I am an Assistant Professor and Human-Computer Interaction researcher (HCI/CS) in the Department of Computer & Information Sciences at the University of Delaware as well as the director of the Sensify Lab. My research interests center around designing better user experiences with technology and tackling societal problems in the areas of: sustainability, human-building interactions, wearables, personal informatics, education, health & wellness, and games. I am open to working with talented high school, undergraduate, master's, and Ph.D students as well as postdoctoral scholars who want to develop cyber-physical and software systems in these areas. If you are interested in exploring potential opportunities to work together, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and include your CV/Resume, unofficial transcript, as well as a brief statement about how we might collaborate. If you are not a University of Delaware student then you will also need to apply and be accepted to one of our programs (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, UD K-12 Engineering) or another formal channel (e.g., REUs).
My undergraduate and early graduate work in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics was completed at the University at Albany in upstate New York. I received my PhD from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland in August of 2018. My research was advised by Dr. Jon E. Froehlich and I was an early student member of the Makeability Lab —a lablet of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab that focused on "Making with a Social Purpose". I contributed to a number of projects including the design of wearbles devices, early education technologies, and tools for DIY thermographic energy auditing which was the focus of my dissertation (see "Pervasive Thermography"). Before joining the University of Delaware, I was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University in the School of Medicine where I worked on stress and wellbeing interventions in the Pervasive Wellbeing Technology Lab with Dr. Pablo E. Paredes. I also collaborated with Stanford HCI and numerous other groups through various interdisciplinary projects. In my free time, I like to travel, hike, and contribute to indie video game projects via The Dirigiballers, LLC.
I currently maintain several active collaborations from my time at Stanford University. These collaborations include:
HPDS is an interdisciplinary team at Stanford University with expertise in architecture, structural and materials engineering, human-computer interaction, psychology, environmental behavior, and security, privacy and law. We are collaborating to generate new knowledge regarding aspects of the built environment that promote both environmental sustainability and occupant wellbeing. As part of this project, I am working to analyze environmental sensor data to support a large-scale lab study as well as assist with developing passive sensing methods to support wellbeing monitoring in both the built environment and in-office settings.
Home Sweet Office is a set of tools developed by Stanford University’s Pervasive Wellbeing Technology Lab to provide personalized just-in-time stress and time management interventions for workers adapting to the "new normal" of COVID-19. My work has focused on improving the user experience with this tool, designing micro-interventions, and conducting pilot users studies with our prototype system.
While routine use of sit-stand desks can increase health outcomes, compliance decreases quickly and behavioral nudges tend to be dismissed. To address this issue, we introduce a piece of robotic furniture that moves on its own to promote healthy movement that we call "The Haunted Desk" and explore the concept of non-volitional behavior change, a novel category of behavior change interventions.
Anxiety and depressive disorders affect over 400 million people globally and cost 1 trillion dollars to address each year. I joined the interdisciplinary Mentaid team to evaluate user perceptions of an early version of the group's skin-like wearable sensor to help inform design of future production ready versions of the system.
There is limited infrastructure for providing stress management services to those in need. To address this problem, chatbots are viewed as a scalable solution. We developed a suite of micro-chatbots for stress management and my work has focused on improving the user experience with this system, creating datasets for use in stress management applications, and conducting users studies with our prototype chatbot system.
In the past, I have been involved in projects at various universities including Stanford University, Oregon State University, and the University of Maryland. These collaborations include:
This projects seeks to re-appropriate time that is wasted on commuting for stress management. As part of this project, I helped to conduct and analyze data from a controlled on-road study involving a haptic intervention for stress management.
Previously I contributed to the NSF funded "Smart & Connected Kids for Sustainable Energy Communities" project (Award #1737565), where I collected data about family energy habits using an ESM/EMA protocol and briefly collaborated with the University of Oxford's METER team to help design a next-generation mobile application to support energy education and behavioral intervention programs with smart meters in Northern California.
My dissertation focused on developing new methods and tools for thermographic energy auditing of the built environment. By leveraging advances in machine learning, image processing, and information visualization techniques, I developed an easy-to-deploy, temporal thermographic system that supports human-oriented data collection and analysis. I evaluated this system lab studies and field deployments. My goal with this research was to (i) understand and learn from current thermographic energy auditing practices, (ii) advance the state-of-the-art in terms of interactive building thermography systems, and (iii) enable future, scalable, public auditing of the built environment. The most up-to-date information about the project can be found on the lab's project page for "Pervasive Thermography".
I briefly joined the EventFlow team to look at incorporating a mixed-initative interface in to the temporal event sequence analytic software. The results of our early usability studies were published as a Late Breaking Work at CHI2016 and received a Best Paper Honorable Mention.
I regularly volunteered on the University of Maryland's Kidsteam as a adult design partner and occasional subject matter expert during design sessions. I co-authored several papers reviewing the ethical implications of codesign with children while I was a graduate student in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab.
I briefly contributed to BodyVis to help with the engineering and deployment of the early wearable prototypes, the analysis of the collected data, and the writing of the paper. The submission went on to receive an Best Paper Honorable Mention at CHI2015 and the project went on to receive funding from NSF launching two or three PhD dissertations before I graduated from UMD.
This wearable project entitled Social Fabric Fitness was my first in the Makeability Lab; it focused on the design and testing of wearable displays to support group running activities, but also served as a provocation of personal informatics by making running data publicly viewable. This project was presented at CHI2014 and also helped launch the ILikeThisShirt project.
My first project in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab looked at teaching children computational thinking through games. With the lead graduate student, I assited with the engineering of a platform for creating educational games entitled CTArcade. I also conducted the user studies and helped with both analysis of the collected data and writing of the extended abstract and folloup journal publication.
Before starting my Computer Science PhD, I briefly took courses in UMD's Department of Aerospace Engineering and I worked on The Cooperative Reconnaissance & Extraterrestrial Science Team—a concept for a Martian rover that was submitted to the Revolutionary Aerospace System Concepts Academic Linkage (RASCAL) competition. I helped develop the concept for the rover, designed the software systems and sensors, and presented the work during the competition. Additionally, I built a small simulation of the rover in the Unreal Engine to support our outreach activities. My team and I tied with MIT for first place in the graduate student division.