Information Technology and Computing

Sit down and chat with computer scientists and technologists from the Chicagoland area. Touting degrees in fields ranging from chemistry to the humanities, these alumni have worked everywhere from non-profit to big business, in positions spanning analytics to network security. No matter your major, they're here to share how diverse backgrounds are still applicable in the world of computing and technology--and how computing and technology can be applied to different fields.

Roundtable Participants

Michael Brizic, AB'01

Software Engineer, STA Group LLC

Mr. Brizic graduated from the College in 2001 with a degree in computer science. Mr. Brizic also studied music theory, in particular, jazz, and has been playing piano jazz since taking on additional studies at different schools in Chicago. Mr. Brizic's work in software has spanned a number of industries: defense, retail, tech, journalism, insurance. He has lead small engineering teams and is currently developing an enterprise class collaboration tool. During the summer, Mr. Brizic volunteers his time to a youth sailing organization helping to maintain boats and train kids how to sail small craft.

Jasmine Davila, AB'98

QA Analyst, Ansira

Ms. Davila graduated from the College with a degree in general studies in the humanities. She joined Townsend Analytics in August 1999 as a member of the technical support team for their direct access trading platform, RealTick. Since May of 2011, she has been a Quality Assurance Analyst at Ansira, a marketing services company, where her focus has been on planning and executing testing strategies for trade promotion management products for clients such as Cisco, Benjamin Moore, and Hyundai.

Jason Edelstein, AB'06, SM'16

IT Security Engineer

Mr. Edelstein graduated from the College in 2006 with a degree in philosophy and later returned to obtain a Master's degree in computer science in 2016. During his undergraduate studies, he worked as a student computing assistant in the Broadview dorm, helping his peers, RA, and RH keep their technology perking along. Shortly after graduation, he took a job as a helpdesk associate at the University. In late 2011, he helped create the IT Services TECHB@R, a walk-in helpdesk in the Regenstein Library, and more recently has changed positions to become an IT Security Engineer, focusing on intrusion prevention, PCI compliance, risk management, and incident response. He lives just to the south of the University campus in Hyde Park, spending his weekends and evenings poorly homebrewing beer, biking the lake shore, and enjoying the Medici's shakes.

Robert (Bob) Knox, SB'09

Senior Consultant, EY

Mr. Knox graduated from the College in 2009 with a SB in Chemistry. While in the College, he participated in Scav Hunt, was an RA in Talbot House for two years, and worked in the Lab of Professor Jordan of the Chemistry Department. He began at EY in January 2016 and greatly enjoys the work he does and those he works with. The practice focuses on customizing and implementing software solutions for the Health, Safety, Environmental, and Regulatory departments of Fortune 500 companies, working hand in hand with software vendors. He lives in Chicago and counts his best friends as those he met at UChicago.

Deepak Sevak, AB'02, MBA'15 (Northwestern)

Director, Program Management Office, Discover Financial Services

Mr. Sevak graduated from the College in 2002 with a degree in public policy. While in college, he held leadership roles in Student Government, Model UN, SASA, and Delta Kappa Epsilon. After college, he joined NSIT and provided IT support to faculty and staff. After NSIT, he was a consulting manager for Five9 Technologies (acquired by PriceWaterhouse Coopers). Then, he held IT leadership roles in healthcare at Hospira (Pfizer) and Baxalta (Shire). He led IT for international plants (Europe, Australia, Latin America), quality and compliance, and sourcing strategy. Today, he leads the program management office for the payments division at Discover Financial Services. His team leads innovative programs enabling the Discover card on ApplePay / AndroidPay to re-designing authorizations, settlements, and disputes. He also volunteers for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and enjoys traveling with his wife and two kids.

Peter Thorson, AB'08, SM'13

Assoc. Director, Admin & Academic Computing, The University of Chicago

Mr. Thorson graduated from the College in 2008 with a degree in computer science. After working all four years as a student for the University's Humanities Division, he was hired full time as a Web Developer. Today he is an Associate Director in the Humanities Computing IT group and is responsible for the Division's public web sites, internal administrative applications, miscellaneous research project technologies, and the server infrastructure that operates it all. While working for the University he completed a Master's Degree in computer science (2013). He lives in Hyde Park with his wife, enjoys attending Doc Films, and can't believe that milkshakes are still only $1.