I am currently a Ph.D. student and graduate researcher at the University of California, Irvine in the Informatics department. I had previously earned a M.S. from the University of Colorado, Boulder at the ATLAS Institute in Creative Technologies and Design. My research is within Human Computer Interaction, specifically exploring play, embodied and tangible interaction, and social computing.
I also have a background in fine arts as well as object-oriented computing, with my strongest suites in electronics, making/fabrication, critical theory/design, games, and UI/UX.
What fuels my passion for HCI is exploring the intersections of society, identity, tech, and design all through the lens of play.
My research interests are in designing and developing alternative technologies that foster intersectional participation and comfort within STEM communities—doing so through exposing, analyzing, and mitigating discrimination. To achieve this, I believe it is vital to understand the nuanced and politically entwined relationships between race, gender, sexuality, and ableism, and how these relationships relate in oppressive practices within these spaces that stunt inclusive creativity and innovation.
However, I aim to specifically tap into the potential of play and expression as the vehicle for my approaches. Play is unique in its power to engage a wide range of a community—providing accessibility to certain topics through levity, empowering people through the agency of expression, or using the persuasion of entertainment and provocation to elicit critical thinking of different perspectives.
All in all, at the core of my interests is the goal to demystify and disseminate impactful design methodologies for disruptive playful technology and enabling social change for better, safer intersectional engagement in tech communities. With this, I hope to promote a higher and more diverse understanding of each other, ourselves, and our relationships in a technology-immersed society.