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June 12, 2024

Sophomore President steps down from post

By ALEX FINE | January 30, 2014

Former Sophomore Class President Alex Koren resigned from his post Monday night due in part to increased time commitments with Hyv, a data analysis system he cofounded. Acting in accord with the SGA’s Constitution, the remaining six class senators voted in former Senator Jahan Mirchandani as Koren’s successor.

Koren, who has been class president for the past three semesters, chose to step down after realizing that he did not have enough time to put his full effort into serving his class while running a startup company.

“This was not a decision that came easily to me,” Koren said. “I didn’t wake up one morning and suddenly decide that I no longer wanted to be president.”

Prior to his resignation, Koren dropped a major and lightened his course-load in efforts to juggle his presidency and company. However, his business quickly gained steam, and it became clear that something would have to give.

“I was working from midnight to 5 a.m. every night on my project,” he said. “I realized that I did not want to half-ass my presidency, and that there were people out there who could utilize my position far more effectively.”

Hyv, Koren’s project is designed to create a global supercomputer. By utilizing the unused processing power and memory of user’s smartphones, Koren and his partner, a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), hope to create a data analysis system that will aid the search for cancer cures and exploring complex physics.

The company was founded last summer at Intel’s Hackathon, where Koren and his partner won first place. Currently, the two have a working prototype and are looking for investors to take their startup to the next level.

“If even 0.6 percent of Americans with smartphones joined Hyv, we would be able to outperform the fastest supercomputers on the planet,” Koren said. “Now that’s assuming everything is running at optimal conditions, but even with five to 10 percent of the country subscribing, we could do incredible things.”

Before announcing his resignation to the sophomore class, Koren talked the matter over extensively with his family and friends. Only then did he approach the SGA to inform them of his decision.

“Koren has been a valuable part of the SGA for the past year and a half, and I know he did not make this decision lightly,” Executive Secretary Kyra Toomre said in an email addressed to The News-Letter. “While we are put off and sad to lose such a valuable member of the senate, we will continue just as strong for the second semester.”

In a process written in the SGA’s bylaws, the new class president was chosen from among the six remaining sophomore class senators. Three officers, Mirchandani, Remi Ricciuti and Amy Sun, all volunteered. Each senator gave a speech and participated in a question-and-answer debate session.

Afterward, the six senators voted. Mirchandani emerged victorious and expressed the many ideas he wishes to implement in the coming semester.

His plans include updating the SGA website as well as providing each member of his class with 100 pages of free printing in the library. Mirchandani also aims to improve the SGA election process.

“It should not be a popularity contest as in the sense of who could spend the most time harassing people on Facebook to join their pages,” he said. “We should have either a speech or debate process that will be attended by the specific class.”

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