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

Medha Goyal is a first year Ph.D. student in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science department, specializing in designing systems made of fluids, particles, and soft polymers for applications in soft robotics. Before starting at Yale, she completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at University of Chicago where she studied physics and polymer science & engineering. In her spare time, Medha enjoys improvised partner dancing (mainly swing styles); listening to early 20th century jazz; writing – both science journalism and science fiction; and cooking vegetarian East Asian food. As an ethnically Indian woman born and raised in Hong Kong, pursuing a career in STEM in the US, Medha thinks a lot about how to create a sense of belonging and community among those who, like her, are ‘conceptual orphans’ (source of phrase: author Sanjena Sathian), or ‘multiply situated’ (source: artist Christina Quarles), and hopes to be a source of support and camaraderie for those struggling with issues of identity and belonging. As a GA for Benjamin Franklin, she is happy to provide tips and strategies for getting through undergrad, choosing a career in STEM, doing STEM research as an undergraduate, and applying to PhD programs. You can reach her 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

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

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