Meet the FCL Team & Sister Labs

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 a member of the faculty in the Department of Geography at Penn State (2014-2019). 

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 spatial social networks, general urban analytics (GIS, machine learning, and agent-based modeling), and digital civics/critical data/engagement methods in spatial planning. I had worked on multiple geospatial projects, including mapping chain restaurants, studying the scaling of multiplex networks in China, developing machine learning model for blight remediation, reviewing spatial social networks applications in planning, and quantifying place attachments for historical preservation through participatory GIS. 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.

Gabriel Appiah
Graduate Research Assistant

I’m a Ph.D. student in the School of City and Regional Planning. Dr. Clio Andris is my advisor. My research interest is in Network Science, Transportation, and Land Use Planning. Before coming to Georgia Tech, I was a Regional Planner at Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council, where I focused on GIS, transportation, community, and economic development.

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.

Sonia Sargolzaei
Graduate Research Assistant

I’m a master’s student in Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology, specializing in Machine Learning. My research interests are Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Data Visualization. I’m a Graduate Research Assistant at FCL Lab, advised by professor Clio Andris. Currently, I am working on a GIS project using mobility data to examine labeling criteria on maps, focusing on label size, aiming to come up with new labeling methods to help map literacy. Prior to Georgia Tech, I obtained my bachelor’s degree from the University of Tehran in Computer Engineering. Check out my personal website. 

Abhay Vittal
Senior, High School
I'm a rising high school senior at Walton High School. I have an interest in engineering and coding, and I plan to major in computer engineering or computer science in college.
Anish Rajeev
Senior, High School
I am a rising senior at Northview High School in Duluth GA. I have an interest in coding and computers and plan to major in something related to computer engineering and finance in college.
Grant Jones
Graduate Research Assistant

I am a Master's student in Georgia Tech's School of City and Regional Planning. My research interests revolve around using GIS to provide meaningful data visualization and actionable insights on urban and social issues.
Before coming to Georgia Tech, I received my Bachelor of Business Administration degree from UT Austin and worked in HR Technology for 4 years, configuring and implementing cloud HR software. I also completed Austin Community College's GIS Certificate program, and most recently as a GIS Analyst I mapped COVID-19 cases and operated daily dashboards for the Austin Public Health Department.

Orion Allgaier
Graduate Research Assistant

Hey folks! My name is Orion H. Allgaier, I am a second-year graduate student in the School of City and Regional Planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology. My passions are centered around generating value, driving performance, and creating spaces where equity and inclusion, sustainability, and innovation thrive. Over the last couple years, I’ve held several positions across sectors and industries ranging from global sustainability and corporate citizenship to construction sales and management. Feel free to visit my LinkedIn or personal website to learn more! In my free time, I enjoy hiking, running, cooking, and exploring eclectic, diverse, and new parts of Atlanta. I encourage you to send me an email if you’d like to connect and/or learn more about our work at the Friendly Cities Lab!

Sichen Jin
Graduate Research Assistant

I’m a first-year CS Ph.D. student in the School of Interactive Computing, advised by Dr. Clio Andris. My research interests include Visualization, Geographic Information System/Science and Social Computing. Before coming to Georgia Tech, I got my bachelor degree in GIS from Zhejiang University. I also worked at the Natural Language Processing Lab of Tsinghua University and the Visualization and Interface Design Innovation Lab of UC Davis as a research assistant. I had worked on multiple geospatial visualization projects, including infectious diseases spread analysis, patterns of taxi trajectories analysis. I am also involved in some text visual analytics projects, such as rumor spread analysis and conversation structure analysis. You can follow my work on my website.

Mira Kaufman
Graduate Research Assistant

I am a master's student in the City and Regional Planning and Public Policy programs at Georgia Tech. My planning and policy interests include community engagement and affordable housing. I completed my undergraduate degree in Public Policy at Georgia Tech, and I have interned in local government and worked with policy focused non-profits. Once I graduate, I hope to apply my planning studies to serve the Atlanta community!

Freyja Brandel-Tanis
Graduate Research Assistant

I’m a dual master’s student in the School of City and Regional Planning and the School of Civil Engineering. My research interests include stormwater and transportation interaction, sustainable transportation modeling, and expanding technology’s role in local planning. At the Friendly Cities Lab, I primarily work on the COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool.
Before joining the Friendly Cities Lab, I was a research assistant in the Colleges of Design, Engineering, and Liberal Arts and served as President of the Georgia Tech Student Planning Association. I received my Bachelor’s in mathematics from St. Olaf College and was an AmeriCorps member with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity before attending Georgia Tech. You can follow my work on my website.

Our Alumni

Seolha Lee
Graduate Research Assistant
Yasamin Khorashahi
Undergraduate Researcher
Sambhavi Joshi
Graduate Research Assistant
Margarita Groisman
Undergraduate Assistant

Studying Industrial and Systems Engineering with an analytics concentration.

Josh Baker
Undergraduate Researcher
Shaarif Sajid
Graduate Researcher
Brittany Waltemate
Post-Baccalaureate Researcher
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!