People

Director

Sean Warnick

Sean Warnick received his Ph.D. and S.M. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995 and 2003, respectively, and his B.S.E. from Arizona State University in 1993. He attended ASU on scholarship from the Flinn Foundation, graduated summa cum laude, and was named the Outstanding Graduate of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He has also held visiting positions from Cambridge University (2006), the University of Maryland at College Park (2008), and the University of Luxembourg’s Centre for Systems Biomedicine (2014). Sean was named the Distinguished Visiting Professor by the National Security Agency three years in a row, 2008-2010, for his work with their Summer Program for Operations Research Technology, and he has consulted with various companies.

Research Interests: System’s Theory and Network Representation including: Model Reduction and Approximation, Identification/Learning from Data, Control, Optimization, and various applications

Graduate Students

Alex Peterson

Alex is a Masters student who has been with IDEA Labs since Fall of 2020. He comes from an undergraduate degree in Statistics from the University of Missouri and is looking to combine his knowledge of statistics with optimization, learning, and control processes. His research experience is in ecological population modeling while his research interests span the crossroads of economics, engineering systems, and data science. His hobbies include creating mobile applications, fishing, playing games with his nieces and nephews, and finding new restaurants with his wife.

Dallin Clayton

Dallin is a Masters student who has been with the IDEA labs since 2019. He was introduced to Dr. Warnick when he took his Theory of Predictive Modeling class as a CS undergraduate and was enamoured with the possibilities of data science combined with control theory. He is currently researching methods of systematic control of opinion in social networks, such as those formed by users of social media, in order to better safeguard free elections and democracy. Dallin’s interests include longboarding, 3D printing, fantasy and sci-fi novels, video games, general goofiness, and especially playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends and his wonderful wife, Amy.

Michael DeBuse

Michael DeBuse is a Masters student in Computer Science working to qualify for the PhD program. His academic interests are in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing. His passion, however, is in writing, having drafted 7 full-length fiction novels over the past 10 years. His research combines his passion with his career aspirations. For his Masters Thesis, Michael is developing a system that ingests a novel and outputs the plot-map of that novel. He hopes to get a career in research, continuing in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing.

Outside Computer Science and writing, his interests include video games, reading, cooking, art, politics, and the outdoors.

Samuel Neff

Sam is an undergraduate finishing his studies in music and preparing for a masters in Computer Science. He has spent his undergrad focused on the medical field and most recently, applications of predictive models in primary care medicine. In addition to his research in the lab, Sam is deeply involved in the entrepreneurial scene on campus. Sam is the VP of communications of BYU’s Entrepreneurship Club, and he also works as a venture partner for the student-centered VC firm Contrary Capital. He has also participated in many entrepreneurial competitions on campus, and most recently was the winner if the Inventech Competition.

Sam is from East Millcreek Utah. He enjoys hiking, skiing and playing with his local band, The Wykees.

Undergraduate Students

Nathaniel Driggs

Nathaniel Driggs is a math major from Oak Park, California. His main research interests are applications in finance and agriculture. He enjoys being a part of the leadership of the Math Finance Club, a sub club of the Finance Society in the Marriott School. Outside of academics, Nathaniel enjoys running, soccer, volleyball, and learning foreign languages. He speaks Chinese and Korean.

Bogdan Mukhametkaliev

Bogdan Mukhametkaliev is an undergraduate student at BYU double-majoring in Economics and Mathematics. Throughout his educational career, he has also been heavily involved with the Marriott Business School as Information Systems TA and President of the Mathematical Finance Club. Bogdan joined the IDeA Labs at the beginning of summer 2019 and worked on Network Reconstruction projects involving finance, ecosystems, and cyber-security. His goal after graduation is to pursue a Ph.D. in Finance or Accounting.

Bogdan is the recipient of several academic scholarships such as Carton Infanger Scholarship and Hughes Foundation Scholarship. He was also admitted to the Dean’s list of College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences for academic success during the winter 2019 semester.

Bogdan was born and raised in an industrial city Izhevsk, Russia, after which he moved to Moscow, so big cities is his element. Aside from academic work, he enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and reading Russian Novels.

Alyssa Crezee

Alyssa Crezee is from Phoenix, Arizona. She is an undergraduate double-majoring in linguistics and communication disorders. Her favorite sub-discipline of linguistics is first-language acquisition. Alyssa has worked with the Storylab group in IDeA Labs on event extraction research, and looks forward to collaborating on other story projects.

Alyssa is a member of the executive board for BYU’s Diabetes Club—she enjoys connecting with others in the diabetes community and educating about navigating life with a chronic illness. She is also a member of Golden Key International Honor Society and BYU’s chapter of the National Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Alyssa’s favorite thing about Utah is getting to experience all four seasons, and her main hobby is country swing dancing.

Alumni

Blake Moss

Blake began working with IDeA Labs in September 2018. Blake graduated with a BS in Information Technology from BYU in 2018, and recently earned his MS in Computer Science. His research interests involved the intersection of cybersecurity, data science, and controls engineering. Blake recently completed a summer internship at Sandia National Laboratories and currently works as a security engineer for both the Church Educational System (CES) Security team at BYU and Achilles Heel Technologies. He also is an assistant instructor at Code180, an educational organization that helps non-technical professionals become more conversant in the technology space.

Isabella Favero

Bella joined IDeA Labs in April 2018 to work on the Event Annotating Research team. She is interested in understanding how language is used to accomplish specific purposes. Bella graduated from BYU in 2020 with her Bachelor’s, majoring in linguistics and minoring in TESOL. She hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology, and work as a Speech/Language Therapist. She is passionate about helping people find better ways that work for them to communicate their needs and their thoughts and desires.

Bella is from Carson City, Nevada. She loves music and learning about language and people. She served a mission in St.Louis, Missouri and loves to think about different ways people communicate and interact with each other.

Alexander Fabiano

Alexander Fabiano graduated from BYU as an economics major with minors in mathematics and business strategy. He got involved in various capacities at BYU as an economics TA, a VP of the Business Strategy Club, and a member of the Data Science and Management Consulting clubs. Alex started at IDeA Labs in late summer of 2017. His research interests lie in predictive medical systems and business organization analysis. He aspires to work in economic consulting, and eventually start his own medical technology company.

Alexander is from Mesa, Arizona and greatly enjoys the outdoors and physical activities such as backpacking, boxing, motorcycle racing, and running. His favorite books are Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and 1776 by David McCullough.

Humphrey Leung

Humphrey Leung got his Bachelor of Science (2017) and Master of Science (2019) in Computer Science from Brigham Young University. His primary research interests are machine learning, deep learning, and network dynamics. His master thesis was titled “Necessary and Sufficient Conditions on State Transformations That Preserve the Causal Structure of LTI Dynamical Networks”, and it was presented at the 2018 CDC. He enjoys hiking and watching movies in his leisure time. In 2020 he joined the ECE department at Purdue to complete his Ph.D. studying networked epidemic dynamics.

Meilan Jin

Meilan is from China. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2014 with a BS in computer Science and a double minor in Information Systems and English as Second Language. Meilan is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Upsilon Pi Epsilon. Her team placed first in the ACM Programming Contest 2013, Hawaii Site, and ranked 24th in the Pacific Northwest Region. Meilan enjoys building mobile applications. As an undergraduate, she built an app for android-based devices called LDSApostles. In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Emily Prigmore

Emily earned a B.S. degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics and graduated with honors in the Fall of 2018. She began her research with IDeA labs in the Fall of 2016. Her research interests included ecological dynamics, and she researched the effects of invasive species and trophic cascades on different-sized ecosystems.

Emily is the recipient of several academic scholarships from BYU, the Computer Science Department, and the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

Emily is from San Diego, California and loves all things that have to do with the sun and the ocean. At BYU, she was an active member of the Anti-Human Trafficking club and the Environmental Science club. She also volunteered with the IRC (International Rescue Committee) in Salt Lake helping organize and run their New Roots program. In her spare time, Emily likes to read, hike, and shop.

Dane Bjork

Dane graduated from BYU in 2015 with his B.S in Genetics and Biotechnology with an emphasis in computer science. As an undergraduate he researched model reduction, specifically on the Wnt signaling pathway found in cell biology. During that time he also built software to aid in the model reduction process. After graduating, Dane worked at Indsidesales.com, where he created an SIP server used to test business VoIP phone systems and catch major issues before customers notice. Dane joined IdeaLabs in January of 2016 to further understand systems and dive deeper into model reduction research.

Charles Johnson

Charles is from Tiburon California and earned an undergraduate degree in Applied Computational Mathematics. In the past, Charles pursued research in hyperbolic knot theory, worked as a math TA, and ran an outdoor cafeteria in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He began studying at BYU in fall of 2010 and took a 2 year break to serve as a missionary in the Brazilian Amazon. Charles then returned to BYU to complete his undergraduate in mathematics. His interests are varied, including mathematics, health, social, and biological sciences, as well as his personal hobbies: reading and cooking.

Charles joined IDeA Labs in the fall of 2015, focusing his efforts in the area of cyber-infrastructure security. During the summer of 2017, Charles visited Oak Ridge National Laboratories to explore applications of control theory to vehicular cyber-security. Later that summer, he interned at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories researching applications of Koopman Operator Theory to the modern power grid. Charles is continued these veins of research, as well as research in mathematical notions of influence in social networks.

Jacob Brewer

Jacob did his undergraduate degree in Computer Science (B.S.) at BYU with a focus in data science and machine learning. Prior to joining the IDeA Labs in the Fall of 2015, Jacob had had two summer internships working with data analysis and prediction modeling: RJR investments running statistical regressions to determine investment trends in syndicate deals associated with initial public offerings (2013) and Nav Inc. initiating and facilitating credit-score machine learning prediction modeling of the $1.1T US SMB lending market (2014-2015). Jacob founded and served as a president of the first BYU Data Science Club. Jacob also majored in Arabic Language (B.A.) as a part of his undergraduate experience. Jacob enjoys volunteering in an NGO helping Iraqi refugees, which he cofounded in 2014. Among his many scholarships and awards, Jacob was named a Crocker Innovation Fellow and a Kennedy Scholar, reflecting his passion for innovative technology and international development. After finishing his first degree in August 2016, Jacob continued with his graduate studies in Decision Theory, working with Dr. Sean Warnick as his supervisor.

Sean Lane

Sean is from Springville, California and joined the BYU IDeA Labs in September 2015. After serving a mission for the LDS Church in Paraguay, he began studying at BYU in 2013 where he met his wife and best friend, Ashley. He graduated with a BS in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics in April 2016, and earned his PhD in Computer Science in April 2020.

In 2015, he completed an internship with Microsoft, working with the Trustworthy Computing security team for Microsoft Office. He implemented a feature to mitigate social engineering attacks involving VBA macros in Office files. In 2016, he worked with the Instructure Data Analytics team to create a framework to test production queries used to transform data for Instructure clients, as well as conducting preliminary work to identify struggling students with machine learning. Over the course of the summer of 2017, Sean worked with IDeA Labs alumnus Dr. Enoch Yeung as a PhD Intern at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The internship involved extended Dr. Yeung’s work in contingency analysis of municipal waters systems to integrated models of power and water infrastructure systems.

His most recent work with the lab involved the security and robustness of cyber-physical systems, including the implementation of this research into production software applications, as well as continuing the work of contingency analysis with integrated power and water infrastructure systems.

Mackenzie Wilson

Mackenzie earned a B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Chinese at BYU. Mackenzie also studied at Nanjing University in Nanjing, China during the Fall of 2014. Mackenzie joined IDeA Labs during the Fall 2015 semester with the interest of studying the connections between humanities and mathematics. She worked on modeling convergence in conversations as a stability analysis.

Mackenzie is from Plymouth, Minnesota, where she found her love for the outdoors. This has lead her to studying bushcraft, and she regularly goes on wilderness survival trips. She was a member of the HumorU stand-up comedy club at BYU where she tried her best to be funny.

Mackenzie is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, and also earned the BYU Mathematics Distinguished Student Award.

Vasu Chetty

Vasu was born in Suva, Fiji, but grew up in Penrith, Australia, just outside of Sydney. He served in the New York, New York South Mission for the LDS church, Spanish speaking, before meeting his wife Leticia, a Japanese Brazilian, at BYU-Hawaii. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a double degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and a double minor in Information Technology and Information Systems with Honors. Vasu is a member of the prestigious honors societies Phi Kappa Phi and Upsilon Pi Epsilon, and has been the recipient of several scholarships including the BYUH Alumni Scholarship and the David O McKay Legacy Scholarship.

Vasu completed a PhD at Brigham Young University in the IDeA Labs and took leave from 2014-15 to work full-time for Applied Invention. His research interests include controls applications in farming, biology and wireless mesh networks as well as understanding the meaning of the structure of networks–with applications to structured controller design, vulnerability and network reconstruction. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, reading, and spending time with his family.

Winston Hurst

Born and raised in Dallas, TX, Winston earned a degree in Computer Science at BYU. He began his involvement with IDeA Labs during Summer 2014. Winston enjoys learning about topics related to game theory and network reconstruction. The application of these principles in economic settings are of particular interest to him. In his spare time, Winston loves playing basketball, going fishing, and taking hikes.

Joel Eliason

Joel is from Laramie, WY and is the oldest of 10 children. He served a 2 year mission for the LDS Church in Moscow, Russia. Joel graduated with a BS in Mathematics at BYU in December 2016. Joel joined IDeA Labs during Fall 2014 and is interested in passive network reconstruction. He plans on pursuing a graduate degree in Mathematics.

Evan Argyle

Evan Argyle is from Pleasant Grove Utah. He served a two year mission for the LDS church in France. He graduated with his Bachelors in Applied and Computational Mathematics in April of 2016. Evan began working with Idea Labs in September of 2015. He is interested in Finance and Economics. Evan is a former BYU track athlete who also loves hiking and French cinema.

David Grimsman

David Grimsman graduated from BYU with a BS in Electrical Engineering in 2006 and a minor in Mathematics. He then went on to work for BrainStorm, Inc., a software training company based out of American Fork, UT. He trained tens of thousands of people around the world–including Italy, Spain, Australia and Germany–on various software applications. After that, he began working on IT projects within the company. In 2013, he was accepted into BYU’s Computer Science MS program. He is interested in studying security and dynamic systems. He has been with IDeA Labs since January 2014. In his free time, David enjoys playing sports such as basketball, flag football, ultimate frisbee, and softball.

Samaneh Hamidi

Samaneh was a Research Scholar in Mathematics and an Adjunct Researcher in Computer Science at Brigham Young University. She was born in Mashhad, Iran. She received her B.S in Applied Mathematics and contined to earn her Master’s degree in Pure Mathematics from the Khayyam University of Higher Education, Mashhad. She moved to Malaysia to do her Ph.D. at the University of Malaya.

She completed her Ph.D. in the field of Complex Analysis, specializing in Geometric Function Theory, which she defended in 2014. During her Ph.D. she derived new formulas based on Faber polynomials to expand the series of various classes of bi-univalent functions to determine an upper bound for the coefficients of their functions. She collaborated with some of the professors in the field of Complex and Harmonic Analysis.

In addition to teaching, she has taught various courses of Mathematics and Statistics at several universities in Iran as well as at the University of Malaya. She was a member of rowing and baseball teams in Malaysia. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, rowing and dancing.

Philip Paré

Philip Paré was born in Boston, MA and raised in Cambridge, MA. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Mexico City. In August 2011, he married his wonderful wife and best friend, Annette. In August 2012, Philip graduated with honors with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in music. In Summer 2012, he interned at IM Flash Technologies, where he developed a selection methodology for LQG run-to-run observer cost functions that used a gradient-ascent-type algorithm to find Q and R weighting matrices to improve the production quality delivered by the run-to-run LQG control system. This methodology was implemented on an actual full-scale production dry etch process, and improved it by 15.68%.

In August 2014, he graduated with a Master’s degree in Computer Science. After graduating, Philip went to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to pursue a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering researching clustering and control of dynamic systems. This is a link to his webpage at Illinois.

Daniel Fullmer

Daniel joined IDeA Labs in January 2012. He completed a B.S. with honors in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics in 2014. Daniel also received the Nile R & Gail M Brown Scholarship. Daniel has interned at Google, Print Fulfillment Services, and Applied Minds. While at Google, he developed software to perform regression analysis of server utilization data across multiple dimensions. At Print Fulfillment Services, he researched and developed software to minimize the total cost of production in a factory by optimizing a mathematical formulation of their production process. At Applied Minds, Daniel’s work used machine learning techniques on large data sets in conjunction with an existing mechanistic model. Daniel’s research interests include mathematical optimization, dynamic systems, control theory, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and operations research. Daniel was accepted to a PhD program at Yale where he plans to study distributed control.

Nathan Woodbury

Nathan joined the IDeA Labs in 2011 and performed research in self-enforcing cooperation in a competitive supplier market, vulnerability in closed-loop systems, and farming as feedback-control. His research into vulnerability became the topic of his undergraduate thesis. Nathan graduated with honors in 2013 with degrees in Management (emphasis in Entrepreneurship) and Computer Science, with a minor in Mathematics.

After graduating, Nathan continued to study under Dr. Warnick in the IDeA Labs while pursuing a Master’s and a PhD in Computer Science, where his research centered around the representation, abstractions, and reconstruction of dynamic networks.

Nathan has been the recipient of a BYU full-tuition scholarship, the Chandler Joseph Jenkins Scholarship, and the Max T. and Rella R. Williams Endowed Scholarship in Entrepreneurial Studies. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma.

Denna Lawrence

Denna is from Wyoming and is a senior majoring in Computer Science. She has been awarded several academic scholarships, including the National Merit Scholarship and several talent awards from the BYU School of Music. Denna joined the lab in Fall 2011 and was awarded an ORCA grant to study generating musical accompaniment to real-time improvisation of a soloist. Her research interests include machine learning through bipartite graph partitioning, feedback-control applications of language learning, and computer science perspectives on music composition. After graduating Denna went to work for a software company.

Anurag Rai

Anurag is from Kathmandu, Nepal. He came to BYU in the Winter of 2006 and studied Computer Science. He received a full tuition scholarship from BYU and was on the Dean’s List. He joined the IDeA labs in Fall 2008. In Summer 2009, he completed an 8-week long internship with Dr. Sandip Roy at Washington State University, where he worked on the initial condition estimation problem for synchronizing networks. He graduated with B.S. in Computer Science (Magna Cum Laude) in April 2010 and completed his Master’s degree in August 2012. His research focused on understanding the relationship between structure and robustness as well as designing structured stabilizing controllers for LTI systems. After graduating, he left to pursue a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT where he plans to work on designing optimal control policies for communication networks.

Julius Adebayo

Julius Adebayo is from Nigeria. He graduated with a B.S. Honors Mechanical Engineering degree with minors in Chemistry, Math, and Computer Science. Julius joined the IDeA Labs in Fall 2010. He studied applied math, control theory, and quantitative methods applied to biological systems. He was awarded an ORCA grant to study different methods of reconstructing/reverse engineering biochemical pathways. During the summer of 2011, he participated in summer research at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School where he studied and compared different methods of network reconstruction, as well as the use of mathematical methods to expose the underlying behavior of biological pathways. He was a member of the BYU honors program, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and the BYU International Students Association. He is an avid soccer fan, and enjoys playing ping pong from time to time. After graduating, Julius returned to Harvard University to continue the research from his internship.

Brigham Wilson

Brigham received an MS in Computer Science and a BS in Mathematics and Economics from BYU. He was supported by the Department of Defense SMART Program, and the following scholarships: Robert K. Thomas, National Merit, Coca-Cola and Toyota Community. Brigham’s Master’s Thesis was titled “Infinitesimal Perturbation Analysis for the Capacitated Finite-Horizon Multi-period Multiproduct Newsvendor Problem.” His Honors Thesis was titled “Forecasting Political Instability: Control-theoretic Modeling of International Conflict.” He has worked for Infosys Tech. in Bangalore India, the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Lab, and as a high school math teacher at Meridian School in Orem, UT. After graduating, Brigham continued on to pursue an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Devon Harbaugh

Devon joined IDeA Labs in the Fall of 2009. In his time here, he modeled the complex symbiotic interactions within a leafcutter ant nest, developed a small population stochastic epidemiological model, and designed a control policy for an adaptive-rate video streaming client. In 2011, Devon received a baccalaureate from BYU in Computer Science with minors in Mathematics and Physics having been honored to receive the Brigham Young, Bicentennial, and Marigold N. Saunders scholarships. He went on to pursue a PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland as a Distinguished Graduate Fellow.

Daniel Brown

Daniel is from Shelby, Michigan and served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sendai, Japan. In 2011, he graduated magna cum laude and with honors with a B.S. in Mathematics and minors in Computer Science and Japanese. As an undergraduate, Daniel was an Elks National Foundation Scholar and the recipient of a full tuition academic scholarship from BYU. He is also a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and the Golden Key International Honour Society. Daniel was a member of IDeA Labs from 2008-11. As part of the Computational Economics and Financial Systems Lab, his research included analyzing portfolio optimization algorithms, using system identification methods to forecast stock prices, and using a multi-agent simulation to study the dynamics of a limit order book. This research culminated in the successful completion of Daniel’s Honors Thesis titled, “Learning and Control Techniques in Portfolio Optimization.” Daniel went on to pursue a master’s degree in Computer Science at BYU under the advisement of Dr. Michael Goodrich. He was a 2011 recipient of the Department of Defense SMART Scholarship, and has accepted a post-graduate research position at the Air Force Research Lab’s Information Directorate in Rome, NY.

Taylor Southwick

Taylor Southwick is from Anacortes, Washington. He started his studies at BYU in the summer of 2005, and went for a year before going to Vladivostok, Russia to serve an LDS mission for two years. Taylor joined IDeA Labs in 2010, and his research interests include network reconstruction of bioregulatory networks, both theoretical and experimental. Previous research includes analysis of phylogenetic markers known as barcodes used to identify different species. He is married with a daughter. Taylor graduated with university honors in 2011 with a degree in bioinformatics and a minor in mathematics and began graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis Medical School as a Ph.D. candidate in Computational and Systems Biology in August 2011.

David Ripplinger

David is from Fruit Heights, UT, is married, and has two daughters. While still in high school, he earned his Associate degree from Weber State University. He served a mission for the LDS church in 2004-05 in the Chile Santiago West mission. He received his B.S. in Physics and Spanish Translation at BYU in 2009, with a minor in Mathematics. David was a member of IDeA Labs during his Master’s program 2009-11, after which he received his M.S. in Computer Science. His primary research while with the lab was in modeling wireless networks and designing optimal transmission rate controllers. After completing his Master’s, David moved to the Boston area with his family to work for MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the Airborne Networks Group.

Blake Durtschi

Blake is from West Jordan, Utah. He served an LDS mission to Veracruz, Mexico from 2000-2002. He has been a teacher’s assistant for programming, data structures, and algorithm analysis. He had an internship with Symantec writing enhancements to existing security software from 2004-2005. He served as Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) chapter vice president and president from 2004-2006. He was BYU ACM programming champion and took 8th place at the ACM regional programming competition. He received the Wells Fargo Dependent Scholarship for two years. He earned a full tuition scholarship to BYU, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in April 2006. Blake joined the research group in January 2006, and has worked on the verification problem as well as the retail laboratory project. He defended his Master’s Thesis in March 2010 at BYU.

Enoch Yeung

Enoch Yeung graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics, magna cum laude and with honors, from Brigham Young University in 2010. Upon graduating, Enoch was offered/awarded several PhD fellowships: an international scholarship to attend the University of Cambridge, a CCDC fellowship at UC Santa Barbara, a research fellowship at WSU, and an EAS fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. Enoch went on to pursue a PhD in Control and Dynamical Systems at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include system identification, model reduction and controller synthesis for networked dynamical systems such as synthetic and in-vivo biological systems, the Internet, and social networks.

As an undergraduate, Enoch was awarded several BYU full/half tuition scholarships, a 2009-2010 Choose to Give scholarship, and an ORCA grant. Enoch used his ORCA grant to develop a theoretical framework for describing structure in linear-time-invariant dynamic systems. The primary contribution of this research was four graph-theoretic definitions of system structure and a set of results characterizing the relationships between these notions of structure. Enoch also lead several other research projects including: 1) the development of a model reduction procedure for dynamical structure functions using structured gramians 2) the development of a network reconstruction algorithm for dynamical structure functions using steady-state data. During the summer of 2009, Enoch worked with Sandip Roy, Mengran Xue, and Anurag Rai on the initial condition estimation problem for consensus networks.

Nathaniel Woo

Nathaniel is from Singapore, Singapore. He majored in Economics with minors in Mathematics and Strategy, and graduated in April 2010. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Malaysia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Nathaniel also served as the president of the BYU Singapore Association, and was formerly associated with the BYU Cycling Club, and the Economics Students Association. He was a member of the BYU Honors program and the Management Consulting Club. He has been the recipient of the Brigham Young scholarship, and was selected for the Dean’s List multiple times. In addition, Nathaniel and his team took third place in the BYU Private Equity Case Competition, and was part of the BYU team that won the Outstanding Delegation award at the National Model United Nations Conference in New York. He joined the IDeA Labs in Spring 2008 and is working on the retail laboratory. Nathaniel enjoys eating, swimming, cycling, running, reading, and participating in triathlons in his spare time.

David Ward

David Ward joined IDeA Labs in January 2009. Prior to joining IDeA Labs, he researched in the BYU Architecture Research, Design, and Description group researching scheduling algorithms that preserve data and temporal locality. In IDeA Labs, David analyzed the Baum-Welch algorithm, explored the implications on the decentralized control problem of assuming weak structural information, and researched decentralized coalition formation in economic markets. David’s research interests lie in the general area of control in communication constrained environments. David is particularly interested in the impacts of communication constraints in competitive and cooperative environments.

David received a full tuition scholarship from BYU and a scholarship from the International Society of Automation (ISA) in 2009. David received a grant to help support his research from the BYU Office of Research and Creative Activities. In 2010, he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. David received the Clark School of Engineering Distinguished Graduate Fellowship from the University of Maryland and went there to pursue a PhD.

Nghia Tran

Nghia Tran came to BYU in 2002 from a plantation in Vietnam. He joined IDeA Labs in 2004 and was involved in many projects such as market structure analysis and demand forcasting. Nghia graduated with a BS degree in Computer Science in April 2006 and continued his research in optimal path-reparametrization and market structure analysis. Nghia received grants from the BYU Office of Research and Creative Activities and won several other honors, including 3rd place in the ACM Rocky Mountain Regional Programming Competition and honorable mention at the BYU Business Plan Competition. He defended his Master’s thesis here at BYU in August 2009.

Kara Yang

Kara Yang is from Beijing, China and began studying at BYU in the fall of 2005. She graduated in 2009 with a BS in Mathematics. She received a BYU half-tuition scholarship and was on the international student honor roll. Kara joined IDeA Labs in the Summer of 2007 and was involved in a data mining project. Kara moved to Boston where her husband is a graduate student at MIT and she is preparing to apply for graduate school.

W. Sam Weyerman

Sam received the BS in Computer Science at BYU in 2005 and defended his Master’s Thesis in computer science in 2008. He received the BYU half-tuition scholarship and was on the Dean’s List twice. He started working with IDeA Labs in May 2005. His main research thrust was in feedback systems and optimization methods. During the time he spent in the group, he was the lead student of the factory optimization and laser stabilization projects, and worked on the retail laboratory and path control projects. He also was one of the system administrators of the labs. Prior to that time, he worked as a teaching assistant for an operating systems class and as a student manager at BYU. After graduating from BYU, Sam went to work in industry.

Mark Skinner

Mark is from Lindon, Utah. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Mark spent summers in college as an intern for Citigroup, GE Consumer Finance, and Intel Corporation. He joined IDeA Labs in the summer of 2007, and began research in the Computational Economics and Financial Systems lab. His academic interests include stochastic processes, econometrics, and control theory. Mark graduated from BYU with bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. Following graduation, he went on to pursue a Master’s of Science and Computational Finance from Carnegie Mellon University.

Russell Howes

Russell Howes began his time at IDeA Labs in May of 2006, working in the Computational Biology and Environmental Systems lab on problems relating to identifying and constructing biological networks. He graduated from BYU in April 2008 in Mathematics. While at BYU, Russell was awarded grants from the BYU Office of Research and Creative Activities and the BYU Honors Department to support his work on dynamical structure functions. He was also a high scorer on the William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Exam in 2002, 2005, and 2006. Russell won both the NDSEG (Defense) and NSF fellowships. After graduation, Russell left to pursue his PhD from UCLA.

David Merriman

David was a recipient of the Gordon B. Hinckley Presidential Scholarship, the Micron Technology Scholarship, and the National Merit Scholarship. He maintained a high GPA and was inducted into the Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, in addition to being on the College of Physical and Mathematical Science’s Dean’s List every semester of his college career. David’s main interests center on the mathematics and algorithms used in accurately simulating physical and economical systems. At IDeA Labs, he was involved in a variety of economics-related research. Following graduation, Dave went to work at National Instruments, working on Controls Software.

Casey Dougal

Casey joined IDeA Labs in November 2005. While at IDeA Labs, Casey actively participated in research involving time-series and econometric analysis with a particular emphasis on subspace identification methods. In 2006, Casey helped to instigate the Tour de Finance, a novel inter-university equity-portfolio management competition that is regulated and scored by a unique dynamical system that attempts to mimic the underlying dynamics of the mutual fund market. In culmination of this project, Casey presented a paper discussing the competition as a regulating dynamic system at the 2007 American Controls Conference in New York City and was awarded the best paper recognition for that session.

In August 2007, Casey graduated from BYU with a B.S. in Mathematics and Economics. In addition to earning multiple scholarships while at BYU, he was awarded the Mathematics Department’s “Outstanding Junior Honoree” award in 2005, and was awarded the Orson Pratt Prize in Mathematics–an award bestowed annually by BYU’s Mathematics Department to its top graduating senior–in 2007. Following graduation, Casey went on to pursue a PhD at the University of Chicago in Economics with a particular emphasis in Asset Pricing and Macroeconomic Dynamics.

Pedro Puga

Pedro was born in Mexicali, Mexico and is more recently from El Centro, CA. He served a mission in the Houston, Texas Mission from 2002-2004. Pedro graduated from BYU in Dec. 2007 with a BS in Computer Science. While at BYU he was involved in researching the relationship between electoral markets and their ability to forecast presidential elections in conjunction with economic and social factors. From 2000-2002 and from 2005-2007, Pedro was a recipient of the Multi-cultural Leadership Award, a full-tuition scholarship from BYU.

After graduation, Pedro went to earn his JD from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Tom Roderick

Tom is a proud father of one from a small town outside of Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated in December 2007 with a BS in Mathematics and a BA in Economics. He then went to work for TAC Americas, a western hemisphere-wide company that provides energy and security solutions. He was hired to work for their Performance Assurance Group, doing trouble shooting and statistical modeling. He plans on pursuing a master’s degree in Mathematics or Statistics followed by a Ph.D in Economics or Operations Research. His academic interests range from financial economics, macroeconomic theory, industrial organization, and agricultural regulation to analysis, topology, and stochastic calculus. In October 2006 he competed in the FTI Consulting Competition Case Finals, where his team took second. Tom joined IDeA Labs in September 2006, and was involved in the Computational Economics and Financial Systems Lab and the Policy Sciences and Human Systems Lab. He is fascinated by natural phenomena and seeks to find answers to everything he observes.

Matthew Maxwell

Matthew began research with IDeA Labs in November 2004. He initiated a research project with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation involving the modeling and control of Piute Dam in the Sevier River Basin of Utah. Matthew used this research to complete his honors thesis requirement and qualify for honors graduation. Matthew was also involved with the IDeA Labs demand forecasting group, as well as researching methods to forecast demand for the BYU Bookstore. His interests are system identification, feedback control, dynamic systems, demand forecasting, and game theory.

Matthew was a recipient of the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for 2005. He was also the recipient of two BYU Office of Research and Creative Activities grants for research and development of an appropriate software framework for web-based hydrological data display (2004) and the system identification process for Piute Dam/Sevier River (2005). Matthew also received other scholarships, including the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Scholarship, the National Instruments Scholarship, and many full/half-tuition BYU scholarships. Matthew graduated from BYU in April 2006 with a B.S. in Computer Science. Following graduation, Matthew went on to pursue his PhD at Cornell University studying Operations Research.

Lei Lei

Lei Lei obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Telecommunication in China. She completed her Master’s degree at Brigham Young University in 2006. She had received the BYU departmental 2/3 tuition scholarship for two years and was awarded the Excellent Leadership & Service from Chinese Student & Scholar Association. She worked in IDeA Labs from Aug. 2004 to May. 2006. Her primary research interest is in Hidden Markov model realizations and approximations, Geographic Information System (GIS), and applying Hidden Markov models to solve practical ecological problems such as simulating post-fire successional dynamics, predicting vegetation composition from different Silvicultural pathways. During summer of 2006 she was an intern with the Natural Resource Consulting Group in the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI). Contact: lei.lei@yale.edu

After graduation, she went on to pursue her PhD at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Steven Hulet

Steve is one of the founding students of the IDeA labs, joining in the fall of 2003. His projects included customer loyalty program research and design for the BYU bookstore, pattern-based learning for natural language processing and robotic control, with forays into system identification and control theory. While at BYU Steve received two ORCA research grants and was twice awarded the Edwin S Hinckley Scholarship. He completed internships with Sandia National Laboratories and Amazon.com before graduating in 2005 with a BS in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. Working with the people and projects of the IDeA Labs was the highlight of his BYU experience. After graduation, he went to work on the Demand Forecasting team at Amazon.com, helping produce daily point and distribution forecasts for 8 million products worldwide.

Alma Wilson

Alma Wilson completed a BS in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Auckland, where he held both a New Zealand University Junior Scholarship and a Ngarimu V.C. and 28th (Maori) Battalion Scholarship. He subsequently served an LDS mission, worked in industry and government, and started his own technical writing consultancy in Sydney. He then completed a PhD in physics at Brigham Young University.

He is interested in raising the earth’s carrying capacity, and otherwise leaving the world a better place, or at least a little more interesting one, for his wife and children. He delights in devising and exploiting improved representations, especially in unexpected contexts in engineering and pedagogy.

Former Students

Cristina Lange

Cristina Lange is from Los Gatos, California and is the youngest of four kids. She served a mission in Mexico City, Mexico. She joined the Storylab/Human Systems part of the IDeA Labs in spring 2019. She is studying applied math through the ACME program with a concentration in machine learning and will graduate in December 2020.

Kohler Fryer

Kohler is finishing his undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics with an emphasis in Artificial Intelligence and with Minors in Statistics and Computer Science. He began at BYU looking to advance his career as a software developer and was quickly intrigued by the theory of Computer Science which led to a further fascination with the Mathematics of A.I, Decision Making, Forecasting, and System/Network Dynamics.

Kohler joined IDeA labs mid-summer of 2019 and plans on pursuing a PhD program in Computer Science.

Before beginning his studies, Kohler served as a missionary for two years in Peru. He enjoys snowboarding with his wife, coding, parkour, and reading philosophy.

Candice Marett Ward

Candice joined IDeA Labs as a freshman as part of the original cohort and published a paper on biological network reconstruction in August 2009. As an undergraduate, she was the recipient of various scholarships including the New Century Scholarship from the state of Utah, a BYU tuition scholarship, the Allred Scholarship, and an ORCA research grant. She graduated with her bachelor’s in mathematics in the summer of 2010 and went to work for the Journal of Financial Services Research at the University of Maryland and later for the Center for International Policy Exchanges. For two years she volunteered as a crew leader at Habitat for Humanity and on an active search and rescue team. After a brief hiatus to marry the love of her life and bring two beautiful children into the world, she is returning to Brigham Young University to work toward her PhD in computer science.

In 2018 Candice was awarded a Graduate Mentoring Assistantship, which is funding a collaboration with Dr. Warnick to improve the educational experience for women in computer science. She was also the recipient of the 2018 BluePay scholarship. Her research interests include systems and synthetic biology, model predictive control, and network reconstruction. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, eating exotic foods, and learning about Russian history and culture.

Hannah Boekweg

Hannah is a bioinformatics major with an emphasis in computer science. Her research interests are synthetic biology, and network reconstruction for biochemical network reactions. Hannah is part of BYU’s Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and has received several half-tuition scholarships. She is also a member of BYU’s Bioinformatics Research Group and participated in various research projects there.

Hannah’s favorite hobby is the violin. She especially loves playing with orchestras and chamber groups, and has been part of several, including UVU’s symphony orchestra and BYU’s string orchestra.

Kaela Nelson

Kaela Nelson is from Norwell, Massachusetts. She will graduate with her Bachelors in Applied and Computational Mathematics with a Financial Markets emphasis in December 2018. Kaela joined Idea Labs in March 2016, and is interested in network reconstruction in Finance and Economics.

Stephanie Soelburg

Jake is a double major in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Economics with minors in Asian Studies and Philosophy, and he joined IdeaLabs in the fall of 2015. What drew him to IdeaLabs was the lab’s intentional approach to understanding and connecting ideas from many different disciplines. Jake has a deep interest in understanding the dynamics of business systems and social interaction within cooperative settings, and his current research agenda is focused on financial economics and feedback systems in management theory, his undergraduate Honors Thesis particularly focusing on the mathematical modeling of leadership.

Jake loves innovation and solving problems, and he is passionate about business: he has cofounded or helped start five business startups, and he is currently working as the head of data science for a predictive analytics startup out of Provo, UT. He has a particular passion for social impact. One of the startups he helped is a consulting firm and system of business schools in developing countries focused on providing real business knowledge and skills to necessity entrepreneurs. He believes that the world of business strategy can benefit greatly from the theories of applied mathematics, which he saw in his most recent adventures in private equity as he applied the modeling skills learned in IdeaLabs to solving real-life business and valuation problems. He also served on the board of directors for a large nonprofit organization focused on bringing science to life for elementary and middle-school aged children. In this role, he helped the organization grow into 17 different states and 3 foreign countries, and he co-authored and led the publication of a book of the organization’s curriculum for use by home-schooled students. Jake was a 2014 Utah Young Humanitarian Award finalist and a U.S. Senate Youth Program Award recipient. He served an LDS mission in The Philippines and is fluent in Tagalog and Bikol, and he studied Mandarin Chinese for 3 years after returning home.

Jake Valentine

Jake is a double major in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Economics with minors in Asian Studies and Philosophy, and he joined IdeaLabs in the fall of 2015. What drew him to IdeaLabs was the lab’s intentional approach to understanding and connecting ideas from many different disciplines. Jake has a deep interest in understanding the dynamics of business systems and social interaction within cooperative settings, and his current research agenda is focused on financial economics and feedback systems in management theory, his undergraduate Honors Thesis particularly focusing on the mathematical modeling of leadership.

Jake loves innovation and solving problems, and he is passionate about business: he has cofounded or helped start five business startups, and he is currently working as the head of data science for a predictive analytics startup out of Provo, UT. He has a particular passion for social impact. One of the startups he helped is a consulting firm and system of business schools in developing countries focused on providing real business knowledge and skills to necessity entrepreneurs. He believes that the world of business strategy can benefit greatly from the theories of applied mathematics, which he saw in his most recent adventures in private equity as he applied the modeling skills learned in IdeaLabs to solving real-life business and valuation problems. He also served on the board of directors for a large nonprofit organization focused on bringing science to life for elementary and middle-school aged children. In this role, he helped the organization grow into 17 different states and 3 foreign countries, and he co-authored and led the publication of a book of the organization’s curriculum for use by home-schooled students. Jake was a 2014 Utah Young Humanitarian Award finalist and a U.S. Senate Youth Program Award recipient. He served an LDS mission in The Philippines and is fluent in Tagalog and Bikol, and he studied Mandarin Chinese for 3 years after returning home.

Tory Anderson

Tory Anderson conducts work in the Storylab/Human Systems component of the IDeA Labs. He has a passion for saying the phrase, “Computational Psycho-Narratology” and has studied narrative through literature, linguistics, psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer science. He has three children and also does work with the BYU Office of Digital Humanities.

Ryan Boyce

Ryan is from St. George, Utah and joined IDeA Labs in the fall of 2013. Before starting graduate school, Ryan worked as a quality assurance auditor for the United States Air Force. Ryan graduated from BYU with a degree in mathematics in 2012. Some of Ryan’s academic honors and awards include BYU’s full and part-time academic scholarships, and a BYU Communications Talent Award. Ryan is interested in UAV control and population dynamics. Ryan also enjoys fishing, reading, singing, or beating his personal best Scrabble score.

Nicholai Christensen

Nicholai was born in New York, and is most recently from Park City, Utah. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Taiwan, speaking Mandarin Chinese. Nicholai joined IDeA Labs in January 2012 and is a senior majoring in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science. He’s a fan of the open-source movement and enjoys studying computer-hacking tactics in his free time. Nicholai’s research interests include networks and computer security, especially intruder detection.

Gustavo Rodriguez

Gustavo is from Caracas, Venezuela. He joined IDeA Labs in May 2011 as a freshman, where he assisted Philip Pare with his undergraduate Honors Thesis. Here, Gustavo helped to extract and process data from the BYU Bookstore and assisted Philip in running regression on the data to analyze the demand function. He is currently pursuing a BS in Computer Engineering with a minor in Computer Science at BYU, where he has also been awarded a half-tuition scholarship. Gustavo’s interests include UAV technology, security systems, and application development.

Tanja Brown

Tanja grew up in Miami, Florida, but also spent many years living in Norway and Denmark. In 2005, she completed her Master’s degree in Computer Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She then served a Spanish speaking mission in Provo, Utah before beginning her PhD studies in Computer Science at BYU. Tanja’s research in IDeA Labs focused on multi-agent dynamical systems in market power analyses, for which she received a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship (link to news article). Nevertheless, Tanja left the program in 2010, after meeting her husband while visiting the University of Maryland as part of IDeA Labs’ visiting scholar program.

Courtney Logan

Courtney is a sophomore from Salt Lake City, Utah. She is majoring in Mathematics and Actuarial Science. She enjoys running, hiking, and swimming. She also loves cooking and reading. In 2007 she was named, “Most Outstanding Sophomore” by the Mathematics Department. She is researching inventory management using operations research. She is working with PhD. candidate Blake Durschi on the retail laboratory project with the BYU Bookstore. Upon graduation she plans to pursue graduate work in any one of the following fields: Mathematics, Operations Research, Economics, or Statistics. Graduated with a BS in Mathematics in April 2009.

Bryant Angelos

Bryant grew up in Columbus, Ohio, just a stone’s throw away from the ‘Sho’e. As a child, he enjoyed crunching numbers while watching the Buckeyes beat up on some hapless opponent during football season. At BYU, Bryant received the Heritage Scholarship for his outstanding achievements during high school. He played two seasons with BYU’s lacrosse team, winning a National Championship in 2007. He joined IDeA Labs when the season ended, with plans to graduate in 2009 with a degree in mathematics. He is currently researching inventory control and options pricing, and hopes one day to be able to learn something that is not already known. Following the completion of his work, Bryant left IDeA Labs and joined IMPACT Program in May 2008, the year it was founded.

Ian Fillmore

Ian Fillmore is from Tahlequah, Oklahoma. From July 2004 to July 2006 he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Long Beach, California. He double-majored in Statistics and Economics. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the trumpet, playing tennis, and running. Ian is a member of the American Statistical Association and an officer in Mu Sigma Rho. His research interests include Education Policy and Finance. He joined IDeA Labs in Summer Term of 2007 and researched applications of dynamic control theory to monetary policy.

Thomas Leininger

Tommy Leininger is from Ogden, Utah. He is majored in Actuarial Science, with a minor in Economics. He is a lifelong BYU football fan and loves to ski, play tennis, and eat good food. In the spring of 2007 he began his involvement with research in the mind-boggling world of Bayesian statistics and MCMC estimation methods. He joined the IDeA Labs team during the fall of 2007.

Luther Tychonievich

Luther is an artistic lover of algorithms with no particular care what problem the algorithm is designed to solve. He came to BYU as a Junior in 2003 with no prior background in computers or algorithms and immediately began algorithmic research, working over the next four years on algorithms dealing with higher-dimensional space visualization, formal verification, real-time graphics, algorithmic reactive navigation, and a variety of side projects. In 2007, with his Master’s thesis on simulation and visualization techniques for environments with multidimensional time nearly complete, he joined IDeA Labs to enjoy the algorithmic implications of existing IDeA labs work and developing additional ideas, particularly in the verification of dynamic controllers and efficient approximation of related NP-hard problems.

Hayley Mattson

Hayley Mattson is from Roy, Utah. She majored in Statistical Science and minored in Italian. She studied in Italy from July 2005 to February 2006 where, in addition to her academic pursuits, she had the opportunity to work with the US Olympic Committee. Hayley has received various academic scholarships, including a full-tuition scholarship and the Robert C. Byrd scholarship. She served as the Treasurer for BYU’s chapter of Mu Sigma Rho, a statistics honor society. Upon graduation, Hayley left to obtain a doctorate in Biostatistics.