Dr. Erik Linstead

Dr. Erik Linstead is the Experian Associate Professor of Machine Learning in Chapman’s Fowler School of Engineering, where he also serves as Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Faculty Development. He holds courtesy appointments in the Argyros School of Business and Economics as well as the School of Pharmacy. He has been a Chapman in one faculty capacity or another since 2003. Erik’s research interests span all areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning. He founded the MLAT Lab (originally as the Machine Learning and Assistive Technology Lab) in 2015 in order to focus on applications of machine learning to socially impactful problems, with a substantial focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The lab’s research agenda has grown considerably since then, but the human-centered focus remains the same. Erik holds a B.S. from Chapman, a M.S. from Stanford, and a Ph.D. from UC Irvine, all in computer science, and is a senior member of the ACM and IEEE. In 2019, he was awarded the Wang-Fradkin Senior Professorship, Chapman’s highest honor recognizing excellence in research. Outside of teaching and research, Erik has a passion for cars (especially Porsches and Ferraris) that started in high school when he and his dad restored a 1973 Porsche 914.

Rene German

Rene German is an Instructor of Software Engineering & Computer Science in Chapman’s Schmid College of Science and Technology. He has over a decade of Software Engineering experience and has been developing software and mentoring students while working with the MLAT lab. Rene has a B.S. in Computer Science and an M.S. in Computational Science from Chapman University.


Elizabeth Stevens

Dr. Elizabeth Stevens is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Software Engineering and the Associate Director of Undergraduate Computing Programs. She completed her undergraduate degree in mathematics from Chapman University in 2010. After that, she worked for a finance firm and Standard & Poor’s Ratings. She decided to return to Chapman in the fall of 2014 to pursue a graduate degree in Computational and Data Science and recently graduated with her Ph.D. in May 2018. She is currently working with the MLAT lab on building machine learning models for clinical autism data. Elizabeth is a Colorado native and certified yoga instructor.


Chelsea Pelleriti (Parlett)

Chelsea is a PhD student with Dr. Linstead. She earned a B.S. in Psychology from UC San Diego in 2015. During her time in college and managing a Cognitive Neuroscience lab at UC Irvine, she discovered her love for all things statistical. In 2017, Chelsea received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue research in the area of STEM Education. In her spare time, Chelsea writes for JMP Statistical Software, draws statistics cartoons, cooks, and does yoga.

Derek Prate

Derek Prate earned his bachelor’s degree in game design in 2014, while working at an educational games studio designing and building multi-platform games for companies like DreamWorks and the NFL. During that time, his focus shifted to the academic theory behind game development and how to engage and lead users through an experience. Derek now teaches Level Design I & II, Unity Programming, Visual Programming, and the Unreal Engine 4. His primary interests include AR/VR technology, game design theory, Unity and Unreal programming, player immersion, user experience, usability, and analytics.

Graduate Students


Caitlyn Chavez

Caitlyn Chavez is a PhD Candidate in the Computational and Data Science Program at Chapman University. Former UCSB Gaucho, chemist, and biotech lab rat, Caitlyn traded a life in a wet-lab for one in Chapmans’ own MLAT lab and the Brain Institute where she works on projects in computer vision, deep learning, and explainable AI (XAI). During her PhD, her goal is to create DL/XAI products in the areas of clinical decision support and biomedical imaging to impact patient lives.


Emily Daskas

Emily will be completing her M.S. in Computational and Data Sciences in Spring 2021. She also has a B.S. in Computer Science from Chapman University. Since joining MLAT as a graduate student, Emily has worked on eye-tracking research and, most recently, is using machine learning to better understand the relationships between the behaviors and functions of Autism Spectrum Disorder. She enjoys working with MLAT, where she feels the work makes a positive impact on people’s lives. In her spare time, she loves all things dance and fashion!


Elia Eiroa Lledo

Elia Eiroa Lledo is a Ph.D. candidate in Computational and Data Science from Madrid, Spain. A self-proclaimed Chapman-lifer, she has been part of the lab since coming to the school as an undergrad in 2014. Since then, she has enjoyed researching various topics such as ASD, body image, and the software development process. Her pride and joy is the eye-tracker the lab acquired in 2019. She has been involved in other areas on campus, both as an undergraduate and graduate student. She was in a sorority, part of the Schmid Student Leadership Council, Chair of the Graduate Student Council in 2018, and the Graduate Student Representative to the Academic Integrity Committee for three years. She has also had the privilege of teaching at Chapman and plans on doing this beyond graduation in Spring 2021.


Lily Foster

Lily Foster is a Masters candidate in Computational and Data Sciences. She graduated from Chapman in 2019 with a B.S. in Business Administration (Marketing emphasis), and minors in Psychology and Analytics. During her final year as an undergraduate, she uncovered a passion in computer science and data analytics, which she has been able to further explore as a member of the MLAT Lab. As a graduate student, Lily has been a Graduate Course Assistant for undergraduate courses taught in Java, and her research includes eye-tracking among computer scientists and habit detection through data on physical activity.


Rao Hamza Ali

Rao Hamza Ali is a PhD student with Dr. Linstead. He earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Chapman University in 2018. He has published papers in the field of software repository analysis and machine learning applications. Rao also teaches Computer Science I and Database Management at Chapman. His primary interests are in creative computing and natural language processing and his current research focuses on computational applications in visual art and music. In his free time, Rao likes to watch soccer, cook, and do origami.

Nick LaHaye

Nick LaHaye is a current PhD student with Dr. Linstead and Dr. El-Askary as advisors. Nick is doing research in deep learning techniques applied to remote sensing problems and has undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Math from Chapman and an MS in Computer Science emph. in Data Science from USC. Nick is also a software engineer at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory).


Goldie Malamud

Goldie is on her way to completing her third degree from Chapman University in Spring 2021. She is currently a graduate student in the Computational and Data Sciences M.S. program and received two B.S. degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics in the Fall of 2018. Since joining the Master’s program at Chapman University, Goldie has worked as a Graduate Course Assistant for several Java and Data Structures undergraduate courses. After graduation, she will be working as a Data Analyst for a Government Administration firm in Brea, CA. In her spare time, you can find Goldie at her local Pilates studio!

Johnny Depp confirmed that he put Boo in the off microwave as a joke. And didn’t keep track of how the pet swallowed a ball of hash. Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in court in Queensland, where Heard was fined for bringing animals into Australia illegally, Johnny Depp Amber Heard transcript in a Queensland court where Heard was fined for illegally transporting animals to Australia, 2015 © Robert Shakespeare/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images. Tara Roberts, Depp’s house manager in the Bahamas, said that Amber often insulted her ex-husband in her presence and once threw a can of solvent at him. In 2013, comedian Depp suggested that Paul Bettany drown and burn his wife and then have sex with the corpse to make sure he was dead. The actor attributed the joke to the fact that he was fed up with Heard’s pleas to quit drinking and drugs. Against this background, Johnny Depp’s desire to cut off Ilon Musk’s penis for sleeping with Amber looks like a cute joke.


Raha Pirzadeh

Raha Pirzadeh is currently in the 4+1 Computational and Data Science masters program. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Chapman in Computer Science with a self-designed minor in Bioinformatics. Raha also works in the Office of Residence Life at Chapman as a Residential Education Graduate Assistant. She is very passionate about the research she does, hoping to pursue it in the future. In her spare time, Raha enjoys finding new coffee shops and spending time with her friends..

Laura Stevens

Laura Stevens has a degree in chemical and biological engineering from the University of Colorado. She had been working at Anheuser Busch as a group manger until recently when she decided to come to Chapman University as a visiting researcher. Laura is currently exploring the impact of therapy supervision on learning outcomes. She is teaching statistics and conducting autism research until she begins the pursuit of her PhD at the University of Colorado in the fall.

Undergraduate Students


Kaitlyn Abdo

Kaitlyn Abdo is currently in her second year as a Biochemistry major in the Honors Program at Chapman University. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine after graduating and is most excited to be a part of MLAT to help children with disabilities. She enjoys spending time with friends and trying new foods.


Jillian Anderson

Jillian Anderson is studying Computer Science and minoring in Creative and Cultural Industries at Chapman University. She holds a directors position within her sorority and is the treasurer of the Chapman honor society Order of Omega. She is extremely passionate about learning and can’t wait to use her experiences at the MLAT Lab to positively affect others. She loves animals and volunteers for the local dog rescue “The Labelle Foundation”. In her free time she loves reading, exercising, and playing guitar.

Abby Bechtel

Abby Bechtel is in studying Computer Science and Physics at Chapman University. She is on the Engineering Advisory Panel as well as on the Chapman IEEE executive board. She has industry experience interning for Raytheon and the Aerospace Corporation. In 2020 she published her first paper alongside, Elia Eiroa-Lledo, Emily Daskas, Lily Foster, Raha Pirzadeh, Katie Rodeghiero, and Erik Linstead in the proceedings of SEKE. In her spare time, Abby loves to go spend time with family, go on hikes, and cooking.


Sophia Crawford

Sophia Crawford is a Data Analyst minoring in Business & Economics at Chapman University. She aims to work abroad in educational technology to support and benefit those with mental health and intellectual disabilities in learning environments. Sophia will contribute to MLAT by enthusiastically performing research in the lab’s Autism studies to gain a better understanding of the field. She’s involved in the STEMtors club, plays around in Adobe, and practices cello when she can.


Evelyn Lawrie

Evelyn Lawrie is pursuing a double major in Computer Science and Spanish at Chapman University. She is passionate about technology and excited to be a part of MLAT lab. Evelyn is from Berwyn, Pennsylvania and enjoys volunteering at animal shelters, baking, exercising, and playing guitar in her free time. She hopes to pursue a career based on her passions for computing and helping others.


Katherine Monroy

Katherine Monroy is studying Computer Science at Chapman University. She is also minoring in Economics and plans to implement her new technical skills into MLAT research. Katherine is quite passionate about all things stem and is excited to see where the future takes her. She is always looking for new opportunities to learn, grow, and create things that help make a difference and make people smile. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, skateboarding, and taking photos.


Gabriela Pinto

Gabriela is studying Computer Science and minoring in Computer Engineering at Chapman University. She is also the Secretary of the IEEE student branch at Chapman, where she helps organize events and competitions such as IEEE GameSig. After graduation, Gabriela hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Science with a concentration in Machine Learning and continue practicing research.


Katie Rodeghiero

Katie Rodeghiero is a Data Analytics and Dance double major with a minor in Musical Theatre at Chapman University. She joined MLAT her freshman year, and her projects to date include co-authoring a paper published in the proceedings of SEKE and updating the website. She aims to find innovative ways to combine her love for the arts with her passion for STEM in order to propose creative solutions. Outside of academia, she enjoys spending time outdoors and performing on stage.


Alexandra Zuch

Alexandra Zuch is a computer science undergraduate at Chapman University. She very recently joined this lab and is very excited to work with all of the members and contribute to the research and learn from her peers. Besides her interests in technology, she loved choreographing and dancing (specifically urban dance). She is very excited for her next few years at Chapman!

Ph.D. Alumni


Raymond Anden

Raymond Anden is Sr. Manager of Credit Risk Modeling and Data Science at T-Mobile primarily focused on building solutions to support the Existing Portfolio and Collections Strategies. Prior to completing his Ph.D. in Computational and Data Sciences, he completed a Master’s of Science Degree in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Chapman University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics from UC Irvine. Previously Raymond worked as a Lead Analytics Consultant for Experian’s Business Information Services supporting Experian’s commercial products and services.


Cody Arbuckle

Cody graduated from Chapman University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences in 2014 and M.S. in Computational and Data Science in 2015. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Computational and Data Science. His pervious research involves using machine learning for cell identification, classification and tracking. His current research with the MLAT lab and Chapman University School of Pharmacy focuses on building machine learning models to improve patient pharmaceutical adherence. Cody is also the director of engineering for Anivive Lifesciences, a biotech company focusing on veterinary medicine.


Natalie Best

Natalie is a current student in the Computational and Data Sciences Ph.D program. She also teaches introductory computer science courses at Chapman. Natalie graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors degree in Physics with a minor in computer science. At SDSU, she was an actively involved in the Society of Women Engineers and Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys hiking and going to the beach with her dogs, Bode and Sierra.


Kayleigh Hyde

Kayleigh Hyde earned her B.S. in mathematics from Chapman University in 2010, before she continued to the University of Hawaii where she was awarded a M.A. in mathematics. While there, she began teaching and was awarded the Department of Mathematics Excellence in Teaching award. Kayleigh returned to Chapman in Fall 2014 where she continues to teach for the mathematics department while working on her PhD in Computational and Data Science.


Natalia Rosenfield (Stewart)

Natalia Rosenfield has received three degrees from Chapman University. In 2016, she graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.A. in Psychology. In 2017, she graduated with an M.S. in Data and Computational Science. Now she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Data and Computational Science while working in the MLAT Lab, where she can merge her knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorder with her skills in computational science to assist those affected by the disorder. Natalia is a certified instructor for POUND® and enjoys outdoor activities with her dog Petey in her free time. Fun fact: In March 2018, Natalia got married and Dr. Erik Linstead officiated her wedding!

M.S. Alumni


Abby Atchison

Abby Atchison is a Senior from Seattle, WA studying Computer Science and minoring in Analytics at Chapman University. She has worked for MLAT since freshman year and has industry experience interning for Microsoft and Amazon. She recently published her first paper for MLAT alongside Erik Linstead, Elizabeth Stevens, Natalie Best, and Christina Berardi. It is titled “A Time Series Analysis of TravisTorrent Builds: To Everything There Is a Season” and was published in the proceedings of Mining Software Repositories 2017, where she presented her teams findings.


Adrienne Bergh

Adrienne Bergh is a senior Computer Science student with a minor in Spanish. Her current projects include a large-scale analysis of text message data and a collaboration with AAA to develop predictive models for employee turnover. Next year, Adrienne plans to continue her education at Chapman University by pursuing an M.S. in Computational and Data Sciences.

Ryan Burns

Ryan is a Chapman Computational and Data Sciences graduate. He played a large role in the front-end mobile development of the Autism Management Platform and is passionate about utilizing his skills in software development to positively affect the lives of others. Ryan is currently a Mobile Software Engineer at grandPad, teaches introductory computer science courses at Chapman, and has great interest in the opportunities of data analytics that his current projects can potentially introduce.

Kendall Holmes

Kendall Holmes grew up in Newport, RI, and graduated from Middletown High School.  Kendall works as a supplemental instructor for Physics 101. During the initial stage of the Autism Management Platform project, he worked as process lead and is now working as a software developer.


Mike Nemerouf

Mike Nemerouf is a U.S. Army veteran who upon separation returned to school to pursue an education. Mike has extensive Military Intelligence experience and plans on leveraging this experience in his approach to solving Data Science and Machine Learning problems. Mike has a B.S. in Mathematics and will complete his M.S. in Computational and Data Sciences from Chapman University in Fall 2017. Mike is currently working in the Signals Processing domain with a Speech pathology researcher.

Duy Nguyen

Duy Nguyen graduated with a Bachelor degree in Computer Information System and is currently pursuing his Master’s degreen in Computational and Data Sciences. He’s currently working for Absolute Exhibits as a Developer/Marketing Technologist and is a member of the AMP project. Duy loves photography and vinyl records.


Jordan Ott

Jordan Ott earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Chapman University. He is currently pursuing PhD a the University of California, Irvine. He has applied machine learning algorithms to problems in particle physics, climate modeling, astrophysics, laser reconstruction, and biomedical imaging. He also focuses on building biologically plausible neural networks. While pursuing a PhD he works for Path Robotics as a machine learning researcher. There he designs algorithms for autonomous welding robots.

Anthony Young

Anthony Young graduated with a MS degree in Computational Science. He is employed as a Software Engineer at devIO in Costa Mesa. He enjoys programming and figuring out problems.

Undergraduate Alumni


Haley Anderson

Haley Anderson is in her third year of studying Computer Science at Chapman University. She is minoring in Data Analytics, and is also in the honors program. Haley is on the executive board of her sorority, as well as on the executive board of the Chapman chapter of Love Your Melon club, which benefits childhood cancer. Haley is extremely passionate about technology and is excited to see where the industry takes her. In her free time she enjoys watching TV and editing videos.

Cristiano Firmani

Cristiano Firmani is a junior attending Chapman University. Having been interested in computers for many years, he continues to focus on the field by majoring in Software Engineering. He also understands that a passion for computers requires funding and business skills; therefore, he is pursuing a minor in Business Administration. He is incredibly passionate about the field he is in and is thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about it. Outside of studies, he loves playing soccer, surfing, snowboarding and learning about new software to toy with.


Paul Harnack

Paul Harnack is a Software Engineering major at Chapman University. Before working for MLAT, he was a computer science tutor for the Tutoring, Learning, and Testing Center at Chapman University. He is currently working with a small team to create an affordable AAC app solution.


Liliana Hernandez

Liliana Hernandez is a fourth year student working towards her B.S. in Computer Information Systems. An aspiring mobile developer, she is constantly searching for new ways to fuse creativity in technology with service to those in need. Liliana is excited about joining the MLAT team and developing her skills further. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, and working out.


Haley Kinoshita

Haley Kinoshita is a senior Data Analytics major and Computer Science minor at Chapman University. She is interested in machine learning and is President of Chapman’s Robotics Club where students build and program self-driving cars. Haley would like to pursue masters at Chapman in Computational Sciences after graduating in the Spring of 2018. She will be working on the text message mining project at MLat with Dr. Linstead. Haley is from Seattle, Washington and enjoys painting and spending time outside.


Katie Lamkin

Katie Lamkin graduated with a  Software Engineering degree at Chapman University. She is a member of a data mining research group composed of undergraduate and graduate students lead by Dr. Erik Linstead. Katie works as a supplemental student instructor teaching students Data Structures and the basics of algorithm analysis and enjoys a Software Engineering Internship with Deluxe Digital Distribution and performs development in C#, Java, and utilizing MS SQL and Mongo technologies for the development of video based applications. Katie is the sole inventor on a pending patent, 61/720,371, entitled “Method for Creating and Displaying Content”. She also presented a poster at Pycon 2014 in Montreal, which demonstrated the use of Physics functions using Visual Python simulations.


Monique Namsinh

Monique Namsinh is a senior Computer Science major at Chapman University. With a degree in Health Science, she plans to utilize her background to contribute as a member of the MLAT lab’s Autism research study. Passionate in helping others, Monique will spend her time at the MLAT lab furthering her knowledge of how to use technology to better service those in need. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, traveling, and watching football on Sundays.

Aneesha Prakash

Aneesha Prakash is a 3rd year Computer Science and Computer Information Systems major and is excited to have recently joined the AMP project team. Her previous project experience include developing android applications as a Systems/IT intern at State Farm, business and technology consulting, and SWE Team Tech, where she helped design a SWE national award winning After-treatment System for Cummins.


Jennifer Re

Jennifer is a senior at Chapman University working towards her degree in Digital Arts with a minor in Computer Science. She is currently working on a 3D animated short film in hopes of becoming an animator for a feature film studio. She is also working as a developer and designer on the Smart Dresser application. She writes XML’s, makes layouts, draw icons/buttons, and helps implement and update the weather feature.

Mirabel Rice

Mirabel Rice, an Oregon native, graduated with a Computer Science major/Math minor at Chapman University. In her spare time, Mirabel enjoys traveling, classical piano, and competitive Irish dance.

Justine Stewart

Justine Stewart graduated with a Digital Arts degree, Game Development minor. Originally from Seattle, she spent four years attending Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and graduated in May 2015. Justine is a generalist with a wide range of 2D illustration, 3D art, and programming skills, but specializes in game design and 3D art. She currently works as a narrative design intern at Jumpstart, a game company that develops games for kids, as well as continuing to work on the Smart Dresser team as part of MLAT Lab.

David Tyler

David Tyler is concurrently completing a three-year B.S. program in Computer Science and a M.S. in Computational Sciences, both at Chapman University. Over the last eight years, he has been developing software across a variety of platforms, and currently works as a Software Engineer for a startup company. A key developer for AMP, David has been overseeing the central API and systems coordination, and also manages the behind-the-scenes technology that power the platform.


Kayla Ziegler

Kayla Ziegler graduated with a Computer Science degree at Chapman University.  She worked as a backend web developer for the university’s Strategic Marketing and Communications department, with previous experience in the Department of Information Security within IS&T. She completed a data science internship with the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in the summer of 2016. She has conducted research with Chapman faculty primarily in the field of data mining, including a poster presentation at the 2015 INFORMS Computing Society Conference in Richmond, VA on the topic of a modified k-nearest neighbor algorithm.