Women's Technology Program
in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Massachusetts Institute of Technology











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Summer 2011 Staff

Instructors| Residential Tutors|Residential Assistants


Three female graduate students in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science design and teach the Women's Technology Program classes in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Discrete Math.

Katrina Panovich
Computer Science Instructor

Hometown: Warrenville, IL


I'm a PhD student in Computer Science, and I study how people get information. Right now I'm studying Facebook and Twitter (how fun!) and how people use those systems to ask and answer questions, kind of like using a search engine. I didn't always want to be a computer scientist - I wanted to be a high school band director and even went to music school for a while - but I'm glad I ended up here. Computers are fantastic tools that help us do a lot of things and communicate a lot of ideas, and I'm really looking forward to showing you all how much fun CS can be!

Here's a snapshot of who I am: I'm 25. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. I play the bass clarinet and the baritone, and I'm teaching myself ukulele. If I could cook without recipes, I'd be a chef or a baker. My favorite color is purple, and I hope to have a rainbow house someday (where each room is entirely one color). I love gardening (especially things to cook and eat), but I'm pretty terrible at keeping plants alive, even cacti. I love the internet so much I want to be it.

Sharon Myrtle Paradesi
Discrete Math Instructor

Hometown: Hyderabad, India


I am a PhD student in the Decentralized Information Group at CSAIL and I currently work with Prof. Hal Abelson. My research interests lie in Semantic Web and Natural Language Processing/Machine Learning. I graduated with a Master's degree in Computer Science from The University of Georgia. I am originally from India where I finished my undergraduate studies and majored in Computer Science and Engineering. My hobbies include reading, organizing events and spending time with family and friends. I am very excited to be teaching Discrete Math in WTP this summer and looking forward to meeting you all!

Rebecca Rich
Electrical Engineering Instructor

Hometown: Raytown, MO


I am completing my Master's in Electrical Engineering.  My master's research has been with Leon Glicksman and MIT's Building Technology Group.  It focuses on improving CoolVent, an early building design software tool for architects designing naturally ventilated buildings, by improving the software's user interface and implementing a thermal comfort metric within the tool.  Next fall, I will begin my PhD research in integrated system design.  I plan to combine my interests in electrical engineering and software by focusing on system design from hardware up.  In my spare time, I enjoy learning about foreign cultures and exploring the many international cuisines Boston has to offer.  I am incredibly excited to teach you all about electrical engineering this summer, and I cannot wait to meet and get to know you all!


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Residential Tutors

Residential Tutors are current female MIT undergraduate students, or recent MIT graduates. They assist the WTP-EECS Instructors in the classroom, and also live in the dormitory with the high school students, chaperoning residential life, creating fun activities and field trips, and helping with homework.

Clare Bayley
Computer Science Tutor

MIT Class of 2011
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Fayetteville, AR

I'm a senior in Computer Science with just one semester left before graduation (so close!). I've been programming for 7 years and I still love technology, especially all these new mobile platforms - I can't imagine going back to a day before I could check my email in the supermarket. I also do a lot of intense photography and design. I was Editor in Chief for MIT's yearbook last year, and I'm using my one weekend off of WTP to go shoot a friend's wedding. I love Boston, MIT, and Computer Science, and I'm really looking forward to teaching you about all three!


Megan Bowman
Computer Science Tutor

MIT Class of 2012
Major: Urban Studies & Planning
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Hi everybody! I'm a rising senior in Urban Planning and can't believe how fast time has flown by. Speaking of flying, in the fall I'm voyaging to Brazil, South Africa, and Vietnam for study abroad. I love exploring Boston by foot and have run two marathons. I also like to make foods from scratch that are normally store-bought, like ginger ale, bagels, and yogurt. Sometimes I try to knit. I'm so excited for this summer and can't wait to meet you all!


Sarah Cheng
Computer Science Tutor

MIT Class of 2012
Major: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Hometown: Libertyville, IL

I'm a rising senior in course 6-2 (EECS), working toward a minor in philosophy. I learned programming before coming to MIT and really enjoyed it, so inevitably continued my CS studies here. I enjoy astronomy too, and even got to intern at JPL last summer! Outside of academia, I like being active. In particular, I snowboard and I'm on the executive board of the MIT Quidditch Team (yes, it's a real sport - look it up!). I also love video games, sci-fi, British television, music, cooking, chocolate, turtles, and insects. I'm really excited to meet you all this summer! :)


Anne Juan
Discrete Math Tutor

MIT Class of 2012
Major: Mathematics, Materials Science & Engineering
Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Hi, everyone! I'm currently pursuing a double major at MIT in math and MSE, both of which I absolutely love. On campus, I'm involved in student life including being a Residential Associate Advisor for freshmen, part of the exec board for the Undergraduate Society of Women in Mathematics, and being super involved with Campus Dining. I like to read science fiction and hum the overtures of obscure musicals in my spare time. I'm super excited to be a part of WTP this year and can't wait to meet everyone!


Letitia Li
Discrete Math Tutor

MIT Class of 2011
Major: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Hometown: Hockessin, DE


Hi! I'm a graduating senior in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I was a WTP student years ago and I hope you'll all enjoy it as much as I did! I drew comics for the MIT newspaper, played Clarinet in the concert band, and taught students how to prove 420 > 422. I also enjoy swimming, oil painting, sewing, birdwatching, anime, trying to cook, and wandering into landmarks around Boston. I look forward to meeting all of you!


Rachel Meyer
Electrical Engineering Tutor

MIT Class of 2011
Major: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Hometown: Stockton, CA

Hello!  I'm a senior in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (mostly focused on EE at this point).  I was an EE tutor for WTP a couple years ago and I'm excited to be back.  Outside of classes I'm involved in dance (all kinds), music (I play flute and piccolo), and community service.  I also enjoy cooking and baking, particularly experimenting and making up recipes.  I look forward to meeting all of you and working with you in EE lab and also having fun outside of lab!

Kimberly Santos
Discrete Math Tutor

MIT Class of 2012
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Marshfield, MA

Hello!  I am super excited to be part of WTP again this year!  I am a rising senior majoring in Mathematics (Course 18) with a minor in Economics (Course 14).  I am also a campus tour guide, so feel free to ask me to show you around! My interests and hobbies include ice hockey, skating, rollerblading, tennis, marching band, attempting to learn trumpet, theater, church, cooking, baking, gardening, and, of course, discrete mathematics.  As a Massachusetts native, I am familiar with many of Boston's most popular attractions, but am still enthusiastic about exploring new places as well.  I look forward to meeting and working with all of you this summer!


Meghan Wright
EE Tutor

MIT Class of 2013
Major: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Hometown: Devon, PA

Hi everyone! I am a current sophomore in course 16 (Aeronautics and Astronautics). I first learned about circuits and electrical engineering in high school and have continued working with circuits in my aero/astro courses. I love MIT and going to school in Boston! I am a member of the Varsity Women's Soccer and Lacrosse Teams here and am involved in the greek community as well. I love to do anything active, running, tennis, soccer, skiing, you name it. In my spare time I also enjoy cooking and baking (I make a mean chocolate chip cookie). I am excited to meet everyone and spend an awesome four weeks in Boston and at MIT!!


Xiaoyue ("Sheep") Zhang
Electrical Engineering Tutor

MIT Class of 2013
Major: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

I'm a current sophomore majoring in EECS and math. I play the violin and love making, playing, and writing music. In my free time, I like to play frisbee, climb, skate, paint, and pretend to parkour. I also like colors, plants, critters, prime numbers, and heavy rainstorms. Although I never attended WTP, I have attended similar programs, loved them, and they are the reason for my interest in EECS and math. So, Hooray, I'm super excited for WTP! Feel free to email me if you guys are unbearably excited. :)


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Residential Assistants

Residential Assistants live in the dorm and help with evening and weekend activities, but do not have classroom or tutoring responsibilities. Residential Assistants also attended WTP when they were in high school. They help make a warm community in the dorm (this frequently involves cooking and baking projects and showing movies!) and they organize sightseeing trips into Boston and Cambridge.

Rose Feldman

MIT Class of 2014

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA


HI! I’m a rising sophomore at MIT and am currently majoring in Course 10, Chemical Engineering. In my free time and not-so-free time, I love to be outside, hang out with friends, bake, read, listen to music, and ride horses. I attended WTP-EECS in the summer of 2009 and not only loved it but also made some of my best friends. I am extremely excited to meet all of you and show you just how amazing MIT is, so please find me on Facebook and email me if you have any questions!

Emily McDonald

MIT Class of 2014

Hometown: Doylestown, PA

I am a rising sophomore and am currently majoring in materials science and engineering with a minor in management. I attended WTP as a rising high school senior in the summer of 2009 and had the time of my life. I am so excited to be a residential assistant this year and meet everyone. On campus I am a sister of Alpha Phi, a representative in Jr. Panhellenic Association (for my sorority), a member of dance troupe, and a board member for the Society of Women Engineers and Innoworks. When not studying you can catch me dancing in my room, baking, going on adventures in Boston, or bonding with my sisters and friends. I love to Irish Step dance and watch lots of movies as well. I cannot wait to get to know you all very well this summer and help you have the best experience possible.

Sylvia Zakarian

MIT Class of 2014

Hometown: Braintree, MA


I am a rising sophomore planning on majoring in EECS.  I attended WTP in 2009 and it was one of the main reasons why I have decided to major in EECS.  In my free time I like to listen to and play music.  I'll listen to almost any genre of music, though I do tend to listen to a lot of Broadway musicals.  I've been playing the violin for several years and just recently picked up the guitar as well.  I also enjoy watching TV (Glee!), attempting to cook, and playing Set.  I'm really excited for the summer, and I'm looking forward to meeting and getting to know all of you!


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WTP Director and WTP-EECS Track Coordinator

Cynthia Skier

MIT alumna: SB 1974, SM 1981
Hometown: Lexington, MA

I have been the WTP Director since fall 2002. Before that I managed computer software companies and worked in management consulting. My two children are "out of the nest." In my free time I like to sing, read mysteries, and watch old movies, especially film noire, musicals and science fiction. In addition to my WTP responsibilities, I also direct the Industrial Connection Program here in MIT EECS.

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To view WTP-EECS staff from other years, click on the links below:

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