Meet the UMXR Innovate Team

Headshot of Maxime Cacchione
Max Cacchione

Director, Innovation

As Director of Innovate, Max Cacchione supports innovative technology initiatives across the University. Max's career spans across a wide variety of public and private clients, assignments, and ventures, with a focus on leading technology teams towards the delivery of innovative solutions. Max is a graduate of Princeton University's faculty of computer science and a proud 'Cane from the UM MBA class of '09. When not in the XR Garage, Max practices karate chops, cooks, and spends time with his family in Coral Gables.

Specialty/Area of Interest: Human Computer Interaction, AR Cloud, AI

Headshot of Rachel De Paz
Rachel De Paz

Core Programmer

Rachel De Paz is currently a sophomore studying Software Engineering and Interactive Media. She is interested in creating AI-enhanced educational content in mixed reality. When she's not in the XR Garage, Rachel enjoys learning more about 3D programming and traveling.

Specialty/Area of Interest: Human Computer Interaction


Andrew Gonzalez

Core Programmer

Andrew Gonzalez is currently a senior at UM, pursuing a career in XR Software Engineering and UI/UX Design. Andrew’s passion is to revolutionize education through XR and his interests include XR gaming, learning, and thinking. When not in the XR Garage, Andrew enjoys learning more about 3D programming, philosophy, psychology, and connecting with friends in-person and in VR.

Specialty/Area of Interest: Spatial and cloud computing, UI/UX Design for XR, 3D Modeling


Berk Basarer

Core Programmer

Majoring in Electrical Engineering as an undergrad at UM, Berk’s interests include VLSI and bionano technology. He doesn’t have free time, but if he had, he would spend it with his friends, having fun.

Specialty/Area of Interest: Socket Programming, Server/Client Communication

Mert Okyay

Core Programmer

Mert Okyay is an undergraduate Physics/Mathematics double major. He is a part of COISO and is a part of research projects in the Physics department. His main interests are quantum information theory and astrophysics; and simulation of physical systems using numerical methods. He is interested in improving education in the physical sciences using information technologies. Outside of work, he likes to spend his time working out and reading.

Specialty/Area of interest: Physical simulations and data analysis in research.

Manish Garg

Core Programmer

Manish Garg is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Miami. His undergrad area of study was journalism, and has pivoted to computers after some years of self-study. Outside of work he likes to play video games, go on outdoor adventures, listen to music, and dance salsa.

Specialty/Area of interest: Machine learning/AI, web development and networking, hardware design and interfacing, and XR experience development

Milena Park

Core Programmer

Milena Pak is currently an undergraduate student pursuing a double-major in Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Her interests include artificial intelligence (AI) and psychology, and how these two fields can be combined using XR. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, cooking, and drinking bubble tea.

Specialty/Area of interest: Psychology and AI through XR

Samantha Kamath

Core Programmer

Samantha Kamath is currently a junior at the University of Miami studying Computer Science and Political Science. Samantha loves studying the fields of art, social sciences, and technology combined. Her current interests are AI application development and XR gaming. When not in the XR Garage, Samantha loves to dance, read, crochet, and hang out with friends.

Specialty/Area of interest: AI application development and XR gaming

Sam Garry

Core Programmer

Sam Garry is an undergraduate Music Engineering major at the University of Miami. He is interested in the interplay between software development and audio engineering and loves to develop applications in various mediums. When not at work, Sam enjoys playing music, staying active, and exploring nature.

Specialty/Area of Interest: Audio programming, UI/UX design

Wen Li


Wen Li is currently a junior at UM, majoring in Pure Physics and Computer Science. He has wide interests in theoretical physics, astronomy, quantum computing, and innovative programming. Wen has solid programming background from astronomy research and front-end,  back-end website design.  Out of his passion in gaming, Wen learned Gamemaker studio 2 and Unity at beginning of his college life.

Specialty/Area of Interest: Quantum computing and innovative programming

Bryan Feliciano

Grant Writer

Bryan Feliciano is currently a sophomore majoring in Advertisement Management and Minoring in Entrepreneurship. When Bryan is not working, he is staying active or playing video games.

Specialty/Area of Interest: Advertising

Victoria Kalfayan

Grant Writer

Victoria Kalfayan is a graduate business student pursuing her MBA. Prior to that she graduated from the University of Miami with a BBA concentrating in Marketing and Economics. In her spare time Victoria enjoying cooking, baking and dancing.

Specialty/Area of Interest: CPG, Marketing, Branding

Past Team Members

Aijalon Kilpatrick

Core Programmer

Aijalon Kilpatrick is a Sophomore studying Electrical Engineering. She participates in organizations including the Society of Women Engineers and UMaker. Aijalon has done research in power electronics, but she is also interested in machine learning and artificial intelligence. However, Aijalon likes to branch out and learn about various topics to see what fascinates me most.

Specialty/Area of Interest: machine learning, AI, power electronics

Headshot of Carolina Fernandez
Carolina Fernandez

Core Programmer

Carolina Fernandez is currently a senior at UM, pursuing a career in Biomedical Engineering with an Electrical Engineering Concentration. Carolina's interests include robot-assisted surgery, medical imaging, and regenerative medicine. When not in the VR Garage, Carolina dedicates her free time to learning video game design. She hopes to obtain her graduate degree from the University of Miami. 

Specialty/Area of Interest: Machine learning, AI, 3D Modeling, Spatial Computing

Lenny Martinez

Staff, Core Programmer

Lenny Martinez is a multidisciplinary designer and engineer currently teaching at the University of Miami. Lenny has a BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Visual Communications from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. When not working, Lenny enjoys baking desserts and catching up on his collection

Specialty/Area of Interest: Generative Design, Product Development, Interactive Data Visualization, Prototyping

Maria Calderon

Social Media Market Guru

Maria Calderon is a Junior at the University of Miami, majoring in Motion Pictures and minoring in Finance. She is a member of Delta Kappa Alpha, a professional fraternity. When she’s not working, she is filming and editing videos.

Specialty/Area of Interest: Social Media, Filming

Michael Martinaitis


Michael is an undergraduate at UM studying Music Engineering and  Computer Engineering (‘21). Michael hopes to use Magic Leap and XR spatial computing to combine the arts and technology. Michael is also a bassist, music producer and photographer. In his free time, he enjoys reading and watching movies. 

Specialty/Area of Interest: Digital Audio, Signal Processing, Computer Graphics, UI/UX Design

Agustin Ferreira


Agustin is a Senior earning his BSBA in finance at UM with a minor in computer engineering, which was originally his major. Outside of XR at UM Agustin pursues developing his cultural identity & community as a leader in PorColombia. Agustin is passionate about participating in innovative technology and applying it to widely influential applications in finance and business. In his free time Agustin enjoys spending time with his pets, his family, friends & nature. 

Specialty/Area of interest: Financial model automation, (to be) database management

Tiana Torkan

UX/UI Specialist

Tiana Torkan is a senior at the University of Miami studying Interactive Media with a minor in Media Management at the School of Communication. Combining her love for the arts and technology, she is passionate about product design and solving problems for users through the cross-sectional world of creative tech. In her free time, she enjoys exploring creative outlets such as painting, piano, dancing, and photography.

Specialty/Area of interest: UX/UI Design, Prototyping, Graphic Design

Headshot of Prajwal Devkota
Prajwal Devkota

Core Programmer

Prajwal Devkota is Ph.D. student in the computer science department at UM. Prajwal's research interests include Graph Theory, Network Analysis, Machine Learning, Data Mining, Natural Language Processing, Knowledge Extraction, Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, and Semantic Web Technology.

Prajwal is a UM Fellow, and Presidential Scholar (McKendree University)

(On the team from May 2019-August 2019)


Headshot of Harrison Mount
Luis Armani Rodriguez

Resident Electrical Engineer

Luis Armani Rodriguez is a junior Electrical Engineering major and Mathematics minor at UM. From the great state of New Jersey, Armani spent Summer 2019 with UMIT working with both the Salesforce and Innovate teams, learning about where careers in IT could lead. On his days off, Armani can often be seen playing soccer or watching baseball: Hala Madrid and Go Yankees.

(On the team from May 2019-August 2019)

Headshot of Harrison Mount
Harrison Mount

Core Programmer

Harrison is an undergraduate junior studying computer engineering with a concentration in software, on track to double major in computer science. Outside of the VR Garage, he spends his time managing several self-owned online retail businesses and is the Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of the UM-based startup Cycle. Harrison's favorite pastimes are surfing, producing music, and reading. 

(On the team from May 2019-August 2019)

Headshot of Shing Ryan Cheng
Ryan Cheng

Core Programmer

Ryan Cheng is currently a senior at UM, pursuing a career in Software Engineering. Ryan's interests include surfing (the web), pottery, and cooking. Outside of the XR Garage, Ryan likes to spend his free time smoking meat, paddle boarding, and taking long naps.

Specialty/Area of Interest: UI and UX

Headshot of Jinqi Li
Jinqi Li

Core Programmer

Jinqi Li is currently a graduate student at UM, pursuing a Master's degree in Interactive Media. Jinqi’s interests include XR experience design, web design, UX design, video editing, and illustration. Outside of XR Garage, Jinqi likes to spend her time watching movies and traveling. Her favorite movie director is Stanley Kubrick.

Specialty/Area of Interest: AI, Machine Learning, AR Cloud, UX/UI for VR Environments

Headshot of Jiahao Jaron Zhou
Jiahao Zhou

Core Programmer

Jiahao Zhou is a senior studying computer science. He is interested in applying mixed reality to the medical field. When not in the XR Garage, Jiahao enjoys rapping and playing basketball.

Specialty/Area of Interest: UI and UX

Yuan Xie


Yuan Xie is a senior at the University of Miami, majoring in mathematics and minoring in computer engineering. His interests are UX design, data analysis, and data visualization. During Yuan's free time, he likes to watch sports and enjoying live music.

Specialty/Area of Interest: UX and data mining

Jian He

Core Programmer

Jian He is a graduate student in Interactive Media(Game Design) at the University of Miami. Jian is interested in E-sports, RPG games and VR games. Besides games, Jian likes photography and Jazz/R&B music.

Specialty/Area of Interest: Video Games, XR, Prototyping, Photography, Video Editing

Robert Silverberg

Core Programmer

Robert Silverberg is an undergraduate computer science student at UM. Outside of working in and learning about programming/development, he likes to play computer games that are programmed by other people. Robert aspires to get better at writing third-person autobiographical blurbs in the near-future, after he graduates in May.

Specialty/Area of Interest: XR, Simulation, Games

Aaron Geldert

Core Programmer

Aaron Geldert is a student studying Music Engineering (’20) at the Frost School of Music and Computer Engineering. Aaron’s interests are in music production, multimedia, and developing XR applications. Aaron is also a trombonist, pianist, and sound engineer, and spends his free time playing music, learning languages, and running.

Specialty/Area of Interest: Audio Programming

Alejandro Hernandez

Core Programmer

Alejandro Hernandez is an undergraduate senior majoring in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Miami College of Engineering. He is particularly interested in artificial intelligence and making XR games and programs. In his free time, Alejandro enjoys playing basketball with his friends, gaming, and orbiting his fridge.

Specialty/Area of Interest: Game development, artificial intelligence, and XR applications

Komal Sharma

Staff, Virtual Reality Programmer

Komal Sharma is a experienced Unity Game Developer with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and healthcare industry. She is skilled in Unity, virtual reality, augmented reality. Graduated from Purdue University with a Master’s degree in Computer Science, she is an XR and game enthusiast. She enjoys painting, playing games, singing, cooking and most importantly spending time with the loved one over the video call.

Speciality/ Area of Interest : Game development, Human Computer Interaction

Adi Bulusu

Core Programmer

Adi Bulusu is an undergraduate Business Technology student with a minor in Finance. He is also a part of UM Greek Life and represents Pi Kappa Phi. Adi’s interests include automobiles and automobile racing, programming, and music production. Outside of XR garage, Adi spends his time drag racing, playing tennis, and making music. 

Specialty/Area of Interest: XR application development

Corbin Graves 


Corbin Graves is a UM Graduate Student currently studying Interactive Media, focusing on User Interface and Experience. He is an executive board member of the Graduate Student Association. His main interests are creating experiences that are helpful for users, and understanding user experiences with different products. He was a teacher for 5 years before he became a graduate student, and he will be teaching an undergraduate level Web Lab class in the Fall. Outside of XR, his interests are illustration, working out, and dreaming of how to take care of his non-existent dog.

Specialty/Area of interest: User interface design, User experience design