About Us


Ali Al-Sammarraie

MCP Candidate, DUSP-MIT

Urban Designer, Architect


An Architect and Urban Designer by day, and an Artist by night, Ali has exhibited his work in the global East and West. His experience spans from concept to handover with involvement in the design process and management on his projects. Before joining MIT, he was an Urban Designer + Architect at Perkins + Will, where he developed special interests in topics of resilience and sustainability in the developed, as well as the developing world. Ali has exhibited works in various cities such as Dubai, Istanbul, Milan, and Munich on subjects of sustainability and equity. He is passionate about astrophysics – Ali has studied advanced stellar astronomy in different institutions including Harvard, AUS, and LSU. He is currently completing his graduate degree at MIT.


Christopher Zegras

Associate Professor, DUSP-MIT

Informal ringleader


Chris has been teaching at MIT since 2005. Prior to academia, he worked on transportation energy efficiency for an international NGO in Washington DC and Santiago de Chile. His favorite way to get around is by bicycle and with Flocktracker he provides insightful guidance and tries to stay out of the way and let the team do its magic.

Daniel Heriberto Palencia Arreola

MCP Candidate, DUSP-MIT

Technologist, software engineer


More cyclist than human, Daniel Palencia is a Civil Engineer from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México currently based in Cambridge, pursuing a Master’s in City Planning. He has worked on several projects relating seismic and soil mechanics, but currently is spending his efforts on the relationship between urban environments, their denizens, and technology, mostly focusing on crowdsourced data collection and participatory planning in developing countries like Mexico, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. His current work on Flocktracker, where he leads the team and the technology design, is a data collection platform that aims to empower and inform citizens and organizations by the means of fast, easy to deploy and share self-driven data collection projects.

Scott Gilman

MCP Candidate, DUSP-MIT

Marketing Research Analyst, Customer Relations


Originally from Rochester, New York, Scott is pursuing his Master’s in City Planning at MIT where he focuses on participatory data collection, analysis, and visualization for environmental planning. Before starting at MIT, he worked in the Smith College Spatial Analysis Lab where he became interested in the many different ways that communities and …