I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). I am also a Scientific Director’s Fellow for Diversity in Research (SDFDR). I am on the Technology & Translational Research Unit, where we use chatbots, apps, and social media posts to understand substance use disorders as well as risky sexual behaviors. My goal is to understand our users’ experiences, in order to make healthy messages more clear and impactful.

My history

I was a PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern, with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction. I worked with Darren Gergle in the CollabLab: The Laboratory for Collaborative Technology.

My research centered around understanding user experiences, where an “experience” can be explicitly expressed (behavior) or implicitly thought about (cognition). By approaching “experiences” from both angles, I am able to gain a more profound appreciation of what a user is going through, by understanding their why they’re taking those actions.

My thesis focused on keystroke dynamics, or the timing patterns of typing, in online conversations. Keystrokes provide a great example of my two-pronged approach: From a behavioral standpoint, I can see exactly what is being produced, e.g. a final message. But I can also understand how the message is being produced, e.g. making typos or typing really quickly, to understand the mindset and motivation behind the message.

I received my MA from the CUNY Graduate Center in Computational Linguistics, where I worked on keystroke dynamics with Andrew Rosenberg and David-Guy Brizan.

Before that, I received my BA in Religion from Columbia University, with a focus on Science & Religion and Philosophy from Columbia University. Through my work on narrative summarization with Becky Passonneau, I became interested in linguistics and how we can use language patterns to improve communication.