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Research Associates

Gnana K. Bharathy, in the capacities of project manager, modeler and analyst, has been leading a research team of associates to build large scale social systems models to study conflict in four countries. Previously, during the course of his dissertation work in Systems Engineering at ACASA, Gnana has developed a systems methodology for integrating social system frameworks and modeling human behavior through knowledge engineering based process, and has employed the same to create several models of leaders and followers in situations involving conflict-cooperation. His dissertation was awarded the INCOSE-Stevens award for promising research in systems engineering and integration. Gnana also received the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Process Center's Ackoff award (2005) for carrying out research on Human Decision Processes.

Gnana's formal academic training has been in the areas of Engineering (process/ environmental, and information systems), Risk Analysis, and Systems Science. Gnana also has several years of industry experience.

Dan Johnson is the lead programmer in the ACASA lab at the University of Pennsylvania where he has worked for more than 2 years. He received a BS in Computer Science from Drexel University in 2009, where he specialized in Game Design and Artificial Intelligence. In addition, Dan has extensive experience modifying and extending both 2D and 3D game engines and has experience in all areas of game development (3D graphics, networking, AI and gameplay design). His major hobbies include making and playing games.

Ben Nye received his doctorate in Electrical and Systems Engineering in Spring 2011, and is researching alongside Barry Silverman as a post-doctoral fellow. His current research work involves researching intelligent tutoring and assessments for the "Attack the Network" training simulation, which is intended to solidify counter-insurgency skills. In addition to a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering, he has a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a significant background in psychology.

Samuel Lim is a current research associate at ACASA focusing on the development of scalable social system repositories organizing actor decision profiles across a variety of conflict scenarios. Previously, during the course of projects with UPHS, he developed discrete event models to capture workflow processes for hospital emergency care and home care systems, and performed factor analysis on healthcare admission predictors for cardiac patients. As a Ph.D. candidate advised by Dr. Barry Silverman, Samuel's research focus is on understanding human behavior in cooperative and conflict situations characterized by multi-issue negotiation models. He recently received the INFORMS Undergraduate Operations Research Award 2013 for co-authoring a submission on supply chain management for cross-docking companies.

Samuel graduated in 2013 summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S in Economics at the Wharton School (Finance Concentration), a B.S. Systems Engineering and concurrent M.Sc in Systems Science from the Moore School, and an M.P.A in Public Policy at the Fels Institute of Government. He has also had industry experience in the fields of management consulting, venture capital and policy analysis.

Samuel is keen to collaborate with graduate students with research interests in the field of human decision modeling, simulation and healthcare operations research. He would be glad to discuss research opportunities further and can be reached here.

Ransom Weaver is a former graduate student in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and was a 1 year fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad in Cairo in 1995. Ransom led the design and programming effort on Dr. C.J. McMahon's Multimedia Tutorials for Materials Science, a CD-ROM based university curriculum for Materials Science. With Dr. Silverman in Systems Engineering he has developed HeartSense: A Game for Heart Attack Pre-hospitalization Delay Reduction, and has conducted research for the Terrorism and Asymmetric Conflict Gaming project for developing realistic synthetic personas for training simulators.

Nathan Weyer is a video game industry veteran working as a research programmer in Dr. Silvermans's lab. His primary responsibility is the continued planning and development of the NonKin Village project and it's offshoots. He received his B.S. in Computer Engineering from University of Pittsburgh. He is a strong development generalist focused on gluing all the pieces together. His hobbies center around video games.

Julian Kantor has worked as a systems programmer in the ACASA lab since July of 2011 after earning a BA from Yale University, where he studied computer science and music. He specializes in game and interface design; before coming to ACASA, he developed games independently and in collaboration with others for commercial release. In his spare time, Julian composes music and hones his skills as an armchair political pundit.

Jason Lubken is a Sr. Software Architect and Game Developer at the University of Pennsylvania Electrical & Systems Engineering ACASA lab. He is responsible for data modeling and software design while converting core ACASA databases from a legacy Oracle system to PostgreSQL and SQLite. Prior to joining the ACASA lab, Jason worked as an Agile Project Manager, Business Analyst and Technical Lead at the University of Pennsylvania medical and business schools. He was responsible for the build, migration and deployment of Wharton Executive Educations finance and registration systems as well as for the production of persuasive games used in clinical research. Before moving to Philadelphia, he worked for Dish Network where he applied emerging object and object-relational database technologies to improve their satellite ground control and other operations systems. Jason is interested in persuasive games, knowledge modeling and artificial intelligence.

Tim Herrmann Tim Herrmann is a recent Electrical Engineering Master's graduate from UPenn and continues his work at the University with the ACASA lab. His background is diverse, covering a B.S. double major in Mechanical Engineering and Computer & Systems Engineering at RPI with a minor in Video Game Development in addition to his EE Masters, balanced by a healthy amount of creative, introspective hobbies including dance, music, game development, crafts, and theatre. He harbors a fascination for cognitive processes and enjoys thinking about thinking and learning about learning.