PhD student, iSchool at the University of Maryland (UMD, College Park)
At UMD, I am advised by Dr. Amanda Lazar, who specializes in critical research towards how technologies can support 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 accessibility.
Prior to my doctoral studies, I worked with Dr. Robin Brewer at the University of Michigan's iSchool, exploring older adults' interactions with voice based ICTs. During my Masters in HCI at DePaul University, I worked with Dr. Sheena Erete & Dr. Denise Nacu, exploring the intersections of technology, learning and social computing.
Equitable access to widely implemented technologies
Email me at | poojau [AT] umd [DOT] edu
or Contact me on Twitter
Widely implemented Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs, e.g. smartphones, voice assistants, PCs, search interfaces, internet tools) are positioned today as "intuitive" technologies with the potential to, or already providing democratic access to information. But a diversity of user groups (e.g. older adults, emerging tech users users with disabilities) have been reported to be on the peripheries, due to lack of a proficiency or expertise. Yet, the question of how users develop expertise, or what expertise is, seems to be open. Differences in ICT use emerge from users' diverse ecological contexts; historic, socio- economic etc. Often, users' emergent uses are attributed wholly to the design of systems as working well, not users' expertise. But when users face negative experiences with technology, researchers and designers turn to users' lack of expertise.
I draw on theoretical frameworks and empirical methods in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Cognitive science and Sociology, to situate users' thought processes in learning and using technology within their diverse contexts.