Research

See also cradl.ics.uci.edu.

Over my career, I have always been fascinated by what technology tells us about ourselves as human beings and, particularly, our strengths and limitations. This interest has led me to investigate how computing can augment human capabilities or even be a partner to help empower individuals. Human beings have their own unique characteristics and computers have theirs. How do the two come together to achieve something greater than either alone? It is in the details that research allows us to see the strengths and potential contributions of each and to learn about ourselves as human beings. Human beings are also social and stronger in groups. The role of community and social connections are critical to empowering individuals.

Most of my research is grounded in the domain of software engineering. As such, I have studied how software tools can help software developers understand and develop better software, such as in the ArgoUML project. I have studied the use of examples, such as in my PhD dissertation. I have researched with my graduate students the benefits and limitations of structure and abstraction for coordination, such as application program interfaces (APIs). I have researched with fascination how informal communication and informal behaviors improve trust among distributed developers. Finally, I have looked at how communities of practice and social networks enable software developers to exceed their limitations.

With my students and research team, my current projects include:

  • Using game theory to model collaboration in distributed software engineering;
  • Researching the role of trust in distributed collaborations;
  • Using group drawing to facilitate self-expression and thus improve positive affect among team members;
  • Understanding how the concepts of end-user development can help people mediate the new world of the Internet of Things (IOT).

We employ many techniques:

  • Software tools;
  • Intelligent User Interfaces;
  • Qualitative and quantitate analysis;
  • Modeling; and
  • Theories of design, especially, meta-design and end users development.

I am interested in working with students and post doctoral researchers of diverse intellectual and personal backgrounds. Looking at a problem from the outside in can provide unique insights to advance a field of research or practice.