Katherine Isbister

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 PageGoogle Scholaremail 




Postdoctoral Fellows

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 ScholarEmail

Visiting Researchers

Joshua McVeigh-Schultz

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. Drawing on a hybrid background in media arts and social sciences, his research focuses on the intersection between speculative design and ritual. His latest work leverages virtual and mixed reality to explore speculative forms of creative collaboration. During his time at USC, he conducted research in a range of labs including: USC’s Mobile & Environmental Media Lab, Intel Labs’ Interaction Experience Research Group, Microsoft Research’s Social Media Collective. In 2013, he was awarded an Intel PhD Fellowship for his research on evocative data-objects and speculative rituals. Personal Page.


PhD Students

Edward Melcer

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 PageEmail.


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.

Pardis Miri

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




Peter Cottrell

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



M.S. Students

Raquel Robinson

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. LinkedinEmail



Research Assistants

Alicia James

Alicia James is a 3rd year undergraduate Cognitive Science student concentrating in Artificial Intelligence and Human Computer Interaction at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is currently a research assistant under Suzanne da Câmara, working on a project that focuses around using technology as a way to aid social and emotional learning. Email.

Cora Monokandilos

Cora MonokandilosCora 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.



James Fey

James Fey is a recent graduate of the Computer Science: Computer Game Design BS at UCSC. He is working on various branches of the Social Wearables Project exploring applications of wearable technology in serious and game based social settings as a research assistant under Elena Márquez Segura. His current focus is on a collaborative alternative controller game based around sound in social event spaces as well as creating wearable devices used used by Live Action Role Players to keep track of personal stats during play.


Janell Mora

 Janell Mora is a 3rd year undergraduate student at UC Santa Cruz majoring in art. Her interests include gaming art, animation, sculpture , comic/manga drawing and design. She is currently working with Raquel Robinson in the 'All the Feels' project. Email.

Jared Pettitt

Jared Pettitt is a 3rd year undergraduate student at UC Santa Cruz majoring in Computer Science: Computer Game Design. He is also working on the Social Wearables Project, exploring applications of wearable technology in serious and game-based social settings as a research assistant under Elena Márquez Segura. His current focus is also on a collaborative alternative controller game based around sound in social event spaces.



Kyle Deino

Kyle Deino is a 4th year undergraduate majoring in Cognitive Science. He is interested in the intersection of humans and technology especially in relation to games. He is working as a research assistant under Suzanne da Câmara on a project that utilizes technologies to reinforce social and emotional learning. Email.

Min T. Nguyen

Min is currently a second-year transfer student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. They are currently studying toward their Bachelor's Degree in Art to be completed this winter, focusing mainly on illustration and creating art assets for video games. The research project they are contributing to is Raquel Robinson's 'All the Feels' tool, designing and creating several sets of the necessary "emoticon" art assets to match the streamer's live emotions. LinkedIn. Portfolio. Email.

Miriam Del Cerro Marazuela

Miriam del Cerro Mrazuela

Miriam del Cerro is a 2nd year undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz majoring in Computer Science. She is working as a research assistant under Suzanne da Câmara on a project that concentrates on the use of technology to promote social and emotional learning. Email.

Samvid Niravbhai Jhaveri

Samvid is currently pursuing his MS in Computer Science at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Before that, he had completed a Bachelor's Degree at Gujarat Technological University (India).  His research interests include social wearable technology and game design. He loves using different types of costumes as alternative game controllers. Other than this, he loves to play the piano and to hike on different tracks. He is currently working with Elena Márquez Segura in a project designing social wearables. LinkedIn. Email.

Yasunori Iwayanagi

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

April Grow

April continued to her PhD in Computer Science at UCSC after receiving a B.S. in Computer Science and Game Design also at UCSC. Her research interests have included artificial intelligence for autonomous agents, game design and game studies, and computational crafting. She is working with Peter Cottrell and Katherine Isbister in designing and creating prototypes of smart fidget textures, surfaces, and figures. email 

Melanie Dickinson

Melanie Dickinson is a programmer, designer, researcher, and computer science PhD student at UCSC. She works in the Expressive Intelligence Studio, building expressive AI systems and playable models to generate personalized stories, evoke emotion, and connect people. She is helping Raquel Robinson and Katherine Isbister on the 'All the Feels' project, designing engaging Twitch overlays to spark emotion-fueled dialog between streamers and their viewer communities. email