Jay Modi Memorial Award Winners

The Jay Modi Award is presented annually to a Computer Science Ph.D. student in recognition of academic excellence and the potential to become a leader in the field. The Jay Modi Award winner will be announced as part of the annual fall Jay Modi Memorial Lecture.




2013-14: Linge Bai

Linge is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science in the Geometric Biomedical Computing Group at Drexel University. She holds the degrees of Master of Science in Computer Science and Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and Technology. Linge's thesis work focuses on modeling and simulating self-organizing shape primitives whose behavior is inspired by cell biology. Linge's research interests include computational modeling, data analysis and machine learning. After discovering local interactions for the primitives, her research has been focusing on analyzing the self-organizing shape formation process and predicting the results of shape evolution, using machine learning algorithms. During her Ph.D. studies, Linge spent eight months at Germany's Max Plank Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems as a visiting scientist, along with her advisor Dr. David Breen. She worked with physicists, mathematicians and biologists to model the development of drosophila wings. In particular, she was involved in reconstruction and visualization of 3D Drosophila wing discs at the cellular level, from 2D confocal microscopy images.


2012-13: Stephen Lombardi

Stephen Lombardi joined Drexel University’s Department of Computer Science in 2009 after completing his bachelor's degree at The College of New Jersey. Currently a fourth year Ph.D. candidate working with Dr. Ko Nishino, associate professor of computer science, in Drexel’s Vision and Graphics Laboratory. His research interests lie in the area of "physics-based vision," which investigates the properties of materials, illumination, and shape that ultimately come together to produce an image in a photograph. Recently his work in this area was published in the European Conference on Computer Vision 2012, a top level computer vision conference, as an oral presentation. Following the conference, he began a two-month-long stay in Osaka, Japan working with members of Professor Yasushi Yagi's laboratory to publish a collaborative paper. Outside of his research, Steve built and currently maintains an educational computer game, Mathe Monkeys, for use in the classroom by teachers and students. He also enjoys playing guitar and listening to music. 


2011-12: Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan is CS Ph.D. candidate currently working with Dr. Rachel Greenstadt, assistant professor of computer science, in the Privacy, Security and Automation Lab (PSAL). The group is researching stylometry (authorship recognition) and its applications in artificial intelligence and security. They are specifically looking at methods of circumventing stylometric systems, the potential threat authorship recognition poses to privacy and anonymity, and the mitigation of this threat through such circumvention. Brennan and Sadia Afroz, fellow CS Ph.D. candidate in PSAL, just released JStylo and Anonymouth, two tools that assist and prevent authorship recognition, at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, Nov. 11, 2012. Watch the video here. The research group is also working on using artificial intelligence to augment and improve public discourse on the web, such as the comment rating systems found on popular websites like Slashdot and YouTube.

Along with completing his Ph.D. at Drexel, Brennan was a technologist for the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection at the Federal Trade Commission, which consisted of advising the legal staff on the technical aspects of protecting consumer privacy. Brennan organized Random Hacks of Kindness (RhoK) Philadelphia in June and December 2011, both of which succeeded in developing functional software programs and tools to help solve society’s problems. He has gone on to work for SecondMuse and joined the RHoK global team where he works alongside representatives from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and the World Bank on improving RHoK around the world, plus other social impact technology efforts like NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge and Intel’s Code For Good project. Brennan received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Delaware and master’s degree at Drexel University.

Outside of Drexel, Brennan runs his own small, do-it-yourself record label called Paramnesia Records, and enjoys spending his free time biking around the city and traveling.


2010-11: Maxim Shevertalov

Maxim Shevertalov is a PhD candidate at Drexel University. His research interests are in Autonomic Computing and Automated Software Composition. Since 2004, he has participated in numerous government and industry sponsored projects. Highlights of which include a joint effort with Lockheed Martin on the DARPA sponsored SAPIENT grant, used to develop a novel approach to automated network management and the Lockheed Martin sponsored Aniketos grant which led to a patent of a system for automatically detecting and mitigating software faults.

In recognition of his work, Maxim Shevertalov has received the Koerner Family Fellowship during the 2007-2008 school year. He was also invited to serve on the program committees of the IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation in 2007 and the International Conference on Autonomic and Autonomous Systems every year since 2008. In addition to research, he has taught several classes, including both graduate and undergraduate versions of Operating Systems and Dependable Software Systems.


2009-10: Louis Kratz

Louis Kratz is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate at Drexel University working with CS Professor Dr. Ko Nishino in the Graphics and Vision Laboratory. His research interests include interactive systems, machine learning and computer vision with a specific focus on video analysis. In addition to his scientific endeavors, Louis is interested in applying computer science principles to community outreach activities, specifically with regards to early education.


2008: Evan Sultanik

Evan is currently a Ph.D. candidate occupying joint positions in the Drexel University Geometric and Intelligent Computing Laboratory, the Applied Communications and Information Networking Program (de facto), and the Data Fusion Laboratory (de jure). He holds the degrees of Master of Science in Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, having graduated with honors.

Evan’s research is related to distributed artificial intelligence, ad-hoc networking, metrics, discrete event systems, mobile & multiagent systems, simulation, and constraint reasoning. Evan’s work has been published in three book chapters, a number of journals, and over twenty peer-reviewed conference proceedings.

He has been the recipient of a number of fellowships and awards, including the CoE research award, Provost, Hill, & Koerner fellowships, and honorable mention from the CRA and NSF. He also developed a curriculum for the undergraduate Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class which he has taught twice. In his spare time Evan enjoys cycling, playing violin, contributing to open source software, and experimenting in molecular gastronomy.