María Suarez in her garden.
María Suarez in her garden.
María Suarez in her garden.

By Izzy Lopez

When the coronavirus pandemic began in March, María Suarez, junior in bioengineering, left Penn’s campus and returned home to Costa Rica. What should have been the final weeks of club activities, social events and end-of-year celebrations shifted to months spent at home, far away from Philadelphia. But Suarez, like many others, wanted to do something productive with her time in quarantine. Drawing on her bucolic roots, she decided to start a garden.

“I was born and raised in a very rural area,” Suarez says. “There is a huge river in my backyard where I learned how to count by throwing pebbles in the river with my mother and sister. Nature is a big part of my life, and it’s really shaped my personality. As a child, I planted herbs, like basil, mint and oregano, with my parents. …


Hsieh
Hsieh
Ani Hsieh

M. Ani Hsieh, research associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, has been named Deputy Director of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory. Hsieh assumes the role as former Deputy Director CJ Taylor transitions to his new position, Penn Engineering’s first Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Hsieh, who began her tenure in the GRASP Lab as a graduate student, is an expert in the control and planning of multi-agent robotic systems. She is particularly interested in marine robotic systems and their applications in environmental monitoring.

Video: Denise Henhoefer

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Kristian Lum

Kristian Lum, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science, was recently featured on ACM ByteCast, a podcast series from the Association for Computing Machinery that covers a range of topics at the intersection of computing research and practice.

Host Rashmi Mohan spoke with Lum about her unique path to Penn Engineering and her prior work as the lead statistician at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, where she used data science to uncover racial biases in the United States criminal justice system. …

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