At UMD, I am advised by Dr. Amanda Lazar, who specializes in critical research towards how technologies can support health and well being for aging individuals. I am a member of Dr. Lazar's lab (The Health, Aging & Technology Lab), the Human Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) and the TRACE R&D center, all of which have conducted seminal work in computing, and accessible technologies.
Prior to my doctoral studies, I worked with Dr. Robin Brewer at the University of Michigan's iSchool, exploring older adults' turn taking question and answer sequences with voice agents. During my Ms. HCI at DePaul University, I worked with Dr. Sheena Erete & Dr. Denise Nacu, exploring the intersections of design, technology, and social computing.
Equitable access to information through everyday technologies
Widely implemented Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs, e.g. smartphones, voice assistants, PCs, search interfaces) have typically accounted for "normative use" (i.e. young, abled, using technology at work), i.e. in the form of rational system models based on behaviors of normative users, assumed to be perceived universally so by all users. This vein of technology development hides what apart from the models (e.g. situational factors) makes technologies work. Diverse users operating in conditions different from normative users may have diverse models arising from their variable situations. Thus, by assuming a singular rational model, technologies may limit access to information for non-normative groups by design, endangering democracy and quality of life. Such user groups may include an aging population with different digital histories, people with disabilities using alternate sensory modes (e.g. blind users using assistive voice technologies), people with low or no history of technology use - who have found to face concerns due to limitations in technologies. Towards that effect, I am interested to derive theories and methodologies from the fields of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Information studies, Cognitive and Social theories of experience and meaning making towards platform agnostic access to information through ICTs.