About Me:

Hello all!

I am currently a fourth year PhD student in the Applied Mathematics department at the University of California, Merced. Previously, I attended the University of Northern Colorado, where I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics with a concentration in Computer Science and a minor in Sociology. Work toward my thesis involves studying the nature of online disagreement and structural differences between different types of speech, as well as the spread of misinformation online. Equity has been a driving force, motivation, and goal throughout my entire life, and is thus present in both the interests of my personal life and my graduate research.

I would like to be a part of the growing community of individuals that are combining social justice, data, and mathematics to create measurable change toward equity.

Outside of mathematics, my hobbies are discovering/bingeing new TV shows, listening to music, and creating art.

Recent News/Updates:


Maia Powell was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to investigate the latent processes leading to the emergence of hate speech using data science, natural language processing and machine learning

Data Science Challenge

Maia Powell was selected to be a Graduate Team Lead for the 2020 Lawrence Livermore National Lab Data Science Challenge, working with a team of undergraduate students to complete a Machine Learning/Chemistry Data Science Problem.


Maia Powell was elected Graduate Vice President of the W-STEM (Women in STEM) organization on the University of California, Merced campus. She previously served as a mentor and the Graduate Secretary.

Girls Who Code

Maia Powell, with her colleague Ali Heydari, co-founded a Girls Who Code Chapter on the University of California, Merced campus and are in the process of getting it started.


Maia Powell was selected to be an intern as part of the 2021 Data Science Summer Institute at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, working on applying machine learning methods to social media data. She additionally led the Natural Language Processing reading group cohort.


Maia Powell was elected as Secretary of RadioBio. She additionally serves as an interviewer and artist for the podcast.