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Our Team 2015-2016

Our Team


Who are the Project Advisors?

Our Project Advisors are Carnegie Mellon students who have a passion for their work and who are excited to inspire students in the Pittsburgh community. They have a range of specific skills obtained mostly through project based work at the high school and/or university level that they offer to the group. They are a wonderful and enthusiastic group of people who are excited to work with you!


Executive Board

 Eric Reeder is a Co-Founder and the President of Project Ignite. A Massachusetts native, he is now a sophomore studying Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also part of the CMU Forumla SAE Racing Team and and the CMU club baseball team. In what free time he has, he enjoys folk/bluegrass music and plays the banjo, guitar, cello, and mandolin.

Eric Reeder is a Co-Founder and the President of Project Ignite. A Massachusetts native, he is now a sophomore studying Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also part of the CMU Forumla SAE Racing Team and and the CMU club baseball team. In what free time he has, he enjoys folk/bluegrass music and plays the banjo, guitar, cello, and mandolin.

 Jonathan Merrin is a sophomore studying Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. At Project Ignite, he is a Co-Founder, Vice President of Finance, and one of our Project Advisors. An avid maker, and is pursuing a minor in Game Design from CMU’s IDeATe interdisciplinary program. He is from New York, and attends New York Comic Con every year.

Jonathan Merrin is a sophomore studying Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. At Project Ignite, he is a Co-Founder, Vice President of Finance, and one of our Project Advisors. An avid maker, and is pursuing a minor in Game Design from CMU’s IDeATe interdisciplinary program. He is from New York, and attends New York Comic Con every year.

 Allison Perna is a senior in Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. She is a Co-Founder and the Vice President of Projects for Project Ignite. In addition, she is a resident assistant and is involved with the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, officially making her a “bro.” She intends on pursuing graduate studies in microelectronics or in nanoelectronics after graduation.

Allison Perna is a senior in Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. She is a Co-Founder and the Vice President of Projects for Project Ignite. In addition, she is a resident assistant and is involved with the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, officially making her a “bro.” She intends on pursuing graduate studies in microelectronics or in nanoelectronics after graduation.


Project Advisors

 Yi Yang is a sophomore Math major in Carnegie Mellon University. She intends to declare a double major in Computer Science, and is a Teaching Assistant for 15110: Principles of Computing. She is also a student mentor for CMU CSA.

Yi Yang is a sophomore Math major in Carnegie Mellon University. She intends to declare a double major in Computer Science, and is a Teaching Assistant for 15110: Principles of Computing. She is also a student mentor for CMU CSA.

 David Vinson is a senior studying Biological Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University. He has extensive research experience in both developmental biology and inorganic chemistry. In addition to Project Ignite, he participates in All University Orchestra, Doctors of Carnegie Society, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, undergraduate research and is a resident assistant here at Carnegie Mellon. He plans to pursue graduate studies in cancer signaling after graduation.

David Vinson is a senior studying Biological Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University. He has extensive research experience in both developmental biology and inorganic chemistry. In addition to Project Ignite, he participates in All University Orchestra, Doctors of Carnegie Society, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, undergraduate research and is a resident assistant here at Carnegie Mellon. He plans to pursue graduate studies in cancer signaling after graduation.

 Jacob Neumann is a freshman in Electrical/Computer Engineering and/or Math. Hobbies include napping, sleeping, dozing off, pensive walks by moonlight, reading in the sweet ambiance of fresh rain, talking to himself, arguing with himself, biking, lollygagging, and adventuring.

Jacob Neumann is a freshman in Electrical/Computer Engineering and/or Math. Hobbies include napping, sleeping, dozing off, pensive walks by moonlight, reading in the sweet ambiance of fresh rain, talking to himself, arguing with himself, biking, lollygagging, and adventuring.

 Manali Banerjee is a senior Materials Science and Engineering major at Carnegie Mellon University. As a polymer enthusiast, she currently conducts research on nitrogen doped and plans to pursue graduate studies in synthetic materials chemistry. Manali’s goal in life is to own a puppy, a cat, and a hedgehog simultaneously so that they can all be best friends.

Manali Banerjee is a senior Materials Science and Engineering major at Carnegie Mellon University. As a polymer enthusiast, she currently conducts research on nitrogen doped and plans to pursue graduate studies in synthetic materials chemistry. Manali’s goal in life is to own a puppy, a cat, and a hedgehog simultaneously so that they can all be best friends.

 Adam Dickter is a junior Neuroscience major with an interest in the underlying mechanisms of cognition. He actively researches face perception and has presented his work to his peers. He did not choose the pre-med life, the pre-med life chose him. He also enjoys running and being ridiculously lazy as he binge watches Breaking Bad. After a long day of data collection in research labs, Adam goes home and wonders why he gets no homework done as he watches more shows on Netflix.

Adam Dickter is a junior Neuroscience major with an interest in the underlying mechanisms of cognition. He actively researches face perception and has presented his work to his peers. He did not choose the pre-med life, the pre-med life chose him. He also enjoys running and being ridiculously lazy as he binge watches Breaking Bad. After a long day of data collection in research labs, Adam goes home and wonders why he gets no homework done as he watches more shows on Netflix.

 Danielle Hu is a sophomore studying Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is currently involved in research with Human Computer Interaction Institute's Protolab, working as a developer for a project called Peer Presents. She enjoys photography, design, hackathons, but most of all, listening to jazz while sipping freshly brewed coffee.

Danielle Hu is a sophomore studying Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is currently involved in research with Human Computer Interaction Institute's Protolab, working as a developer for a project called Peer Presents. She enjoys photography, design, hackathons, but most of all, listening to jazz while sipping freshly brewed coffee.

 Kevin Apolo is a senior Mechanical Engineer at Carnegie Mellon University with a minor in Physical Computing through the Integrative Design Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe) program. He LOVES robots, especially flying ones. With experience mentoring in the Pre-College program at CMU, the Robotics Club, Alpha Sigma Phi (founding father) and other activities both on and off of campus, he is ready to share his love of robotics and all things that move to those interested.

Kevin Apolo is a senior Mechanical Engineer at Carnegie Mellon University with a minor in Physical Computing through the Integrative Design Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe) program. He LOVES robots, especially flying ones. With experience mentoring in the Pre-College program at CMU, the Robotics Club, Alpha Sigma Phi (founding father) and other activities both on and off of campus, he is ready to share his love of robotics and all things that move to those interested.

 Grant Schwabacher is a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University and plans to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering and possibly a minor in Environmental Engineering and Sustainability. While he lacks the stereotypical Mechanical Engineer's love for everything automobile and engine, he tries to make up for it with interest in renewable energy technology and child-like amusement for turning anything math into art. After college Grant would like to save the environment and then retire to become that really cool math teacher.

Grant Schwabacher is a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University and plans to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering and possibly a minor in Environmental Engineering and Sustainability. While he lacks the stereotypical Mechanical Engineer's love for everything automobile and engine, he tries to make up for it with interest in renewable energy technology and child-like amusement for turning anything math into art. After college Grant would like to save the environment and then retire to become that really cool math teacher.

 Ben Kaplan is currently a freshman in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon. Some of his hobbies include being a ninja, owning a minecraft server, and computer programming.

Ben Kaplan is currently a freshman in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon. Some of his hobbies include being a ninja, owning a minecraft server, and computer programming.

 Ashley Wong is a sophomore math major, with plans to double in computer science. She likes to hang out with Math Club, flute choir and her church. In her spare time, she likes to collect all things hedgehog, play video games, and catch up on her favorite shows on Netflix. Her one true love in this world is her cat, Coco (not pictured).

Ashley Wong is a sophomore math major, with plans to double in computer science. She likes to hang out with Math Club, flute choir and her church. In her spare time, she likes to collect all things hedgehog, play video games, and catch up on her favorite shows on Netflix. Her one true love in this world is her cat, Coco (not pictured).

 Bryce Summers is a Senior Computer Science Undergraduate student with a minor in Bassoon playing. He enjoys expressing himself and his artistic visions through computation and mathematics. After graduating Bryce plans to go on a life journey of doing things that he finds to be interesting and that have some degree of relevance to the lives of others.

Bryce Summers is a Senior Computer Science Undergraduate student with a minor in Bassoon playing. He enjoys expressing himself and his artistic visions through computation and mathematics. After graduating Bryce plans to go on a life journey of doing things that he finds to be interesting and that have some degree of relevance to the lives of others.

 Miranda Munoz is a senior Neuroscience major at Carnegie Mellon University with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. She does clinical research on recovery and rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury at the University of Pittsburgh. She dedicates any and all free time to television and going to the movies and can often be seen singing along to Broadway cast recordings. Miranda’s future plans involve gradute school studies in neurorehabilitation.

Miranda Munoz is a senior Neuroscience major at Carnegie Mellon University with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. She does clinical research on recovery and rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury at the University of Pittsburgh. She dedicates any and all free time to television and going to the movies and can often be seen singing along to Broadway cast recordings. Miranda’s future plans involve gradute school studies in neurorehabilitation.

 Sara Adkins is a sophomore Music Technology and Computer Science major with a planned minor in sound design at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the project leader for RobOrchestra in the CMU Robotics Club, and does research in the Human Computer Interaction Institute on virtual textures. She is also a passionate musician who plays guitar in the CMU Guitar Ensemble and viola in various chamber groups. Talk to her about dragons and fantasy novels and she will be your friend.

Sara Adkins is a sophomore Music Technology and Computer Science major with a planned minor in sound design at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the project leader for RobOrchestra in the CMU Robotics Club, and does research in the Human Computer Interaction Institute on virtual textures. She is also a passionate musician who plays guitar in the CMU Guitar Ensemble and viola in various chamber groups. Talk to her about dragons and fantasy novels and she will be your friend.

  Aiko Kyle is a sophomore pursuing a Physics major and perhaps also a Computer Science double major. Some things he likes include ballroom dancing, Star Trek, messing with arduinos, bitcoins, juggling, procrastinating by configuring emacs, and oxford commas.

Aiko Kyle is a sophomore pursuing a Physics major and perhaps also a Computer Science double major. Some things he likes include ballroom dancing, Star Trek, messing with arduinos, bitcoins, juggling, procrastinating by configuring emacs, and oxford commas.