative approach to the social sciences. From this experience, she has witnessed how machine learning’s ability to make sense of big data is crucial for evidence-based policymaking. This summer, she hopes to intersect her experience with information technology and public policy to offer a creative solution to the inherent conflict between the right to privacy and a highly digitalized future.

Tran is working with the Colorado Attorney General’s office

Photo of Kathy YangKathy Yang (Princeton University)

Kathy Yang is majoring in computer science at Princeton University pursuing certificates in technology & society and american studies. She enjoys exploring the intersection of technology, business, policy, and law—particularly the regulation of emerging technologies like predictive and generative AI, autonomous vehicles, delivery drones, brain-computer interfaces, and blockchain. Recently, she was a Junior Fellow for the Public Interest Technology cohort of service focus and led the development of a web portal for a nonprofit that delivers surplus meals to food-insecure families. Her junior independent work sought to reconcile legal and scientific definitions of causality in disparate impact housing discrimination cases, and her senior thesis will investigate disparities in broadband coverage mapping. She is excited to learn more about the federal government’s approach to technology policy through the fellowship this summer.

Yang is working with the Federal Trade Commission

Photo Joel Yong

Joel Yong (Brown University)

At the intersection of design and policy, Joel Yong explores how to apply design methodologies to develop better technology systems and government legislation. A student at Brown University, he believes in the power of public interest technology to democratize resources, build community platforms, and innovate on behalf of its people. Previously, Yong worked as an analyst with Brown Initiative for Policy, a nonpartisan student think tank, and as a design researcher with the U.S. Census Bureau, advancing racial equity in government data. For Yong, both design and policy are simply extensions of problem-solving, and he is excited to continue using his background to uniquely leverage an ability to empathetically research, visualize ideas, and accelerate collaboration with stakeholders in order to drive equitable solutions around civic technology.

Yong is working with the Colorado Attorney General’s office

Photo of Tairan Zhang

Tairan Zhang (Cornell University)

Tairan Zhang studies government and information science at Cornell University, with concentrations in ethics, law, and policy and data science, as well as minors in law and society and european studies. Zhang’s coursework spans topics in politics, law, and computing, and his passions lie at the intersection of these subjects, focusing on labor, racial justice, privacy, and algorithmic bias. He has researched rural-urban linkages in Uganda and served as a teaching assistant for interdisciplinary courses, including “Choices and Consequences in Computing” and “Networks.” During his summer with Upturn, he hopes to interrogate how workplace surveillance and algorithmic management amplify pre-existing injustices and threaten worker power. Zhang believes technology policy is essential for ensuring that emerging computing tools serve marginalized groups rather than undermine them, and he plans to apply his fellowship experience to a legal career.

Zhang is working with Upturn

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