The Knewton Blog

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

Welcome to Seven New Knerds

Posted in Knerds on April 10, 2013 by

From L-R: Andrew, Erion, Illya, Jon, David, Dan, and Giannis

Seven new people joined the Knewton team this month. We’re excited to have them all here.

Illya Bomash is a Data Analyst on the Adaptive Learning team. Illya was born in Russia but has been living in NYC for the past eight years. He went to college at Harvard, then did a Ph.D. at Weill Cornell Medical College in computational neuroscience, studying how cells in the retina represent visual inputs. In his spare time, Illya enjoys “going to MoMa and wishing I were an artist, biking around NYC and taking photos, and cooking a steady stream of CSA vegetables.” Tokyo and Kyoto top Illya’s list of travel destinations.

Jon Tascher is a Web Developer on the Marketing team. Originally from New York, Jon graduated from Vassar College. Before coming to Knewton, he was a freelance web developer. In his free time, he enjoys reading — his favorite books are Catch 22 and Stranger in a Strange Land. Though few people tend to agree with him, Jon maintains that the BeeGees are one of the greatest bands in the history of music. He says his high school yearbook should have named him “Most likely to have forgotten homework, books, pen, binder, etc.” The Dancing Plague of 1518 is his favorite Wikipedia article.

Giannis Neokleous is a Software Engineer on the Adaptive Learning team. Originally from Cyprus, Giannis earned a BSc in Computer Science from Stony Brook University and an MS in Computer Science from Stanford University. Before he came to Knewton, he was “collecting and processing millions of people’s opinions online (in a non-creepy way).” Giannis enjoys biking, travelling, and music (“most variations of metal”) in his free time. His favorite place he’s traveled to is Venice.

David Hartunian is a Software Engineer originally from Belmont, MA. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and has spent the last five years working in finance on algorithmic investment strategies. His favorite TV show is Battlestar Galactica, and his hobbies include strategy board games and cooking. Timeline of the Far Future is his favorite Wikipedia article. Though few people agree with him, David maintains that getting up early is better than staying up late.

Erion Hasanbelliu is a Software Engineer on the Adaptive Learning team. He’s from “the SOUTH” (emphasis his) and attended Jacksonville State University and the University of Florida, where he earned his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research work focused primarily on Machine Learning and Computer Vision. Erion’s hobbies include anything outdoorsy, and his favorite travel destination is Greece. You can find him at

Dan Risch is a Technical Recruiter. Originally from Milwaukee, Dan graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Before coming to Knewton, he was recruiting for tech startups through an agency. His favorite movie is The Sandlot, and in his free time, he enjoys golf, hunting, fishing, camping, and baseball (“only spectating at this point”). Scuba diving in Hawaii or the Cayman Islands tops his list of favorite vacations.

Andrew Love is the Client Services Manager at Knewton. Originally from Los Angeles, Andrew previously worked as a business technology consultant, “helping small and medium-sized businesses plan and implement new products and services.” Andrew’s biggest hobby is product design — “I’m almost always cooking up a software or hardware concept in my free time.” Andrew’s high school yearbook should named him “Most likely to sell everything and live out of a backpack.” His favorite Wikipedia article is about “the story of Marvin Heemeyer and the Killdozer… The story has no happy ending, but still; bulldozer rampage!”