For the past eighteen months I have studied the ad hoc programming process that earth scientists use to interpret their data. One problematic issue is: who do they ask for help when they’ve run into a programming problem and gotten stuck? What I hoped to determine was how to provide the resources they needed in the form that they would accept. To do that, I investigated exactly how those scientists choose which people they turn to when they had reached an impasse because of a programming or coding issue. By analyzing the stories told by these scientists at Goddard and JHAPL I was able to identify common elements in their approach to finding guidance and their attitudes toward those they allowed to provide it. In the future, I will continue to explore this issue in the hopes of finding a solution that will let the scientists focus more on the science and less on the programming.
Before undertaking this research effort with the earth scientists, I worked with vulnerable populations. One of my accomplishments included the invention of a text-entry interaction for the visually impaired called BrailleTouch. I helped with its evaluation, and it was later adopted into Apple iOS8. As a PhD student at UMBC, I designed several solutions including a cost-effective electric wheelchair simulator. After interviewing children about their ideas for technological advances in the future, I designed a futuristic interface and created a realistic presentation from the study data. I also had the opportunity to produce one of my most enjoyable papers which provided the foundation for my understanding of cross-cultural variance. This opened a door to social computing and benchmarked the equal importance of affordances, whether they relate to classical accessibility or cultural needs.