Update: I am starting as an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the College of Information and Computer Sciences in September, 2018.

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Design Lab at the University of California San Diego working with Steven Dow from September 2016-2018. My research investigates real-world complex sociotechnical problems related to civic decision making processes by combining experimental, observational, and computational approaches. I employ crowdsourcing mechanisms to engage the public beyond the common boundary of opinion polling to engage people in the more complex stages of civic decision making, such as elaborating, evaluating, and creating civic proposals.

Prior to joining UCSD, I was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. I collaborated closely with Kellogg Booth in Computer Science, Ron Kellett, and Cynthia Girling in Landscape Architecture and Sheryl Staub-French in Civil Engineering. I investigated the use of collaboration technologies and visualization techniques to increase civic engagement and improve decision- making outcomes in public consultation phases of urban community planning and promote sustainability in the built environment. This research received the honorable mention award at ISS 2016 and the outstanding paper award at Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2017.

I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Victoria, advised by Melanie ToryMy doctoral research contributed an understanding of how analysts use collaborative visual analytics tools during collocated collaboration and the important role of note-taking during this process. I also introduced a novel technique to increase awareness among team members. The presentation of this technique along with its systematic evaluation won the best paper award at IEEE VAST 2014. I earned my master’s degree in information technology at the University of Malaya and my bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Tehran Azad University.

My research interests are in the areas of HCI, Social Computing, Information Visualization, Visual Analytics, Public Engagement, and Digital Civics. I design, develop and evaluate innovative social computing and interaction techniques that help people (even non-experts) solve complex problems and make better decisions. To build these systems, I work closely with target domain experts and users to understand their activities, challenges and ultimate goals. One of my future ambitions is to combine my interests in art and computer science to make further contributions to the fields of user experience, human-computer interaction and visualization.