About Me

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. I teach courses in the Human-Centered Computing (HCC) graduate and Digital Arts & Sciences (DAS) undergraduate and graduate programs.

My general research interests involve understanding, designing, and developing natural user interactions, especially for children and families. Natural user interaction (NUI) focuses on allowing users to interact with technology through the wide range of human abilities, such as touch, voice, vision, and motion. Children are still developing their cognitive and physical capabilities, creating unique design challenges and opportunities for interacting in these modalities. My work both integrates and contributes to research in human-computer interaction, child-computer interaction, multimodal interaction, machine learning and artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and interaction design. I seek to understand children’s expectations and abilities with respect to NUIs, and to use this understanding to design and develop new multimodal NUIs for children in a variety of contexts, including education, healthcare, and serious games. Recent projects are exploring human-AI interaction for these users and contexts.

I couldn’t do this work without my great network of collaborators and talented students. For more on my research projects and my students, check out my lab: the Intelligent Natural Interaction Technology (INIT) Lab.

Previously, I was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Systems at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) in Baltimore, MD. I received my Ph.D. degree from the Human Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) in the School of Computer Science (SCS) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My thesis work focused on the area of handwriting-based interfaces for intelligent tutoring systems for algebra equation-solving and was advised by Jie Yang and Ken Koedinger. In addition to an M.S. in HCI from Carnegie Mellon, I have a B.S. and an M.S. in computer science with concentrations in artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and software engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For my M.S. thesis I used genetic programming to evolve board evaluation functions for computer agent players of the strategy game Acquire. Earlier research involved creating a computer-aided conceptual design tool for engineers called CUP.

My industry work experience includes positions at the User-Centered Interfaces Group at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories (LM ATL), where I worked on advanced user interface technologies such as spoken-language understanding, handwriting recognition, and gesture recognition; and at the Fuji-Xerox Palo Alto Laboratory (FXPAL), where I worked on the Collaborative Exploratory Search project.

Conferences attended / attending:

  • ICMI’22 in Bangalore, India (Nov 2022)
  • IDC’19 in Boise, Idaho (June 2019)
  • CHI’18 in Montreal, Canada (Apr 2018)
  • ICMI’17 in Glasgow, UK (Nov 2017)
  • GHC’17 in Orlando, FL (Oct 2017)
  • CHI’17 in Denver, CO (May 2017)
  • SAP’16 in Anaheim, CA (Jul 2016)
  • IDC’16 in Manchester, UK (Jun 2016)
  • CHI’16 in San Jose, CA (May 2016)
  • IDC’15 in Boston, MA (Jun 2015)
  • Tapia’15 in Boston, MA (Feb 2015)
  • GHC’14 in Phoenix, Arizona (Oct 2014)
  • CHI’14 in Toronto, Canada (May 2014)
  • ICMI’13 in Sydney, Australia (Dec 2013)
  • IDC’13 in New York City, NY (June 2013)
  • CHI’13 in Paris, France (May 2013)
  • Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces’12 in Cambridge, MA (Nov 2012)
  • ICMI’12 in Santa Monica, CA (Oct 2012)
  • GHC’12 in Baltimore, MD (Oct 2012)
  • GI’12 in Toronto, Canada (May 2012)
  • CHI’12 in Austin, TX (May 2012)
  • iConference’12 in Toronto, Canada (Feb 2012)
  • ICMI’11 in Alicante, Spain (Nov 2011)
  • CHI’11 in Vancouver, Canada (May 2011)
  • AHFE’10 in Miami, FL (Jul 2010)
  • GI’10 in Ottawa, Canada (May 2010)
  • EARLI’09 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Aug 2009)
  • CHI’08 in Florence, Italy (Apr 2008)
  • HCIC’08 in Winter Park, CO (Feb 2008)
  • ACM Multimedia’07 in Augsburg, Germany (Sep 2007)
  • AIEd’07 in Los Angeles, CA (Jul 2007)
  • SCL Symposium in Atlanta, GA (Oct 2006)
  • ICME’06 in Toronto, Ontario (Jul 2006)
  • CHI’05 in Portland, OR (Apr 2005)
  • ICMI’04 in State College, PA (Oct 2004)
  • Intelligent Tutoring Systems’04 in Maceio, Brazil (Aug 2004)
  • CHI’04 in Vienna, Austria (Apr 2004)
  • IJCAI’01 in Seattle, WA (Aug 2001)
  • CoDesigning’00 in Coventry, UK (Sep 2000)
  • ASME DETC’99 in Las Vegas, NV (Sep 1999)
  • CHI’99 in Pittsburgh, PA (May 1999)