Research

My research background is intensive in Cognitive Science, social emotional technology,  non-verbal human communication/expression, augmented reality, and virtual reality. Below, I detail my industry research, graduate school research, and undergraduate research. 

Industry Research 

Facebook Reality Labs Face Tracking Team

June 2018 - Present

Overview

At Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) I started as a Research Assistant, was promoted to Senior Research Assistant, and then more recently to Cognitive Research Scientist. My work here centers around human expression-- specifically in the face and in language. For the face tracking team, I am a point of contact for questions regarding facial expression, visemes, research design for face tracking data collection, and data annotations.

Examples

  • Facebook Autogenerated Avatars: Defined types of facial features for avatars such as facial hair and hair types. Carried out user testing and offered facial science expertise
  • Validating importance of face tracking for avatar tech: Research design & data collection to validate why face tracking is important for avatar tech, especially in multi-user VR environments 
  • Data collection design to train ML models: Designing data collection materials with emphasis in facial expression and visemes. Follows a Facial Action Coding System-based structure

Noteable Methods

  • Observational research 
  • Research through design 
  • Survey design 
  • Competitive Testing
  • Experiments 
  • Eyetracking
  • Interviews

Graduate Research 

University of California, Santa Cruz Social Emotional Technology Lab

October 2020 - Present

Overview

In the Social Emotional Technology lab at UCSC, I am currently researching and prototyping VR environments that hope to foster equal collaborative contributions in meeting use cases where users are represented by avatars. Currently, I am co-authoring a paper highlighting initial research findings for application to the Conference of Human-Computer Interaction (CHI). Stay tuned! 

Noteable Methods 

  • Research through design 
  • Autobiographical research 
  • Somaesthetics
  • Ethnography 
  • Games User Research
  • Literature reviews 
  • Wizard of Oz
  • Think-aloud protocol

Undergraduate Research 

University of California, Santa Cruz

March 2016 - March 2018

Overview

As an undergraduate, I served as a Research Assistant (RA) in three labs: developmental psychology, computational and experimental cognition, and high-level perception. Each lab is detailed below. 

Developmental Psychology 

  • Investigation of moral reasoning in college-aged students
  • Interviewing particiants on controversial scenarios
  • Digitially coding and interpretting data
  • Contributions to final publication

Computational & Experimental Cognition

  • Research in psycholinguistics
  • Investigating articulatory onsets in natural language production
  • Coding video and acoustic data

High-Level Perception 

  • Intensive research on human perception, virtual reality, face perception, and gaze biases
  • Guiding participats through experimental process
  • Coding data using MatLab
  • Bi-Weekly team meetings
  • Contributing author to final publication

Noteable Methods 

  • Eyetracking 
  • Interviews 
  • Literature reviews 
  • Think-aloud protocol