Why did you choose UC Irvine for your graduate studies?
UCI’s Department of Informatics is unique. It offers me the opportunity to
have great mentors from different disciplines, from software engineering to
anthropology to cognitive science. That means my fellow Ph.D. classmates
also come from a wide range of backgrounds, which excites me.
What has been your favorite class so far?
My favorite class so far was one of the first courses I took here: Research
Methods in Informatics with Melissa Mazmanian. The class was a mix of a
methodological survey course, a casual Q&A session with a lead researcher,
and a workshop for practicing writing as a craft.
Have you had any internships or jobs?
Not since coming to Irvine. Last summer, I stayed on campus doing research
with my adviser, Constance Steinkuehler. As an undergrad back East, I
spent a couple of summers interning as a research assistant for Bob Slevc at
the University of Maryland’s Language and Music Cognition Lab.
Can you tell us about your research?
My work focuses on exploring what we can learn about how people and
computers think together in teams in time-pressured environments. Having
a scholarship Esports Program here at UCI has been invaluable, because it
provides the perfect context for me to observe people working in teams with
computers, maintaining high levels of focus and coordination for hours at a
What has been the best part of your experience so far?
Getting to know my colleagues and professors, who are all great.
What has been the most unexpected part of your experience?
The collaborative nature of the department. Many of the universities I visited
when trying to decide where to go for my Ph.D. had a reputation for
harboring a competitive atmosphere in which students are always vying to
outdo each other to get the professors' attention. That’s not the case here.
Some of the best work I've seen people do in UCI's Department of
Informatics has come from collaborations that grew organically out of the
supportive and constantly curious culture here.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I love research, and my current work is bringing me into fields I never knew
existed, so I know there will always be more to learn. I'll go where my work
Any advice for prospective graduate students interested in the program?
Talk to the professors and students already in the program. People are
happy to answer questions, and just having conversations is likely the best
way to get a feel for the people here and what we do.
“UCI’s Department of Informatics is unique. It offers me the opportunity to have great mentors from different disciplines, from software engineering to anthropology to cognitive science.”