Faculty, Staff, & Researchers

Steven Dow is an Assistant Professor in the department of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego where he researches human-computer interaction, social computing, and creativity. Steven received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2015 and was co-PI on three other NSF grants, a Google Faculty Grant, and the Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Grant. Before UCSD, Steven was an Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University and a postdoc in Computer Science at Stanford University where he won the Postdoctoral Research Award. He received an MS and PhD in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a BS in Industrial Engineering from University of Iowa.

Comparing Different Sensemaking Approaches for Large-Scale Ideation, Joel Chan, Steven Dang, and Steven P. Dow. In Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’16), 2016.

Almost an Expert: The Effects of Rubrics and Expertise on Perceived Value of Crowdsourced Design Critiques, Alvin Yuan, Kurt Luther, Sophie Vennix, Markus Krause, Steven P. Dow, and Björn Hartmann. In ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW’16), 2016.

Prototyping Dynamics: Sharing Multiple Designs Improves Exploration, Group Rapport, and Results, Steven P. Dow, Julie Fortuna, Dan Schwartz, Beth Altringer, Daniel L. Schwartz, and Scott R. Klemmer. In Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’11), 2011.

William Griswold is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington in 1991. His research interests include ubiquitous computing, software engineering, and educational technology. Griswold is a pioneer in the area of software refactoring. Later he built ActiveCampus, one of the early mobile location-aware systems. His current CitiSense project is investigating mobile technologies for low-cost ubiquitous real-time air-quality sensing.

W. G. Griswold, P. Shanahan, S. W. Brown, R. Boyer, M. Ratto, R. B. Shapiro, and T. M. Truong, “ActiveCampus – Experiments in Community-Oriented Ubiquitous Computing“, IEEE Computer, Vol. 37, No. 10., pp. 73-81, October 2004.

Nima Nikzad, Nakul Verma, Celal Ziftci, Elizabeth Bales, Nichole Quick, Piero Zappi, Kevin Patrick, Sanjoy Dasgupta, Ingolf Krueger, Tajana Šimunić Rosing, and William G. Griswold, “CitiSense: Improving Geospatial Environmental Assessment of Air Quality Using a Wireless Personal Exposure Monitoring System”, In Proceedings of the Conference on Wireless Health (WH ’12), 2012.

Jim Hollan’s research explores the cognitive consequences of computational media. It is motivated by a belief that we are at the beginning of a paradigm shift in thinking about representational media, one that is starting to appreciate the importance of representations that are not only dynamic and interactive but also adapt to the structure of tasks, the context of activities, and even our relationships with others. My goal is to better understand the cognitive, computational, and social ecology of dynamic interactive adaptive systems.

His interests span across cognitive design, distributed and embodied cognition, human-computer interaction, multiscale information visualization, multimodal interaction, cognitive ethnography, and software tools for design and visualization. His work involves four intertwined activities: developing theory and methods, designing representations, implementing prototypes, and evaluating their effectiveness to better understand the broader design space in which they are situated.

Current research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Nissan, and Toyota. Recently completed research has been funded by California’s Digital Media Innovation Program, Chancellor’s Interdisciplinary Collaboratories Program, Darpa, Intel, Microsoft, Nissan, NSF, Sony, and the UC MICRO Program.

Jim is honored to have received the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Research Award in 2015.

Scott Klemmer is a Professor of Cognitive Science and Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego, where he is a co-founder and co-director of the Design Lab. He previously served as Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford, where he co-directed the HCI Group, held the Bredt Faculty Scholar chair, and was a founding participant in the He has a dual BA in Art-Semiotics and Computer Science from Brown (with Graphic Design work at RISD), and a PhD in CS from Berkeley. His former graduate students are leading professors (at Berkeley, CMU, UCSD, & UIUC), researchers (Google & Adobe), founders (including Instagram & Pulse), social entrepreneurs, and engineers. He helped introduce peer assessment to online education, and created the first such online course. More than 200,000 have signed up for his interaction design class & specialization. He has been awarded the Katayanagi Emerging Leadership Prize, Sloan Fellowship, NSF CAREER award, and Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship. Nine of his papers were awarded best paper or honorable mention at top HCI venues. He is on the editorial board of HCI and TOCHI; was program co-chair for UIST, the CHI systems area, and HCIC; and serves on the Learning at Scale steering committee. He advises university design programs globally. Organizations worldwide use his group’s open-source design tools and curricula.

Michael W. Meyer comes to academia from the world of practice, drawing upon his experience as a design executive and advisor to companies in a wide range of industries.

He teaches New Product Development and the Lab-to-Market capstone series at the Rady School of Management, fostering in MBA students a unique understanding that marries the business imperative with an appreciation of design opportunities. He also teaches UC San Diego’s basic undergraduate Design series, giving students a firm foundation in Design Thinking, Design Making, and the Designer’s Perspective.

Michael has led Adaptive Path as CEO, expanding the iconic Experience Design firm globally and opening their first overseas studio in Amsterdam. At frogdesign, he led the California studios as General Manager and focused their creative efforts on convergent physical / digital products. At IDEO he founded the Product Strategy practice in their Boston studio, and served as a front-line team member on both strategy and design projects. He was recently a partner at Essential, where he led the formalization and expansion of the firm’s digital practice, creating the firm’s first iOS app, first web app, and iRobot’s FDA-approved medical robot interface.

Michael holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from UC Berkeley; an MBA from Harvard Business School, and served as a nuclear engineer officer in the US Navy.

An avid pilot, he often daydreams about flying an open-cockpit biplane when life keeps him away from the airport.

Michèle Morris is the Associate Director of the Design Lab at UCSD with a career spanning the public, private, and non-profit sectors, Michèle provides a unique balance of practicality, creativity, and perspective to her work life. She is passionate about human-centered design, strategic leadership, and high-impact innovation. Prior to the DesignLab, Michèle founded HardPoint Solutions (HPS) consulting firm, providing strategic, operational, and training support to companies, startups, and executives around the world. She also served more than a decade in the United States Secret Service where highlights include spearheading often Congressionally- mandated initiatives in the areas of special operations, protective intelligence, threat assessment, terrorist trends and tactics, emergency preparedness, and international negotiations.

(Cognitive Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), & Psychology)

Don Norman is Founder and Director of the Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego. He was one of the first founding faculty of UCSD, originally in the Department of psychology, where he also served as chair. He was a co-founder and first chair of the Cognitive Science Department.  He retired from UCSD in 1993 and moved to Apple, where he was an Apple Fellow and then Vice President of Advanced Technology . After Apple he was an executive at HP. He is co-founder and principal of the Nielsen Norman group, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cognitive Science Society, ACM, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and Design Research Society. He is an IDEO fellow, and a trustee of IIT’s Institute of design. He serves on company boards, has honorary degrees from Delft, Padua, and San Marino, the lifetime achievement award from ACM’s Computer-Human Interaction group, and the President’s lifetime achievement award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. He has published 20 books translated into 20 languages including Emotional Design and Design of Everyday Things.  The title of his book "User Centered System Design (UCSD), edited with Steve Draper in 1997, serves a an excellent description of the Design Lab.

Norman is best known for his inability to open doors. (Search for "Norman doors video").

Dr. Aronoff-Spencer is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. He directs the Center for Health Design ( at the UC San Diego Design Lab and co-directs the Distributed Health Lab at the Qualcomm Institute/Calit2 ( Dr. Aronoff-Spencer’s research focuses on people-centered diagnostic and informatics solutions that bend the healthcare cost curve, especially those that support medical care in resource-limited settings. He is the founding informatics director of the UCSD-UEM Medical Education Partnership Initiative, Mozambique, and former team lead for the UCSD Qualcomm X-Prize Tricorder challenge. He is currently the Principal Investigator for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Multiphase Biometrics award for Infant Identification and Co-PI for NIH Fogarty funded Mhealth programs in Tumaco Colombia. Current studies in Dr. Spencer’s lab include Whole-cell Biosensing and Biobrick production, next generation nucleic acid testing, smart-phone integrated electrochemical sensors as well as mobile apps and c linical decision support systems for global health and infectious diseases ( Dr. Spencer joined the faculty after completing the Physician-Scientist Training Program at UCSD. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. His PhD work focused on biophysical analysis and computational modeling of structure-encoded pathogenesis of infectious proteins. His post-graduate training focused on point-of care clinical informatics.

Nadir Weibel is an Associate Research Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego and a Research Health Specialist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. He received his PhD in Computer Science at ETH Zurich (Switzerland) in 2009, and then studied Human-Computer Interaction as a member of the DCog-HCI Lab at UCSD.

His main research interests range from software engineering to human computer interaction, particularly focusing on mobile and ubiquitous computing, mobile health, computer supported cooperative work, and medical informatics. His work on Human-Centered Computing is situated at the intersection of computer science, design and the health sciences, and focuses on the design and development of pervasive sensing and visualization applications for health and health care.

Current research on Human-Centered & Ubiquitous Computing is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Center for AIDS Research, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Moxie Foundation.

Human-Centered and Ubiquitous Computing Lab:


Lauren Adiova (Education)

Maya Azarova (Anthropology)

Hsien-che Chen (Computer Science Engineering)

Celia Durkin (Cognitive Science)

Yuanyuan Feng (Visiting)

Amy Fox (Cognitive Science)

Ailie Fraser (Computer Science Engineering)

Kandarp Khandwala (Computer Science Engineering)

Tushar Koul (Computer Science Engineering)

Brian McInnis (Visiting)

Adam Mekrut (Cognitive Science)

Alok Mysore (Computer Science Engineering)

Tricia Ngoon(Cognitive Science)

Vineet Pandey (Computer Science Engineering)

Vish Ramesh (Bioengineering)

Steven Rick (Computer Science Engineering)

Danilo Gasques Rodrigues (Computer Science Engineering)

Adam Rule (Cognitive Science)

Stephanie Sherman (Visual Arts)

Ariel Weingarten (Computer Science Engineering)

Shaheryar Ajmal

Evan Barosay

Elmer Barrera

Justine Bui, Student Operations Assistant

Kai-yu Chang

Ruijia Chen

Aliyah Clayton

Cody Doan

Andrew Du

Allison A. Endo (Visiting)

Clint Evangelista, AV/Communications

Isaac Fehr

Lisa Grega

Shawn Hyeonsu Kang

Howyan Leung

Ziyang (Liby) Li

Lauren Mao-Luen Liu

Aliff Macapinlac

Sanika Moharana

Annika Olives, Student Operations Assistant

Se One Park

Alejandro Panduro Sandoval

Steven Phung, AV/Communications

Josh Pitta, AV/Communications

Neel Pujar

Brian Soe

Aditya Srinivasan

Justin Tran

William (Jasper) Travers

Reggie Wu

Chen Yang

Nancy Zhang

Visiting Scholars

Andrea Alessandrini (July 2016)

Jan Borchers, Professor (October 2016 – March 2017)

Paul Hekkert (February 2017)

Dan Russell (May 2015, May 2016)

Pieter Jan Stappers (July 2015)

Norbert Streitz (August 2015)

ShengFeng Qin (November 2016 – March 2017)

Aurelien Tabard (July 2017)

Designers in Residence

Andrea Anderson, SAP (Fall Quarter 2016)


Sandra Amon (Operations Assistant)

Elmer Barerra (Undergraduate Researcher)

Diana Benavidez (Undergraduate Researcher)

Julia Cambre (Applications Programmer)

Wesley Chan (Staff Research Assistant)

Rachel Chen (Undergraduate Researcher)

Bonnie Chinh (Undergraduate Researcher)

Grant Chinn (Undergraduate Researcher)

Purvi Desai (Graduate Student)

Tori Duong (Undergraduate Researcher)

Lynn Hao (Student Assistant)

Catherine Hicks (Design Lab Fellow, Postdoc Researcher)

Nida Hussain (Graduate Student)

Ed Hutchins (Cognitive Science – Retired)

Daniel Kaulen (Researcher)

Jonas Kemper (Researcher)

Yasmine Kotturi (Graduate Student)

Markus Krause

Derek Lomas (Design Lab Fellow, Postdoc Researcher)

David Mao

Laura Pina (Graduate Student)

Vanessa Pool (Program Manager)

Adam Powers (Outreach & Research Assistant)

Malte Risto (Design Lab Fellow, Postdoc Researcher)

Joel Rosenthal (Undergraduate Researcher)

Joseph Ruanto-Ramirez (Interim Project Manager)

Beverly Sastri (Interim Executive Assistant)

Monika Streuer (Visiting Grad)

Gabriel Schneider (Undergraduate Researcher)

Carolyn Thio

Sijia Xiao

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