Katherine received her M.S. and her Ph.D. in Department of Communication from the Stanford University. She is Professor of Computational Media at School of Engineering, UC Santa Cruz and Director of the Social Emotional Technology Laboratory. Her research focuses on emotion and social connection--understanding the impact of design choices on these qualities, and getting better at building and evaluating technology that supports and enhances social and emotional experience. More about Katherine: Personal Page, Google Scholar. email
Elena Márquez Segura
Elena finished her PhD in Human-Computer Interaction at Uppsala University, Uppsala (Sweden). Before that, she completed a BEng & MEng degree in Telecommunication Engineering at Universidad de Sevilla, Seville (Spain) and studied a master’s program in Interactive Systems Engineering at KTH, Stockholm (Sweden). Elena is also a certified and/or trained instructor in several fitness practices, including aerial fitness, barre, and Pilates.
Elena’s research focuses on movement-based co-located social interaction. She advocates for designing experiences taking an embodied interaction approach, i.e. one that foregrounds and leverages one’s physical and social ways of being. In her thesis, she proposed concepts and methods for the design of movement-based co-located social play. Elena has worked in different application domains, ranging from serious settings (e.g. interactive rehabilitative physical therapy) to non-serious ones (e.g. movement-based games for children), and with different technologies including mobile game platforms, wearables, and robots. Linkedin. Google Scholar. Email
Joshua McVeigh-Schultz earned a PhD in Media Arts and Practice from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Before that, he earned an MFA in Digital Arts & New Media from UC Santa Cruz and an MA in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley. He is currently researching the evolving social VR ecology and examining the relationship between emerging practices and design choices. Drawing on a hybrid background in media arts and social sciences, his dissertation research focused on the intersection between speculative design and ritual. At USC, he explored speculative forms of creative collaboration in virtual and mixed reality. He has conducted research with a range of labs and industry partners including: USC’s Mobile & Environmental Media Lab, Intel Labs’ Interaction Experience Research Group, Microsoft Research’s Social Media Collective, Steelcase Workspace Futures, and the Institute for the Future's Emerging Media Lab. He was awarded Annenberg and Intel PhD Fellowships for his graduate research. Personal Page.
PhD Students TEST
Suzanne da Câmara
Suzanne is currently a Computer Science PhD student working in Human Computer Interaction. Her research is focused on using technology to reinforce social and emotional learning. Her research is being funded by Committee for Children.
Peter Cottrell has been studying at UCSC since 2009. He completed his BS in Bioengineering with a concentration in Rehabilitation under Sri Kurniawan working on LASSIE, an assitistive-living robot designed to help older people living alone. He continued onto his Ph.D. looking at designing embedded sensor devices to help record daily usage of objects for stroke recovery in hopes of improving recovery and tracking fidgeting habits of young children through Fidgit Widgets for detection of anxiety. He works in robotics, computer vision and user testing. Email.
Ella is a designer and researcher, and currently a Computational Media PhD student focusing her work on social and wearable technology at UCSC. She received her Master’s from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) of Tisch School of The Arts at New York University where she explored designing, rapid prototyping and making art with various technologies. In her Bachelor’s she double majored in Psychology and Cinema Studies at Tel Aviv University (Israel). Ella also worked as a Costume and Fashion Designer after studying in the London branch (England) of The Istituto Marangoni fashion design. Research interests include interpersonal relationship and technology, the meaning of things, tangible and embodied interactions, interactive documentary and more... Personal Page. Linkedin. Email.
Ferran Altarriba Bertran
Ferran is a Playful Interaction Designer, and currently a Computational Media Ph.D. student at UCSC. Ferran holds a double BA (Hons) degree in Multimedia and Interaction Design from the University of Girona (Spain) and the University of Lincoln (UK). He also graduated as an MSc in IT Product Design at the University of Southern Denmark, where he specialized on Participatory Innovation, and Playful and Embodied Design. In between his BA and MSc studies, Ferran did a one-year visiting scholarship in the Human Sensing Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. He's also been a visiting student at PHL Hasselt (Belgium) and TU/e Eindhoven (Netherlands). Ferran's research explores how future everyday-use technologies could support increasingly playful relationships with one another, and how participatory design methods could be leveraged to develop them. As part of his research into playful technology, Ferran has explored Human-Food Interaction—that is, the interplay between humans, food and technology. Personal Page. Email.
Edward Melcer is a doctoral candidate in Computer Science at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, and visiting researcher at the Social Emotional Technology Lab. He recieved his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and New York University Tandon School of Engineering respectively. His dissertation work examines how different forms of physical embodiment and interaction (e.g., tangibles vs augmented reality) impact the learning process and related social/emotional factors in educational games. Research interests include educational games and technology, Human-Computer Interaction, tangible interfaces, augmented reality, and affective computing. Personal Page. Email.
Paris completed her M.S. in Computer Science, at the University of California, San Diego. She currently a PhD student in Computer Science, area of Human Computer Interaction. Paris PhD dissertation is focused on use of haptics for the purpose of affect regulation. Her research has been funded by Intel Labs. Personal Page. Email
Anya Kolesnichenko is a UX designer and presently a PhD student in Computational Media at Jack Baskin School of Engineering at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on advancing user experiences in social VR and Mixed Reality platforms, fostering multidisciplinary approaches and games industry collaborations in design and development processes. With BS and MS degrees in Psychology from St. Petersburg State University (Russia), and Master of Arts degree in Human Computer Interaction and Game Design from Michigan State University, Anya has dedicated her professional journey both in academia and industry to create interactive and engaging virtual products that serve people’s needs, bring more fun to the world, and support social interactions. LinkedIn. Portfolio. Email.
Jared Duval double majored in Computer Science and Information Technology for his Bachelor’s degree at Western New England University. He is currently a PhD student in the Computational Media Department studying under Sri Kurniawan in the ASSIST Lab and Katherine Isbister in the SET Lab. Jared is the creator of SpokeIt, a speech therapy game designed to improve the speech therapy experience for children born with orofacial cleft. He is interested in creating serious games for health and therapy that make use of novel technology that integrate into existing healthcare contexts. Jared has experience working as a respite nurse and has worked with people with developmental disabilites since he was a child. Jared is a performer at heart, funneling his creative passions into the games he makes. Research interests include serious games for health, Human-Computer-Interaction, assistive technology, participatory methods, and user testing.
James Fey is a current Computational Ph.D. student that has been a member of the SETLab since 2016. While completing his BS in Computer Science: Computer Game Design, he worked on various branches of the Social Wearables Project exploring applications of wearable technology in serious and game-based social settings. During his time as a research assistant under Elena Márquez Segura, he designed and fabricated Wearables for use in LARPing as well as SceneSampler, a collaborative alternative controller game based around sound in social event spaces. His current work continues exploring social wearables in a LARP context and supporting informal learning.
Raquel is a current Master's student in Computer Engineering at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her undergraduate degree was also from UC Santa Cruz in Network and Digital technology. Her research is on a tool she created called 'All the Feels', which adds streamers' emotions and biometric data to gameplay streams in order to enhance the spectator experience. The biometric data (heart rate and galvanic skin response) is captured using the Microsoft band, a consumer grade wristband device. So far, a preliminary study was conducted with a group of 5 spectators and streamers to get initial impressions of the tool. We found that the data is most interesting to the female spectator audience, so future work will be conducted in this realm. Linkedin. Email
Zhuoming (Jimmy) Zhou
Zhuoming (Jimmy) Zhou is a current Master’s student in Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of California,Santa Barbara, worked for a while in the chemical engineering field and conducted research for the University of California, Los Angeles’ cardiac computational lab before officially transitioning to graduate school. His research is on collocated social play utilizing virtual reality to encourage localized social play with what is normally considered isolating technology. Some of his research interests are human-computer interaction, serious games, augmented and virtual reality, and gaming literacy. Email
Sean is a current Master's student in Computational Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He earned his Bachelor's degree from at the University of British Columbia in Cognitive Systems. His research is on interaction design for mobile augmented reality. LinkedIn | Email
Alexsandrua Baltezar is a 5th year undergraduate Psychology student minoring in Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her interest lies in finding ways technology can be used to improve the well-being of others. She is currently working as a research assistant under Suzanne da Câmara, incorporating the use of technology to enhance social and emotional learning.
Cora Monokandilos is a 2nd year Computer Science undergraduate at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her passion lies in the intersection of people and technology, and more specifically how technology can help people. She is currently involved in a research project under Suzanne da Câmara that focuses on enhancing social and emotional learning through technology. Email.
Miguel Flores is a 5th year undergraduate student at UC Santa Cruz studying Biomedical Engineering: Assistive Technology - Motor. He is working on the Social Wearables project as a research assistant to Elena Márquez Segura. He is currently working on designing and prototyping a wearable device to be used in a LARP (Live Action Role Play game).
Min T. Nguyen
Miriam Del Cerro Marazuela
Samvid Niravbhai Jhaveri
Yasunori iwayanagi is a 2nd year undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was a teaching assistant for CMPS-5J, an introductory to java programming class, during his freshman year and has now moved onto teaching the class as a modified supplemental instructor throughout the school year. He is currently involved in a research project under Suzanne da Câmara that focuses on using technology to enhance social and emotional learning. Email.
Friends and Visitors
Originally from Italy, Alessia Cecchet is maker of moving images and objects. In her films she explores matters of loss and grief through the mix of different mediums; stop motion, fibers and live action film (both digital and analog). Alessia is a PhD student in the department of Film and Digital Media, and in the Social Emotional Technology lab is involved in the Fidget Widget project.