The Knewton Blog

Our monthly newsletter features edtech and product updates, with a healthy dose of fun Knerd news.

Introducing Nine New Knerds

Posted in Knerds on February 12, 2014 by

Back row L-R: Erin, Nikita, Katia, Harish, Carolyn; Front row L-R: Benjamin, Oleg, Rob, Nicky

Carolyn Stein comes to Knewton as a Humanities Content Curator. A former high school teacher, Carolyn was teaching English in high schools for immigrant students before coming to Knewton. She graduated from Brown University, received her teaching degree from the New School, and earned her Masters in education research at the University of Paris. She loves novels, especially classic British fiction, as well as old and foreign movies. She recently re-learned how to swim.

Rob Murcek is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. Originally from Lewisburg, PA, Rob is a Software Engineer at Knewton. His favorite book is Slaughterhouse Five, and his hobbies include running, climbing, and building computers. His favorite Wikipedia page is this List of Algorithms.

Nikita Dyer joins Knewton as the Product Manager, Knowledge Graphs. Originally from New Jersey, Nikita graduated from Cornell and the London School of Economics. Nikita’s favorite book is Middlemarch by George Eliot and in her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, and book clubs.

Originally from New Mexico and Russia/Kazakhstan, Oleg Semenov earned his PhD. at the University of New Mexico before coming to Knewton as a Software Engineer. His favorite TV show is The Colbert Report and his hobbies include tennis, hiking, biking, surfing, and snowboarding. Oleg’s favorite website is Wikipedia.

Southern Utah native Erin Moore joins Knewton’s Adaptive Instruction team as an Adaptive Instruction Analyst. Erin graduated from Harvey Mudd College and earned her PhD from UC Berkeley. Before coming to Knewton, she was working in the semiconductor industry as a product engineer. Erin’s hobbies include running, knitting, and reading 1-star reviews on Amazon. She likes this Wikipedia trivia.

After graduating from Georgetown University and before joining Knewton, Katia Teran was part of a full-time skills accelerator where she learned about product. Katia is now the Senior Management Assistant at Knewton. Her hobbies include yoga and pilates and her favorite websites are and Medium.

Nicky Zahokas joins Knewton as the Receptionist. Originally from New York, Nicky graduated from Manhattan College and was previously working as a substitute teacher. His hobbies include drawing, singing, and dancing. He should have been voted “most likely to start singing” in high school, and he’s a firm believer in YOLO.

Originally from Indianapolis, Benjamin Pollack graduated from Duke University and worked at Fog Creek Software before joining Knewton as the Senior Engineer, Deployment. His favorite book is Cryptonomicon and his hobbies include piano, hiking, and French. Ben thinks the G train is actually pretty awesome, and some people say he looks like Bill Gates. His blog is

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Harish Tella graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before joining Knewton as a Software Engineer, he was working for a predictive analytics startup. Harish’s favorite album is the Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis and in his free time, he enjoys salsa dancing and playing guitar.