Featured Student: Jonathan Brier – PhD iSchool

Jonathan Brier is a Ph.D. student in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Advised by Brian Butler and Susan Winter. His research covers the evaluation, development, and evolution of cyberinfrastructure and online communities. Jonathan earned a M.S. in Information from the University of Michigan in 2012 focused on social computing and a B.S. in Media and Communication Technologies from Michigan State University in 2010.

Tell us about your Research Interests

Jonathan’s research interests span multiple domains, but currently, he is focused on the evaluation of the sustainability of online communities in the domain of citizen science.

What has been your favorite part of being a student in the HCIL?

The HCIL community is incredible, and interactions with the other members help me to look at and think about my research in new ways. The community is strong and continues to strengthen each other’s ideas by being critical as well as constructive in ways that make us think harder and create clearer more complete research. That is why I joined the HCIL.

Do you have any advice for students interested in studying HCIL at UMD?
Don’t hesitate to reach out via email, social media, or other method to someone with interests you find close to yours or completely different. We’re happy to talk, brainstorm, or help find someone who has the time when we’re busy.

Brenna McNally – PhD iSchool

Featured Student: Brenna McNally – PhD iSchool

IMG_4624aSquareBrenna McNally is a Ph.D. student in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Advised by Dr. Allison Druin, her research focuses on the design of technologies for children and the considerations around including children in the design process. She received her M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Maryland in 2012 and her B.A. in Telecommunication- Digital Media, Art, and Technology from Michigan State University in 2008.

Tell us about your research interests.

My research in Human-Computer Interaction revolves around working with children to design technologies for children. I study the ethical considerations around including children in the design process as well as the experiences of children who are part of the design process. I also research how to leverage mobile technologies to design learning opportunities.

Why did you choose to join the HCIL?

The impactful research, rich history, and supportive community at the HCIL was precisely what I was looking for. It was a combination that I could not find anywhere else.

Do you have any advice for students interested in studying HCI at UMD?

If you are in the area, I suggest visiting. Come to one of our Brown Bag Lunches on Thursdays or to the HCIL Symposium in spring to see what work is being done at the HCIL and to meet our faculty and students.

If you are not in the area, I still suggest that you reach out to the students. We are happy to talk with prospective HCIM and PhD students about research, courses, and what it is like to be a member of the HCIL.

*Note: You can check out the upcoming events in the HCIL here. All are welcome. http://hcil.umd.edu/events/