My general research interests are in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction, Mobile Computing, Pervasive Computing, and Computer-Mediated Communication.

For my dissertation research I studied the influence aesthetics has on measurable usability components, such as learnability and memorability.

I have done other research in the areas of mobile/pervasive computing, computer-mediated discourse analysis, and news filtering and personalization.

Aesthetics and Usability (Dissertation Research)

Issues related to user interface appearance are becoming more important since, increasingly, users expect interfaces to be attractive as well as functional. Application developers have responded to this expectation, and the beauty of interfaces has increased over the years. Is interface beauty good or bad for usability? Research has shown that interface beauty influences users' perceptions of the application; however, research into other areas of usability is limited and inconclusive. One area of usability that has not been studied is the influence of interface aesthetics on learning. The research proposed here will study whether the acquisition and retention of the skill of interacting with an interface is influenced by the beauty of that interface.

Multiple aesthetic variations of a web-based travel planning application will be created, and participants will perform trip planning activities using the site. The experiment will have learning and memory phases, during which the performance of the participants will be monitored. The interaction performance metrics will be used to evaluate whether interface aesthetic changes influence interaction skill acquisition and retention.

Read more about my dissertation research.


Involved the design, development, and evaluation of a handheld computer application used in a group setting for data collection and education.

Read more about the LillyPad project.


Involved the design and development of an interactive visualization tool to support the analysis of computer mediated conversations using dynamic topic analysis.

Read more about my VisualDTA research.


Involved the design, development, and evaluation of an intelligent news filtering and user interest modeling application.

Read more about my NewsSifter research.

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