Photography by: Vanessa Leroy


Kathleen, a first-generation Vietnamese Iranian American, is a computational neuroscience and artificial intelligence researcher pursuing her studies at MIT. Before her current work, Kathleen did research at Stony Brook University on how our brains handle information from our eyes. She also studied dreams and creativity at MIT. 

She’s passionate about making sure more women and other groups that aren’t represented as much in computer science get the chance to be a part of it. She wants to make the field more diverse and inclusive. She currently holds the position of President at MIT Women in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Poetry of Science Collection, 2021. Digital Photograph. ©Poetry of Science. All rights reserved.

The Shades of Us

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The Project: Scientists of color and local poets of color are collaborating to create poetry based on the work, motivations, and history of the scientists. We are working with fine art photographer Vanessa Leroy, to create portraits of each scientist for public display alongside their associated poetry. Selected poets and scientists will be published in a dedicated issue of an award-winning literary journal. Our Mission: The Poetry of Science counters the negative associations handed down by systemic racism by creating new and positive associations between people of color (POC), the arts, the sciences, how nature is perceived, and what it means to generate knowledge. In this context, POC offer new ways to understand and create novel realities to resist systems of oppression.

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