The Knewton Blog

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

Introducing 10 New Knerds

Posted in Knerds on August 19, 2014 by

L-R, back row: Brandon, Rafael, Tom, and Brendan L-R, front row: Chris, Nidhi, Justine, Sam

Meet ten new Knerds!

Brendan Fay, from Morristown, New Jersey, is a senior software engineer. After graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology, he worked on mobile printing for EFI. He likes singing, board games, miniatures, video games, and “bad” movies (some of his favorite are Back to the Future, Silence of the Lambs, and Network).

Jordan Caras, originally from Scarborough, Maine, joins Knewton as a software engineer. Before Knewton, he graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology and worked as a graphics hardware validation engineer for Intel. His hobbies include CrossFit, cooking, reading, and eating tacos. His favorite websites are Robb Wolf and Catalyst Athletics.

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Brandon Maister joins our systems engineering team. He is a graduate of Hunter College. His high school yearbook should have voted him “Most Likely to Travel to Interesting Places, Meet Exotic Foods, and Eat Them.”

Samuel (Sam) Braun is a knowledge graph architect on the Implementations team. Originally from Durham, Connecticut, he attended Princeton University and worked doing legal research before coming to Knewton. He enjoys playing guitar, learning language, and reading and discussing books (his favorite is Gravity’s Rainbow).

Nidhi Anarkat was born, raised, and educated in India. She joins Knewton as a knowledge graph architect from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Nidhi loves to dance. She has a hard time choosing an all-time favorite book, but her favorite at the moment is Snow by Omar Pamuk.

Rafael Kern, from São Paulo, Brazil, joins the Graph Operations team. Before coming to Knewton, he attended Yale, got his Masters from Columbia Teaching College, and worked at the Real World Impact Games Lab. His interests include capoeira, yoga, and brunches (but not crunches).


Originally from New Delhi, India, Raman Choudhry is a lead software engineer. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology and went on to work as the Technical Lead at RiskFocus. He enjoys reading and independent films: his favorite book is Guns, Germs, and Steel and his favorite movie is the Shawshank Redemption. His favorite Wikipedia article is Rahul Sankrityayan.

Justine Dilworth joins Knewton as a technical recruiter. Originally from New Jersey, she graduated from New York University, and went on to do recruiting work for clients like Bloomberg and Amazon. When she’s not watching her favorite TV show of all time, Friday Night Lights, or at spin class, she enjoys deliberating whether or not one should be “Team Peeta” or “Team Gale.”

Tom Chamnongvongse is a software engineer on the Platform team. He graduated from Stony Brook University and currently lives in New Jersey. He likes snowboarding and The Walking Dead, and his favorite website is YouTube.

Christopher Cotter is an adaptive instruction analyst from Portland, Oregon. He received his BA in math from Reed College and spent some time working for an alternative education non-profit. In his spare time, he enjoys singing, particularly Gregorian chants and various folk polyphonies, and reading big novels, such as Anna Karenina and Middlemarch.