Meet the FCL Team

Clio Andris
Lab Director

        I am an assistant professor in the School of City and Regional Planning and the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. I research mathematical models of social networks, social flows, and interpersonal relationships in geographic space, applied to issues of urban planning, visualization, transportation and geography. I teach GIScience classes at multiple levels including Environmental GIS and Spatial Network Analysis, as well as classes on Information Visualization. I am a member of the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization (CSPAV) and an affiliate of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD). I am also a member of the School of Interactive Computing's Information Visualization research group. I received my PhD from MIT in 2011 in Urban Information Systems where I was an NDSEG fellow and member of the Senseable City Lab. I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute (2012-2014) and was previously a member of the faculty in the Department of Geography at Penn State.

Sambhavi Joshi
Graduate Research Assistant

        I am a Masters in Geographic Information Science and Technology candidate at Georgia Institute of Technology. My research interests are on the threads of analysing Socio-Economic Attributes using GIS. I am also interested in studying use of geographic data to understand interaction between physical spaces and human activities.
        I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Planning from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, India (2018). Before joining Georgia Tech, I worked at Indian Institute for Human Settlement as a Geospatial Intern, analysis housing situation of lower income group in the city of Delhi.
Have a look at my previous and ongoing work here (

Seolha Lee
Graduate Research Assistant

        I’m a graduate student in the Master of City and Regional Planning program at Georgia Institute of Technology. My research interest lies in visualizing overlooked human activities and interactions in a built environment through data technology. Also, I’m interested in studying the relationship between online activities (social media, e-commerce, etc.) and spatial behaviors in pursuit of human-centered urban planning and design. Before joining the Friendly Cities Lab, I worked as a research assistant in Maturepolis Lab at KAIST in South Korea and City Regional Studies Center at the University of Alberta, Canada. I also worked as a researcher in YANGJI.CO., an urban planning and design consulting firm in Seoul. I hold a BA in Civil & Environmental Engineering with a Geography minor at Seoul National University. Currently moved to Atlanta from Seoul, I’m continuing my exploration in cities with different fabric filled with intriguing dynamics.

Shaarif Sajid
Graduate Researcher

I am a PhD student in the School of Computer Science, advised by Dr. Paul Pearce. My primary research interests span the domains of network security, measurement and privacy. I am interested in empirically studying and understanding various behaviors on the Internet, to help us make it more secure and safe. I am currently working on finding and exploring advanced persistent threats (APTs). I joined the Friendly Cities Lab to work on a project which leveraged information from Craigslist and helped us garner insights in relation to public transport and its effect on new relationships. Working at the intersection of measurement and geospatial networks has certainly been an exciting experience for me. Before joining Georgia Tech, I did my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from LUMS, and graduated in 2019.

Xiaofan Liang
Graduate Research Assistant

        I am a Ph.D. student in the School of City and Regional Planning, advised by Dr. Clio Andris. My research interests revolve around understanding how human movements (e.g., trajectories) and activities (e.g., consumption) at a micro-scale give rise to the spatial and network structures that further characterize cities on a macro-scale (segregation, street scenes, industrial structure, etc.). My ongoing projects include measuring the urban environments conducive to chain restaurants and analyzing a multiplex network of mobility, investment, knowledge, and social media friendship flows in China. Occasionally, I consult new businesses with a mix of commercial and social (or cultural) goals to better understand the meanings and impacts of their moves on cities as the Data Lead at MaxLab. In the future, I hope to contribute to building more socially sustainable cities in Asia.
        I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from UC-Berkeley (2015). I pursued another Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Minerva Schools at KGI (2019), through which I rotated to study in six different countries over four years and grew my interests in cities! Before coming to Georgia Tech, I was an REU at Santa Fe Institute (2017 and 2018), from where I fell in love with complexity science and Clio’s work.

Brittany Waltemate
Post-Baccalaureate Researcher

Second Draft?: My name is Brittany Waltemate and I am an alumna of the Penn State Department of Geography with a BS in Geography with the GIScience Option. I focused my undergraduate on GIS programming, cartographic design, and geospatial analysis. I've always been interested in the science, art, and technology so geography was a great place where I could study all three! Currently I split my time between working at the Center for Maps and Geospatial Information at the Penn State Libraries and as a freelance cartographer. When I'm not looking at maps, you can usually find me playing with my cat, listening to music, or playing board games with friends.

Matthew Lim
Undergraduate Assistant

        I am a bachelor’s student in Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech pursuing a minor in Sustainable Cities. I have interests in Human-Computer Interaction and educational maker spaces. I’m also interested in Computer Architecture, UX design, and software development. I’m currently on the executive board of Georgia Tech’s ECE Makerspace and have worked at companies like Siemens, Autodesk, and Georgia Tech Research Institute. I hope to continue my education at Georgia Tech in either a Masters in ECE or Human-Computer Interaction.

Josh Baker
Undergraduate Researcher

        My name is Josh Baker. I am a graduating Computer Science major at Georgia Tech, focusing on Modeling/Simulation and CS Theory. My particular fields of interest are in the intersection of computing and mathematics, specifically in Optimization and Algorithms.

        I heard about the Friendly Cities Lab last year, and was immediately interested in the work they were doing. The intersection space of interpersonal relationships with geospatial networks is a new one to me, but I have been thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to learn more about it.

        I am soon to begin working for Innovative Defense Tech as a software engineer. My previous work experience has been at Sandia National Labs as an undergraduate research associate. Some projects I have worked on include work in container systems, scientific workflow systems, and simulation studies. My primary goals at this point are to develop my computing skills in industry work while preparing to enter a graduate program for Mathematics with the eventual aim of a PhD in Math. Some of my other interests include STEM outreach and education, Machine Learning, and collegiate fencing.

Margarita Groisman
Undergraduate Assistant

        I am currently an undergraduate student studying Industrial and Systems Engineering with an analytics concentration. I am the President of the Georgia Tech Undergraduate Consulting Club, was previously the co-leader of an IBM Pro Bono Project, and am involved with the Investments Committee as well. Furthermore, I have interned at Doctors Without Borders and InterActiveCorp doing software engineering and web development, and will be working with Microsoft this summer as a program management intern.

Yasamin Khorashahi
Undergraduate Researcher

I’m an undergraduate Public Policy major and Sustainable Cities minor at Georgia Tech with an interest in local government, urban planning, and gender studies. I have worked in both state and local government and the nonprofit sector in Georgia, primarily in the areas of community and economic development. In my free time I am a volunteer on several political campaigns and play the harp semi-professionally. After graduation, I hope to continue my education at Georgia Tech and aim to pursue a dual Master’s in City and Regional Planning and Geographic Information Systems. Ultimately, I want to apply my experiences and knowledge to give back to the communities which I am a part of by bettering public service through the application of urban analytics.

Our Alumni

Xi Liu
Graduate Associate

Ph.D. in the Department of Geography at Penn State

Hanzhou Chen
Graduate Associate

Associate MA/Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography at Penn State

Jarrett Gulakowski
Undergraduate Researcher

Undergraduate majoring in geography with a GIS focus

Zixuan Huang
Post BS Researcher

BS degree in Geography GIS and a minor in Energy Business and Finance (EBF)

Sohrab Rahimi
Graduate Associate

Ph.D. of Architecture at Penn State

Michelle Pistner
Graduate Assistant (IGERT Program)

BDSS-IGERT Ph.D. in the Department of Statistics at Penn State

Prathamesh Aher
Undergraduate Researcher

BS in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering with minors in Energy-Business Finance, Geogaphy and GIS

Cassie McMillan
Graduate Assistant (IGERT Program)

IGERT Big Data Social Science Fellow Dual-title Ph.D. in sociology and demography in the Department of Criminology and Sociology at Penn State

Luba Hristova
Undergraduate Researcher

BS in GIS at Penn State

Ruiqi (Bonnie) Guo
Post-Baccalaureate Researcher

BS in Geography and minor in horticulture and anthropology at Penn State

Rebecca Bucci
Graduate Researcher

Graduate student in the Criminology and Sociology department at Penn State

Mengchen Wang
Undergraduate Researcher

BS in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering at Penn State

Christopher Mertz
Undergraduate Researcher

BS in Geography with a focus on GIS at Penn State

Michael Citrenbaum
Undergraduate Researcher

BS in GIS at Penn State

Li-San Hung
Post-Doctoral Researcher

Ph.D. from the Department of Geography at Penn State (minor in Demography)

Margret Logan
Undergraduate Researcher

BS in Industrial Engineering at Penn State

Sara Cavallo
Graduate Assistant

Ph.D. in the Department of Geography at Penn State

Sister Labs

We are part of the Center for Spatial Analysis and Visualization (CSPAV), and the InfoVis Group in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. 

Sister Labs: We are part of a wide network of emerging and established urban and spatial analysis labs across the world.

Geospatial Artificial Intelligence (GeoAI) Lab, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York (SUNY), PI Yingjie Hu 
CyberInfrastructure and Computational Intelligence Lab (CICI Lab), Arizona State University, PI Wenwen Li
Civic Data Design Lab, MIT, PI Sarah Williams
Geospatial Data Science Lab, University of Wisconsin-Madison, PI Song Gao
Geoinformatics and Earth Observation Lab, Penn State, PI Guido Cervone
Movement Science Lab (MOVE@UCSB), UC-Santa Barbara, PI Somayeh Dodge
NUS Urban Analytics Lab, National University of Singapore, PI Filip Biljecki
Platial Analysis Lab, McGill University, PI Grant McKenzie

If you are doing urban work and would like to be a Sister Lab, let us know!