Cecilia AragonCecilia Aragon

Lab Director Cecilia Aragon is a professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering and a Senior Data Science Fellow at the University of Washington’s eScience Institute. She earned a PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2004. Her research focuses on human-centered data science, an emerging field at the intersection of human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), and the statistical and computational techniques of data science. Her interests lie in visual analytics and data science ethnography. In 2008, she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the US government on scientists in the early stages of their careers, for her work in collaborative data-intensive science.

Katie Davis

Katie Davis is an Assistant Professor at The University of Washington Information School and a founding member of the UW Digital Youth Lab. Her research explores the role of new media technologies in young people’s personal, social, and academic lives, with a particular focus on the intersection between technology and identity development during adolescence and emerging adulthood. Katie is the co-author with Howard Gardner of The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World (2013, Yale University Press). She holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in Human Development and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Jevin West

Jevin West

Jevin West is an Assistant Professor at The University of Washington Information School. He builds models, algorithms and interactive visualizations for understanding the flow of information in large knowledge networks. Two particular areas of interest are scholarly communication and intellectual property. Jevin co-founded ( — a free website and research platform for mapping science and identifying influential papers, journals and scholars. He received his PhD in Biology from the University of Washington in 2010.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Sayamindu Dasgupta

Sayamindu Dasgupta is a Moore/Sloan & WRF Innovation in Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Washington. Situated at the intersection of human-centered data science and the learning sciences, Sayamindu’s research focuses on “learning with data,” where he designs and studies toolkits that provide children opportunities to create computer programs that access, analyze, and visualize data. As a data scientist, Sayamindu also conducts large-scale quantitative analyses to understand the conditions that support informal learning in online communities. Sayamindu received his PhD from MIT where he was a part of the team behind Scratch — a programming language and online community used by millions of children worldwide to create, share, and learn.

PhD Students

Nan-Chen ChenNan-Chen Chen

Nan-Chen’s research focuses on human-computer interaction and visual analytics. She received her BS in Computer Science and Information Engineering with a minor in Psychology from National Taiwan University in 2013. She is particularly excited about building visual analytics tools for domain experts to explore and analyze data. In addition, she is interested in studying how people interact with their data and write code.

Meg Drouhard (1)

Meg Drouhard

Meg joined the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering as a PhD student in 2015. Prior to joining HCDE, Meg earned her MS in Computer Science from the University of Tennessee, where she researched applications of visualization in the evaluation of artificial neural networks. Her primary research interest is visual analytics, and she is most interested in opening up data exploration to non-data scientists through visualization.

 Ray HongRay Hong

Ray is a PhD candidate in Human Centered Design and Engineering. He is interested in Human-Computer Interaction focused information visualization and aspired to invent software & user interfaces that give benefits and pleasure to people. His current research interests are cartography, cartogram, visual metaphor, and network visualization. Before he joined HCDE, he worked at Samsung as a user interface researcher.

 John RobinsonJohn Robinson

John is a PhD student in Human Centered Design and Engineering. His interests include data visualization, human-computer interaction, and group dynamics. He has over 15 years of software development experience including the first internet-streaming consumer-electronics devices.


Anissa Tanweer

Anissa Tanweer

Anissa Tanweer is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington and a research assistant in the Human-Centered Data Science Lab. She is interested in the ways people organize with and around data, and how the availability of increasingly large, heterogeneous data sets is transforming the way we construct knowledge and make decisions.

Visiting Scholars

YeaseulKimVanessa Peña-Araya

Vanessa is a PhD candidate in the Computer Science Department of the University of Chile. She earned her BS in Computer Science Engineering from the same university in 2012. Her research interests focus on visual analytics and data mining. She is particularly interested in working on projects that bring together people from different fields. She really likes teaching, and her experiences include serving as a teaching assistant at the collegiate level and teaching kids the Scratch programming language.

Lab Alumni

Taylor ScottTaylor Scott

Taylor received his Ph.D. in Human Centered Design and Engineering in 2017, studying the role of distributed affect in collaboration. He has now returned to the Department of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego as a faculty member, after earning his B.S. in Cognitive Science with an HCI focus from UCSD in 2011.

Sarah Evans

In 2017, Sarah received her PhD from UW in Learning Sciences, a division of Educational Psychology that explores how people learn within and across formal and informal environments. She is now an assistant professor at Texas Woman’s University in the School of Library and Information Studies. Her research examines the intersections of learning, literacies, and identities. She is particularly interested in how adolescents use popular culture in their lives. Sarah worked in public and school libraries for ten years. Her dissertation is an ethnographic case study of public library services for adolescents in an immigrant community. Sarah has a BA in Drama and a Master of Library and Information Science degree, both from the University of Washington.

Alexis Hiniker

Alexis Hiniker

Alexis Hiniker received her Ph.D. in Human Centered Design and Engineering in 2017, studying the design of technologies for children and families. She is currently an assistant professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. She holds a master’s degree from Stanford University in Learning, Design, and Technology, and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in Computer Science. She is CTO and co-founder of Go Go Games Studios, a start-up company and game studio that creates educational games for children with autism.

Katie KuksenokKatie Kuksenok

Katie received her PhD in 2016 from the department of Computer Science and Engineering. She is currently at the SAP Innovation Center in Potsdam, Germany. Her research is at the intersection of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). She is interested in the art of programming, and in developing new channels for interaction with text and written language.

Michael BrooksMichael Brooks

Michael received his PhD from the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering in September 2015, where he produced a dissertation titled, Human Centered Tools for Analyzing Online Social Data. He now works at Turi (formerly Dato) as a software engineer, data scientist, and user researcher on tools to help developers build applications powered by machine learning.


Brittany Fiore-SilfvastBrittany Fiore-Gartland

Brittany Fiore-Gartland is a data science ethnographer studying the sociocultural implications of data-intensive science and how data-intensive technologies are reshaping how people work and organize. Her research focuses on cross-sector and interdisciplinary data science collaborations; emerging pedagogical models; and bringing a human-centered, sociotechnical perspective to data science practice. She received her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Washington and an M.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology from Columbia University. As an interdisciplinary researcher she is most at home somewhere between Science and Technology Studies (STS), Media Studies, and Organizational Communication.

YeaseulKimYea-Seul Kim

Yea-Seul received her MS in Human Centered Design and Engineering in December 2014 and is now a PhD student in the Information School at the University of Washington. She earned a BA in Applied Statistics at Yonsei University in Korea. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction, information visualization and data science. Before she joined UW, she worked at Samsung as a product research analyst.

Daniel PerryDaniel Perry

Daniel Perry received his PhD in Human Centered Design and Engineering in 2015. He was a data science postdoctoral fellow in the School of Information at UC Berkeley until 2017, and is now a researcher at Thalmic Labs in Ontario. He was a member of the HDS Lab from 2011-2015. He holds a B.A. from Brown University and a Master of Information Management & Systems from UC Berkeley. He was previously a graduate researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. His research is on engagement in collaborative game environments and the integration of scientific data sets in games.