Discover - NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress

Discover
Who We Are

Alumni of the Center for Urban Science + Progress believe in the opportunity data brings to improving urban living.  Every day our alumni use skills honed during their time at CUSP in their new roles as public service officers, startup founders, and analytics directors.

Hassan Mohanna Hassan Mohanna Solutions Scientist Philips Research

Q: Go back to your first week at CUSP - what excited you the most about joining the program?

A: The most exciting thing about joining the program was the chance to work with New York City agencies and their different stakeholders on real urban problems, armed with an insider view on the viability and applicability of proposed solutions.

Q: Which course made the biggest impact on you during your time as a CUSP student?

A: Urban Decision Models made the biggest impact on my studies and perspective of approaching urban problems. It introduced me to more flexible and adaptable approaches to modeling and simulations, as well as insights into decades of experience with city government.

Q: Which skill acquired during your time at CUSP has proved most valuable in the workplace?

A: While many CUSP skills are integral parts of in my everyday toolkit, the one I value the most is the ability to convince data owners - by reason, demonstrations, and/or pilots - to share their data and be less protective of what it might reveal.

Q: Where was your favorite place in New York City for study breaks?

A: Saigon Shack, on the Washington Square Park campus.

Q: Change comes in many shapes and sizes — how are you changing the world after CUSP?

A: My research focuses on fusing existing city assets with nascent technologies to provide a better experience of the connected city as well as more intelligent and efficient approaches to city management.

Varun Adibhatla Varun Adibhatla Co-Founder Advanced Research in Government Operations (ARGO) Labs

Q: Go back to your first week at CUSP - what excited you the most about joining the program?

A: Applying my experiences in data and technology to real city problems.

Q: Which course made the biggest impact on you during your time as a CUSP student?

A: Urban Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Q: Which skill acquired during your time at CUSP has proved most valuable in the workplace?

A: A hard skill, Geographic Information System. I didn’t know much about it before, but I’ve had to get to grips with it and own it. As a soft skill, being OK with messiness because perfection and nice results don’t always happen.

Q: Where was your favorite place in New York City for study breaks?

A: Pierrepont Plaza, or the 5th floor of NYU’s Bobst Library (the Data Services are a really good resource, with people around to help you).

Q: Change comes in many shapes and sizes — how are you changing the world after CUSP?

A: As one of the three founders that started ARGO Labs, my world has been busy! ARGO has recently become an LLC, and we work towards rapid prototyping for solving city problems. Currently, we have 3 projects: SCUBA, a Californian water usage data project aimed at water conservation; Learnr, an education volunteerism app; and our ‘flagship’ product, SQUID, a street surface quality data collection and imaging device. And we are still working with CUSP, working with Prof. Julia Lane to put together the Data Facility.

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