I am a Ph.D. candidate in Information and Media at Michigan State University. I am supervised by Dr. Susan Wyche. My research focuses on Human Computer Interaction (HCI), and Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD). I am specifically interested in investigating the role of sensor-based technologies in resource constrained households. I conduct design-oriented studies in Kenya and Malawi where I collaborate with local technicians and families to design, develop and deploy sensor-based technologies.
My research primarily uses a mixed methods approach that relies on in-depth interviews, participants observations, diaries, surveys and data logging. These methods are useful for incorporating user feedback into design—they allow me to incorporate participants’ marginalized voices in the design process. I also use technology probes, a design tool that has “a social science goal of understanding the needs and desires of users in a real-world setting, the engineering goal of field-testing the technology, and the design goal of inspiring users and researchers to think about new technologies in their context”. Technology probes are simple, flexible, and adaptable technologies that are deployed in the field to introduce users to new types of technologies and support them in becoming partners in the design of new technologies. The method is open-ended in nature; that is, probes elicit detailed stories from participates. Thus, it is suitable for achieving my research goals.
I was a fellow in the “Data Science for Social Good” program; a program affiliated with the University of Washington’s eScience Institute. I used my expertise in machine learning, natural language processing and deep learning to contribute to a project on identifying disinformation in online news articles. I have also participated in the Global Innovation Exchange (University of Washington and Tsinghua University) where I practiced a variety of human-centered design methods to develop novel sensing techniques, user-friendly interfaces, and cutting-edge computer technologies.
I received my master's degree in Media and Information—specializing in Human Computer Interaction—from Michigan State University, and an undergraduate degree with a double major in computer science and physics from the University of Malawi.