Who Are You?
I currently work as a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. I received a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the Boston University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, where I specialized in the study of human perception and behavior. More specifically, I studied perceptual learning, which is the process by which our ability to perceive the world can be changed, given enough training or practice. In between all that education, I worked as a research assistant at Spaulding Rehabilitation, and studied how traumatic brain injuries affect patients' quality of life.
What Do You Do?
My main interests are in the domain of human factors engineering and user experience design. I study how people interact with (or fail to interact with) new technologies, and I try to learn how they might be improved. I am also conducting research on typeface legibility and other visual design issues. Check out the research and publications sections for more information.
What Else Do You Do?
For me, “design” is a very big topic. Fonts, ketchup bottles, cars, I think about the design of all sorts of everyday things (incidentally, there’s a very good book on that topic). My interest in statistical analysis and education dovetails nicely with data visualization and science writing. After all, what good are all the data we collect and all the research we do if only a handful of people can understand them?
Why the Blog?
I’ve been writing on the internet since I was a teenager, well before the word “blog” came into popular use, and I see no reason to stop. Writing for pleasure is not only fun, it’s helped improve the way I communicate, especially as the things I communicate about have become more complicated. Sometimes I write about science, sometimes I write about entertainment, and sometimes I write about more personal matters. I can’t promise that it’s all golden material, but I’ve always felt that you don’t have much to lose by putting your thoughts out there.
This website is also a nice opportunity to put all of my design knowledge to good use. I built the whole thing from scratch, top to bottom. I hope you like it.