Human Interaction With Nature and Technological Systems Lab
(The HINTS Lab)
Professor, Department of Psychology, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington
Peter H. Kahn, Jr. is Professor in the Department of Psychology and the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, and Director of the Human Interaction with Nature and Technological Systems (HINTS) Laboratory at the University of Washington. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Ecopsychology. His research seeks to address two world movements that are powerfully reshaping human existence: (1) The degradation if not destruction of large parts of the natural world, and (2) unprecedented technological development, both in terms of its computational sophistication and pervasiveness. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. His publications have appeared in such journals as Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction, and Journal of Systems Software, as well as in such proceedings as CHI, HRI, and Ubicomp. His 5 books (all with MIT Press) include Technological Nature: Adaptation and the Future of Human Life (2011).
Professor, Department of Mathematics, Seattle Pacific University
Brian Gill is a Professor in the Mathematics Department at Seattle Pacific University. In 1999, he received a Ph.D. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Biometry and Statistics from the State University of New York at Albany. His research in pure mathematics is in geometric function theory, a branch of complex analysis. He also has interests in issues in undergraduate mathematics education, with a particular focus on the impact of classroom technology on student learning. Brian has been PI or co-PI on three grants supporting changes in the calculus sequence, and he was selected in 1999 as a Fellow in Project NExT, a program of the Mathematical Association of America for new Ph.D.’s who are dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics. More recently, his interest in educational technology has expanded into a more general concern with issues related to the impact of technology on its users. Combined with his interest in applications of statistics in social and health sciences, this led Brian in to become the statistician for the HINTS Lab.
Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Information Science, Cornell University
Solace Shen is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University. Her research centers on understanding people’s social and moral interactions with personified technologies that are designed to socially engage humans (e.g., robots, virtual agents, etc.), and the effects of such interactions on human, especially children’s, social and moral development. She seeks to bring insights from developmental psychology to theoretically ground the design of personified technologies in ways that can enhance human experience and development. Her current projects focus on whether and how interaction with social robots can facilitate children’s development and use of social and emotional skills in the context of social conflict.
Dr. Shen received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Washington, Seattle. Her doctoral thesis investigated children’s and adolescents’ conceptions of the moral standing of a commercially available humanoid robot, and was the first study to experimentally assess the effects of a robot’s physical embodiment on children’s moral reasoning regarding personified technologies. She also holds a Master of Pacific International Affairs with an international management concentration and regional specializations in China and Japan from the University of California, San Diego, and a B.A. in Asian Studies from California State University, Sacramento.
Ph.D. Student, Department of Psychology, University of Washington
Thea Weiss is a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology at the University of Washington. She received dual B.A.’s (2014) in Neuroscience and English Literature from the University of Southern California. She has done research at the Minds in Development Lab at USC regarding pedagogy and the influence of ostensive communication on children, and has also worked as both a certified personal trainer and as a Registered Behavior Technician assisting children with Autism. The questions guiding her research center upon the precarious position humanity has found itself in as a result of our technological affordances and conveniences. In our species’ relatively recent and nearly exponential shift from nomadic lifestyle to sedentary existence, have we lost touch with aspects of nature that are beneficial, if not essential, to our thriving as individuals and as a society? From this notion, she seeks to uncover the cognitive, physiological, and psychological effects of varying levels of interaction with nature upon children. Through understanding the ramifications that exposure to both the natural environment and technological artifice has upon the developing brain, she hopes to discover the potential that a harmonious intersection between technology and nature could offer humanity.
Ph.D. Student, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington
Sara Park Perrins is a doctoral student at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree in History at the University of California San Diego (2008) and her master’s degree in Human Development and Psychology at Harvard Graduate School of Education (2010). Sara’s research questions stem from an interdisciplinary exploration of human-nature interaction. She is specifically interested in the effects of green spaces on the psychological and physiological wellbeing of children, as well as their academic attainment. Sara hopes that her research will help to elucidate the role of nature in human development, and to inform public policy, educational policy, and landscape design to facilitate symbiotic and meaningful human-nature interactions.
Master's Student, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington
Elizabeth Lev is pursuing a Master’s degree in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington, where she received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Environmental Studies in 2016. Her research interests are focused on understanding the deep connection between humans and nature, and specifically how to positively influence people’s underlying values and behaviors in relation to the environment. She worked with Dr. Peter Kahn to participate in a working group to develop the idea of an Interaction Pattern Design Analysis with the use of a Nature Language. Elizabeth also worked as an intern on the successful Save Animals Facing Extinction campaign in Washington State to end the illegal wildlife trade and engage the public with the surrounding environmental and social problems. Elizabeth is interested in developing conceptual frameworks and strategies to address local, regional, and global environmental problems by helping individuals, groups, and organizations embrace and appreciate the importance of a healthy relationship with our natural world.
Master's Student, Master of Human-Computer Interaction and Design, University of Washington
Xinglu studied cognitive science at the University of Washington, where she joined HINTS lab to discover how intelligent systems such has robots shape people’s values and behaviors. Her past experience drives her to make products that not only deliver seamless user experiences but also bring out positive outcomes in the long term. Currently, Xinglu is pursuing her Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction and Design.
Friends & Collaborators [top]
Alan Borning, University of Washington
Alan Beck, Purdue University
Sybil Carrère, University of Washington
Nancy Edwards, Purdue University
Batya Friedman, University of Washington
Hiroshi Ishiguro, Osaka University (Japan)
Takayuki Kanda, Advanced Telecommunications Research (Japan)
Rosie Maier, University of Oregon
Gail Melson, Purdue University
Gene Myers, Western Washington University
Carol Saunders, Brookfield Zoo
Paul Waddell, University of Washington
Pat Hasbach, Lewis & Clark College
John Lin, University of Washington
Student Alumni [top]
Irene S. Alexander
Annie Jo Cain
Louise Wun Choi
Janet Davis — homepage, dissertation
Nathan G. Freier — homepage, dissertation
Sze Ying Kong
Rachel Severson — homepage
Last updated: Tuesday, 12-Feb-2013 16:30:53 PST
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