Graduate Affiliates

Kohar Avikian  

Tong Cheng is a second-year Ph.D. student in Computer Science, specializing in programming language theory and operating systems. Before starting at Yale, he did his undergraduate degree at HUST in Wuhan, China, where he explored ways combining engineering practice with theoretical foundations in computer systems research, and he views computer science as an exciting amalgam of engineering, mathematics, and philosophy. He is happy to talk about any field of computer science, as well as art, traveling, photography, classical/jazz/minimal music, piano playing, and anything else on your mind. Please feel free to email him at

Brian Earp is a recent Ph.D. graduate student in philosophy and psychology, currently doing a postdoc, as well as Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy. In college (here at Yale) he studied cognitive science and did a lot of theater and singing (through the Dramat and with the Whiffenpoofs), both of which he’s gone on to do professionally for a number of years. In addition to his academic research, Brian writes for popular magazines like the Atlantic and Slate, and is a proponent of public science communication. Before coming back to Yale as a graduate student, and now postdoc, Brian did masters degrees in psychology (Oxford) and philosophy of science (Cambridge) in England; he has also lived in Germany and Poland for a time. Brian is really happy to be affiliated with Benjamin Franklin College and is eager to help build a thriving community here. If you have interest in fellowships or studying abroad, choosing a major or applying to graduate programs in any of the above areas, working as a writer or performer (or want help preparing auditions), or have just general questions about life, feel free to send him an email at

Brian Earp
Emily Gerdin is a Ph.D. student in psychology, but before that, she got her bachelor’s at the University of Chicago, where she studied psychology and religious studies. Right after graduating, Emily left the U.S., first to study Arabic in Rabat, Morocco, as a Critical Language Scholar, and then to be a Fulbright Research Fellow in Tel Aviv, Israel. After an exciting year of research and travel, she came back to the U.S. and managed two developmental psychology labs at her alma mater. Emily is happy to talk about pretty much anything but is especially helpful when it comes to the following topics: Applying to language study fellowships (e.g., CLS), applying for research fellowships to study outside of the U.S. (e.g., Fulbright), living outside of the U.S (without fluently speaking the native language), finding and making the most of research experiences prior to graduate school, and all aspects of applying to graduate school in psychology. Please feel free to email Emily anytime at Emily Gerdin
Peter Haskin is a first-year Ph.D. student in the history department. With a focus on New Spain, he studies maps, religion, and the environment in the early modern Atlantic world. Peter worked as a legal service provider in Massachusetts’s immigrant communities for three years before moving to New Haven. A graduate of Boston College, Peter has studied in Egypt, Spain, Mexico, and Argentina. He enjoys scoring baseball games, playing volleyball, cooking vegetarian meals, identifying birds, and showing off at bar trivia. You can reach him at

John Lazarsfeld is a third-year Ph.D. student in Computer Science interested in algorithms, optimization, and the intersection of computer science and the social sciences. He was also an undergraduate at Yale (Silliman, 2017) where he studied economic sociology, traveled abroad to China, and played on the lacrosse team. John is happy to discuss interdisciplinary research, life at Yale, and everything else. He can be reached at

James Nie is a first-year medical student from California. In college (at Stanford), he studied neuroscience and creative writing, and spent a lot of time conducting neuroscience research, running an on-campus publication, and working for a prosthetics based medical non-profit. For the past two years, he worked as a consultant in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries in the Bay Area. Since coming to Yale, he has been involved in biomedical ethics research, plastic surgery research, and the Yale-Canaan Fellows program (venture capital).  If you have an interest in medical school, biomedical ethics, healthcare, or consulting, feel free to send him an email at

Shweta Raghu  is a sixth-year Ph.D. student in the History of Art. Her dissertation focuses on textiles, furniture, metalwork, and painting from colonial India, and has taken her to collections in India, Europe, and most recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Prior to grad school, Shweta double majored in Art History and Math at Dartmouth College. She also spent a lot of time woodworking, playing the piano, and exploring the Upper Valley. During her off terms, she worked as an art historical researcher, at an commercial gallery, in sales and trading at a bank, and risk management at a hedge fund. After graduation, Shweta did a one-year research fellowship in The Hague, Netherlands, while travelling and studying oil painting. If you are interested in graduate school, double majoring in the arts and sciences, discussing diverse career possibilities, or in living abroad, email Shweta at Shweta Raghu
Daniel Stadtmauer is a Ph.D. student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology studying the evolution of female reproduction in mammals. He graduated from Yale not too long ago (Ezra Stiles ‘17) and majored in E&EB and in Anthropology with a focus on East Asia. He grew up near Philadelphia, a city that is very fond of Benjamin Franklin. He is happy to discuss courses at Yale, science, technology, and society, or anything else. Contact Daniel at

Alexandra Suberi is a third year MD/PhD student interested in engineering implantable tissues and devices for medical therapies. She is from Maryland and went to the University of Maryland for college where she majored in Biochemistry and minored in Physics and Nanoscale Science and Technology. Before college, she worked as an English and Math teacher in a Nepali elementary school. She is happy to talk to anyone considering making the plunge on choosing MD vs. PhD vs. both. Contact her at

Alexandra Suberi

Joseph Sullivan is a physics PhD student specializing in condensed matter theory. He did his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida double majoring in math and physics. Before starting at Yale he did a masters degree in math at the University of Cambridge. Joe’s primary hobbies include playing soccer and the guitar. Since arriving at Yale he’s also made futile attempts to become a cryptocurrency millionaire and rekindled his teenage passion for skateboarding.  Joe is happy to talk about science, scholarships, sports etc. Just send him an email at

Joseph Sullivan

Yingqi “Ariel” Tang is a current PhD student in political theory. Hailing from Shanghai, she finds Chinatown to be the most exotic place in New York City. Her research features childhood and education as themes in intellectual history. In particular, she asks how children turn into citizens under different regimes. A former philosophy major at Barnard College, Yingqi is fond of Platonic dialogues, Greek plays, and plants. She occasionally serves as a translator. Her passion for learning languages and travelling took her to Athens, Berlin, and Paris before landing her in New Haven. If you are considering studying humanities, social sciences, or aboard, and if you wonder what college education is for, Yingqi will be happy to chat. Write to

Yingqi Tang
Bailey Trierweiler  

Trevor Williams  is a fifth-year graduate student in economics. His research encompasses economic growth, inequality, and the economics of cities. He graduated in 2017 from Yale College with a major in Economics & Math. During college he was heavily involved in Yale VITA, a volunteer tax preparation service for the low-income population, and also did a summer stint in investment banking. He is a fan of baseball, good food, the theater, and Settlers of Catan. His email is

Trevor Williams

Xin (Kate) Yang is a 5th-year Ph.D. student in psychology. She is a 2021 NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellow, and her dissertation work is focused on studying how children understand social inequalities. She got her BS at the Tsinghua University in Beijing, where she studied psychology and economics. Kate was born in Henan, China, and moved to Guangdong at the age of nine. During her undergraduate, she explored many different subfields of psychology and (especially) the great nature. She has trained and led teams to hike on mountains, deserts, and even plateaus. In terms of research, Kate is always fascinated by the psychology of prejudice, discrimination, and inequality, and she strives to reduce them. Outside research, she enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities, reading books, and making friends. These days, when she is not doing research, you can always find her climbing rocks in City Climb Gym. Kate is happy to talk about pretty much anything but is especially helpful when it comes to the following topics: travelling/living in diverse cultural settings, outdoor activities, exploring various career choices, and all aspects of applying to graduate school in psychology. Please feel free to email Kate anytime at