Alumni Video Profiles

Student and Alumni Profiles

Fatima Irfan (MSCAPP '25)

The program’s level of intentionality—about teaching technology and data science with the policy perspective and vice versa—was something I didn't find in other programs. I am fascinated with telling stories about people using data, and the MSCAPP will equip me with the computational and analytical skills necessary to utilize data to drive innovative and equitable solutions in policy.

Cole von Glahn (MSCAPP '23)

I’m interested in tech policy and digital privacy, so I wanted a program where I could gain a high level of technical competency so I could communicate effectively with technologists. CAPP has given me that technical understanding along with the policy knowledge.

Ellie Jackson (MSCAPP '23)

Technology serves as a powerful conduit to connect people to their needs and aspirations. The graduate degree I am pursuing, at the intersection of policy and technology, is equipping me with the technical skill and rigor to collaborate with communities and build products that empower people.

Darren Colby (MSCAPP '24)

Having observed the interconnectivity of computer science and policy in academic and applied settings, I am confident that combining both through MSCAPP will allow me to conduct ethical and effective impact evaluations.

Angela The (MSCAPP '23)

There is no other program like MSCAPP. You can delve into building technical skills and still maintain such a strong emphasis on public policy and community involvement.

Rohit Kandala (MSCAPP '24)

I wanted something beyond a traditional policy degree that would force me to think across disciplines, and the MSCAPP’s heavy quantitative focus is also incredibly versatile and applicable across many industries.

Shashank Bharadwaj (MSCAPP '22)

I saw the societal inequities and growing opportunity gap and knew I wanted to do something to help. Harris exposed me to new perspectives and ways of thinking about education, so now I am using that to evaluate and recommend solutions.

Nora Hajjar (MSCAPP '20)

I am better at my role because I took classes in a lot of different areas in the MSCAPP program. My time in MSCAPP honestly changed my trajectory. Fortunately, Harris has resources to help students make the most of their experience, no matter their path.

Vidal Anguiano Jr. (MSCAPP '19)

As a UChicago alumnus, I saw Harris as an opportunity to more fully develop the skills I started learning in my undergrad. I also wanted to make a deeper impact here in Chicago.

Tirumala Venkatesh Kaggundi (MSCAPP '22)

MSCAPP seemed like the best fit for exploring the space between data science and public policy. Harris is as rigorous as it gets when it comes to evidence-based policymaking, and the learnings and camaraderie of the community is worth all the effort.

Maria Milosh (MSCAPP '22)

I appreciate that the University provides a lot of opportunities for exploration. It's definitely part of what makes the MSCAPP everything I wanted. I know I’ll be able to meld my interests in programming and social research to do good for others.

Angelo Cozzubo (MSCAPP '21)

I sought the MSCAPP to expand my tool kit for doing novel research so I could ask new questions and gather new types of data. One of the best things about the MSCAPP is you can go beyond coding and learn about new tools from experts in every area.

Fumi Yoshikoshi (MSCAPP '22)

I wanted to strengthen my broad knowledge about policies in a practical way; I was attracted by Harris’ philosophy to teach students knowledge and skills that can be applied to the real world.

Matthew Mauer (MSCAPP '21)

I realized that I needed to understand both statistics and public policy to do work that impacts lives on a broader scale. Once I knew my next step would be public policy, I chose to apply to Harris. The balance of data analysis and political science was critical, and the flexibility to explore different fields of study was absolutely invaluable.

Syeda Jaisha (MSCAPP '22)

I strongly believe that data is the most important ingredient for formulating and implementing effective policy, and the MSCAPP program at Harris aligned with that belief.

Charmaine Runes (MSCAPP '21)

It is okay to feel like you don't know what you’re doing and still feel confident in your ability to figure it out. Failing is part of the learning process. The MSCAPP program provided me with a healthy atmosphere in which to explore, learn, create, and, ultimately, succeed.

Matthew Ryan (MSCAPP '24)

While in the Army, I learned to always think about how intentions and outcomes affect team members, and the way the MSCAPP program approaches the ethical aspects of technology and data in the service of public policy feels like a natural extension of that way of thinking.

Damini Sharma (MSCAPP '20)

Working with data, it’s very easy to start to treat people who are probably going through some of the worst times of their lives as data points. I think when possible it’s really important to get out there and confront the reality of what’s behind your computer screen.

Onel Abreu (MSCAPP '22)

I have gotten so much support—my academic advisor reached out almost right away, and teachers worked with me to make the material more accessible. The promise Harris made that I didn’t need a quantitative background to succeed was right.

Idalina Sachango (MSCAPP '23)

I wanted to work with data and be in the rooms where the impacts are being measured... I’m really grateful to learn at one of the best schools in the world.

Silky Agrawal (MSCAPP '22)

I wanted to use data beyond just seeing if something worked or not but rather use data in a predictive and proactive way, and I needed a different toolkit to do that effectively.

Caton Brewster (MSCAPP '22)

I knew the MSCAPP program would uniquely position me to address problems because it places technology and data within the policymaking framework.

M. Merritt Smith (MSCAPP '22)

I got to thinking about how I could best benefit others. I then recognized the questions I had are best answered using data, data analysis, and a computational toolkit.

Caroline Kinnen (MSCAPP '22)

I’m still just skimming the surface of what’s possible in terms of machine learning, Python, and big data, and I’m excited to be part of a program where I can apply what I’m learning right away.

Domingo Carbone (MSCAPP '22)

I don't know how many people don't apply because they fear they might not have the background, but I say, ‘Go for it.’ The university can see in your background the value there is to be gained.

Hana Passen (MSCAPP '21)

Ultimately, I want to actually work with people and design policy to meet people’s needs.

Jacob Leppek (MSCAPP '21)

The program’s unique blend of computer science and public policy ties all my interests together by allowing me to test hypotheses and gain hard skills while also challenging assumptions and making sure we are not only doing things effectively, but also for the right reasons.

Kelsey Anderson (MSCAPP '21)

The bent of the MSCAPP program is teaching people to use computing and data skills with the purpose of making social impact. There weren't many programs that focus on data science for the public good, and I really fell in love with the way faculty and staff support students, the way the curriculum is structured, and the interdisciplinary approach.

Richard Chang (MSCAPP '21)

At Harris, we are learning how computer science principles and tools can be applied directly to public policy issues from day one, and the pace at which we’re learning has outstripped any expectations I had coming in.

Cristina MacGregor-Vanegas (MSCAPP '19)

Many programs designed to help the vulnerable have good intentions, but sometimes have other outcomes. This effort to help people through rigorous, data-centric methods in the social sciences can help to discern what is working from what is not working.

Peter Li (MSCAPP '20)

I was looking for a graduate degree that would give me the best tools possible to apply data science to public policy... I realized that Harris’s MSCAPP program offered me an unparalleled opportunity to combine my economics studies with training on policy research and analysis, especially from the perspective of quantitative methodologies.

Emma Nechamkin (MSCAPP '19)

Harris was the only place as quantitatively intense as what I experienced in undergrad. That’s what I wanted more of in my future. The facilities are so empowering and the policy background unparalleled.

Andrés Nigenda Zárate (MSCAPP '20)

I chose the MSCAPP degree because I want to be able to make the language of technology more understandable to policy makers.

Ibrahim Gabr (MSCAPP '18)

In the world of technology, people can do pretty much anything, but that doesn’t always mean that they should. The MSCAPP program structure helps you weigh the ethical implications of projects related to AI and machine learning.

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