RiskEcon® Lab Alumni (A-M)

Niki Athanasiadou


Niki is a Researcher in Population Health at the NYU Langone School of Medicine and serves as the liaison between the medical school and RiskEcon® Lab, subsequent to being a Research Scientist at RiskEcon Lab from 2016-2017. During 2017 Niki was also a Visiting Researcher at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and a Data Science fellow at Fast Forward Labs and National Institutes of Health (NIH). While at RiskEcon Lab, Niki coordinated the interdisciplinary research program focusing on utilizing demographic, clinical and digital behavior data, in order to understand obesity incidence in the US. Her research interests focused on the use of clinical, genomic/biological, and digital information to analyze factors affecting disease onset. This project is part of the RiskEcon® Lab CEcADA external partnership initiative. Niki presented her research at the inaugural InsurTech Science and Engineering Expo co-hosted by Numerati Partners and RiskEcon Lab in 2018.

Niki earned a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh, studying epigenetic regulation of gene expression during embryonic development. She continued her work on the epigenetics of disease at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and subsequently joined NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology in 2011. During her time there, she studied how metabolic rate affects gene expression regulation and developed a method for accurate quantitation of next generation sequencing data from diverse biological samples. Niki has received awards for academic excellence from the Greek Scholarship Foundation, fellowships from the Lilian Voudouri Foundation (Greece) and Darwin Trust of Edinburgh, and she was named “Promega Young Biochemist of the year” by the British Biochemical Society.

Stephen Jun Choe


Stephen interned at RiskEcon® Lab during 2015-2016, conducting research on the potential environmental and economic impact of the hypothetical derailment of Bakken crude-oil tank trains along the Hudson River. He worked under the guidance of senior industry professionals and presented a final research product to Scenic Hudson, one of the largest environmental non-profit organizations. This project was part of the RiskEcon® Lab CEcADA external partnership initiative.

Stephen graduated with a Bachelors degree in Finance and Statistics from NYU Stern School of Business, and currently works at Citi as an analyst in a group focusing on credit, quant, and project management across industries.

Samantha D’Alonzo

Samantha was an Assistant Research Scientist at the RiskEcon® Lab, conducting research on the marginal peer effects of text based social media indicators on the propensity for obesity in New York State using statistical analyses. This project also involves implementing ​SIR ​(Susceptible-Infected-Recovered) models based on the statistical analysis conducted, in order to simulate the propagation of obesity. She reached the semi-finals of the 2017 Regeneron STS science competition (the competition formerly sponsored by Intel, and previously Westinghouse) for her paper Statistical and SIR Modeling in NY State of Syndrome X based on Text Based Indicators from Social Media and Food Environment. Samantha has presented her research at NYU Social Media and Political Participation Lab (SMaPP), the IEEE MIT Undergraduate Research Technology Conference in 2017, and the inaugural InsurTech Science and Engineering Expo co-hosted by Numerati Partners and RiskEcon Lab in 2018.

Prior to joining RiskEcon® Lab, Samantha completed an independent research project on the effectiveness of the friendship paradox in tracking infectious diseases, specifically three strains of the Coxsackievirus, earning honorable mention at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF), and third place at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair (NYSSEF) in 2016.

Samantha is currently a Sophomore at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), pursuing a B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics. She has also worked as an Open Source Researcher/Student Undergraduate Engineer at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge.

Katherine Erickson


Katherine was a Junior Research Scientist at RiskEcon® Lab in 2016, and served as lead programmer for the Lab’s simulation and visualization, demonstrating the application of models such as Lotka–Volterra to the study of population dynamics. The project had its debut at the Black Rock Forest Consortium annual benefit luncheon in 2016. This project was part of the RiskEcon® Lab CEcADA external partnership initiative. View the simulation on Katherine’s website and her Github page.

Katherine graduated with an M.S. in Computer Science from Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU, and a B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College. She is currently a Software Engineer at Relevant, a healthcare software and analytics company based in NYC.

Do Heon Koo


Do Heon interned at RiskEcon® Lab during 2015-2016, leading the intern team conducting research on the potential environmental and economic impact of the hypothetical derailment of Bakken crude-oil tank trains along the Hudson River. He worked under the guidance of senior industry professionals and presented a final research product to Scenic Hudson, one of the largest environmental non-profit organizations. This project was part of the RiskEcon® Lab CEcADA external partnership initiative.

Do Heon graduated with a summa cum laude Bachelors degree in Finance and Statistics from NYU Stern School of Business. His honors thesis, The Supercharger Effect: Comparison of Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid, and Battery Electric Vehicle Adoption in New York State (Read Do Heon’s thesis here) was conducted under the guidance of Nobel Laureate in Economics, Professor Michael Spence, and Professor David Mordecai, and published as part of NYU Stern’s Honors Program. Since graduating from NYU, Do Heon has been working at Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking Division in Hong Kong.

Tom Lagatta


Tom collaborated with RiskEcon® Lab in 2012, facilitating various courses, including the DSCM Workshop, the Advanced Topics in Applied Mathematics graduate seminar at Courant taught by David Mordecai. He also organized interdisciplinary graduate-level reading groups and research collaborations. While Tom was an Instructor and PIRE Fellow at Courant Institute, he also collaborated with political scientists on designing mechanisms for driving voter turnout.

Tom earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Arizona, focusing on geodesics (optimizing paths) in random environments. He also holds a B.S. in Mathematics from University of Texas, Austin. Tom is currently a Sales Engineer at Splunk, a multinational corporation that produces software for searching, monitoring, and analyzing machine-generated big data, via a web-style interface. Tom helps customers solve IT, security and business problems using machine data. He also continues to work on academic research in his free time.