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Class of 2018

Meet the MHCI+D class of 2018

Duminda Aluthgamage

I am a technologist who is passionate about education, philosophy, social justice and entrepreneurship. My experience spans multiple domains, and I’ve worked on projects with corporates, creative artists, NGOs and educational providers, amongst others. I’m taking the MHCI+D program because I see both the potentials and pitfalls of the technology revolution and I believe that we can design positive futures by focusing on people and our entire environment. Some of my current interest areas include value sensitive design and ethics, technology literacy, plant based foods, conversational interfaces, automation and mixed reality.

Anmol Anubhai

Observing, thinking, ideating, designing and building solutions, using information and computer technology, to meet user needs is my area of interest. User satisfaction from meeting of explicit needs and delight from tacit ones is what I long to see. I wish to solve real grassroots-level problems that can help better the society.

I have my Bachelor’s in Information and Communication Technology. I really enjoy Data Visualization and how one can breathe new life into data using interesting visualizations. Empathizing and studying human behavior really intrigues me.

Kelda Baljon

I've spent the last four years conducting user research and usability studies for electronic health records, and before that, I got my Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and International Studies. Now I'm here at MHCI+D, because I love to empathize with people and I am eager to get hands on with designing some solutions. I'm also a book lover, road cyclist, and now with my move to Seattle, a hiking enthusiast.

Minjun Chen

I hold a MS degree in Learning Sciences and Technologies from University of Pennsylvania. I attained my BA degree in Chinese Language and Literature in Minzu University of China. With a mixed background in literature, education, design and HCI, I am passionate about using design as a means to promote communication, raise a question and open a dialogue in the global sphere. As I wish to be an interdisciplinary designer, I deeply enjoy bringing science and design together to form new dimensions and experiment with new mediums in the design process.

Vijay Farmah

I enjoy learning about the intersection of people and technology. Prior to the MHCID program, I was a researcher at KPMG’s Innovation Lab. Currently, my focus lies in developing products and services that create enriching experiences for people. I love coffee and good conversations. Click on any of my links to connect!

Olivia Harold

I have always been fascinated by human understanding, and my goal is to make things that make sense for users while improving technologies for both experts and non-experts. I studied Cognitive Science and Philosophy as an undergrad, and worked for several years doing Cognitive Science Research using methods such as EEG, eye-tracking, and MRI with a focus on dyslexia, bimodal bilingualism, and group coordination. I hope to bring a quantitative yet empathetic edge to the 2018 MHCI+D cohort while catapulting my design skills. I aim to create unique, delightful products that enhance the world and spread social good. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, riding my bike and going to comedy shows.

Derrick Ho

Xinbei Hu

Hello, I'm Xinbei! I am a Product Designer, Interaction Designer or UX Designer. Whatever you call me, I strive to solve problems for people! After completed my BFA in Industrial Design at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), I worked as a User Experience Designer at Siemens Healthcare. Currently, I'm polishing my skills as a designer and exploring new fields in UW. If you’re interested in working with me or just want to chat, feel free to drop a line or grab a coffee.

Gabriel Hughes

I'm a recent graduate of UCLA, where I studied cognitive science and conducted research on consciousness and metacognition, as well as memory and learning in virtual environments. My interest in design is driven not just by the importance of human needs and values, but also by the often-unstudied effects design can have on the brain. I aim to ensure that any design teams I work with in the future are as informed as possible in order to create impact-conscious products. Some of my current interests include explainable AI, tackling addictive technology, and using design-thinking to reevaluate larger systems, especially in the domain of education.

Kelly Hwu

With a degree in journalism from Northwestern University, I’ve always had an inquisitive affinity towards learning about and understanding people. I believe that everybody has a story to tell, no matter who they are. My experiences in digital media and content marketing befittingly led me to the MHCI+D program. It’s here that I hope to complement my human-centered, storytelling background with new perspectives for creating intuitive and meaningful technologies that can empower users. In our ever-changing world, I find it an exciting time to design for users’ needs.

Eclair Junchaya

The more I learned through my undergraduate Biology degree about the structured framework of different systems in nature, the more I realized how successful theories relied on compelling and insightful research. Through the MHCI+D program, I hope to explore that intersection between science and art by understanding the underlying behaviors and motivations that draw people towards particular designs. Coupled with my multicultural upbringing, I hope to become a designer that puts cultural connectedness, empathy, and inclusivity at the forefront. And yep, my name is Eclair like the dessert.

Alexandria Lee

My name is Alex, and I am a connector. With the power of research, I aim to bridge the gap between designers, engineers, and the people who use their products. I did my undergraduate work in Psychology and Entrepreneurship & Management at Johns Hopkins University, where I also was a research assistant at the Vision and Cognition Lab. I joined the MHCI+D program because I want to make the transition to user and usability research. I believe that research is integral to every aspect of life and want to learn to use research to empower companies and organizations to better understand their users and make meaningful products.

Daphne Liang

I come to the design field with a background in sales management and project management in the software industry. I have worked at the front line of product sales and implementation, hired and managed multiples teams, and led projects involving stakeholders inside and outside of the company. Through my experience, I developed a user-first mentality that propels my design process and pushes me to be very thorough with my research and recommendations. I strive to be the bridge between user and product, tackling complex design challenges and presenting beautiful and dynamic solutions.

When I’m not working, you can find me exploring the great outdoors, polishing my palate around the world, or planning my next weekend trip.

I’m always up for a great conversation so drop me a line to chat about design, great hikes, or awesome eats!

Shin Liu

Hi this is Shin! I studied Philosophy at St.Olaf College in Minnesota. After interning as a programmer and a UX designer, I decided to study HCI design. This is a field that really excites me - you really have to keep learning and try to grasp the nature of human being... (i.e, understand how we got here and where the future lies). I am genuienly interested in all disciplines, especially medicine, technology, business and sociology. I don't aim to be a designer, because by saying that I wrap a mode around myself. Instead, I'd say I aim to be a well rounded person.

Eliza Newman-Saul

As an artist and designer I believe our job is to understand the complexity of human decision making and create innovative solutions to make the world better. I love researching and thinking through hard problems in complex systems. I have been working at the intersection of visual arts, writing and design for the last 15 years, completing art residencies at de ateliers in Amsterdam, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Millay Colony and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Selected exhibitions include: Socrates Sculpture Park (NY, USA), the Witte de With (Rotterdam, NL), Artspeak (Vancouver, CA), De Inkijk, SKOR (Amsterdam, NL), W139 (Amsterdam, NL) and IMMA (Dublin, IE) as well as a number of commercial galleries in N.Y.C., St Louis, and L.A.

I have worked in publishing at Granary Books, NYU Press and in nonprofit development for arts organizations. My writings have appeared in Performance Arts Journal and N+1 Publications (in conjunction with PS1). I have a BFA in Cinema Studies from NYU and an MFA in Visual Arts from Mason Gross, Rutgers University.

Brian Nguyen

Drawing from my experiences working in data visualization, I come to MHCI + D passionate about the intersection about design and technology. I’m interested in how technology is a medium to solve problems in the real world. I want to deepen my understanding of crafting these solutions most effectively. I have a particular interest in 3D graphics, VR/AR, and immersive technology.

Hy Nguyen

Hello! I'm a Product Designer with deep interests in Motion Design and Augmented Reality, currently working on my capstone in facilitating knowledge sharing between HCI academics and UX practitioners.

Originally from Vietnam, I moved to the States and attended Illinois Wesleyan University studying Marketing, Psychology, and Computer Science. After graduating from college, I ventured to the Bay Area and worked in Marketing Analytics in the gaming industry while designing freelance for Vietnamese and Vietnamese American educational non-profits. My interdisciplinary background, exposure to varied industries, and multicultural formative years have allowed me to think critically beyond forms and aesthetics, weaving technicality, empathy and business strategies into my products.

Will Oberleitner

I have a bachelor degree in visual arts and illustration. I spent the last 7 years working on a variety of web technology projects. Starting as a web designer then moving into various UX Design positions. I join the program to learn more about how design can help sensitive populations, while constantly improving the level of quality in my deliverables. Each project brings the possibility to make the world a little less confusing, a little more playful, a little more welcoming.

Whitney Olson Jenich

Sarah Outhwaite

Hi, I'm a designer and creative technologist, intrigued by the space between things, thoughts, and people. I tell complex stories in intuitive ways.

My work transverses mobile, web, virtual, and physical environments. I love creating artifacts that describe journeys across these spaces. Before starting my Masters, I was Digital Media Manager at the Guggenheim museum and helped design the mobile app's first location-based features.

At MHCI+D, I'm currently investigating the future of news with The Seattle Times, proving that New Yorkers are friendly, and getting faster at biking uphill.

Rick Paz

I am a first generation Oaxacan Interaction Designer. Currently, I am studying at University of Washington's Human-Computer Interaction and Design Masters Program. I believe that for a thriving and functional society we must consider the near future of products, services, design, but most notably people. I blend design and fiction to build physical and digital interfaces to express ideas of the speculative nature we face for the coming generation.

Alex Pham

I have an undergraduate degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering with a focus in Human Computer Interaction from the University of Washington in Seattle. For the past 6 years, I worked at Accenture in numerous roles including that of an interaction designer and user experience designer.

My goals while in the Human Computer Interaction and Design Master's program are to hone my skills in user research, interaction design, and prototyping. My interests design-wise include gaming, VR, AR, retail, and healthcare.

Kristina Rakestraw

Hi, I’m Kristina, an interdisciplinary designer.

I have been interested in design and how our environment shapes the way we live for nearly a decade. Coming from a background in architecture, I recognize the power of our environment to shape us and influence us. After living in Seattle for several years, I discovered UX design and quickly realized how my passions and interests align with this field. Ever since, I have been learning how to design tools to help people navigate their lives more effectively. I pursued a Master of Human-Computer Interaction + Design to gain a strong foundational knowledge in a multidisciplinary team-based setting. My goal for my Masters is to come out further understanding what social and environmental problems are worth prioritizing, with the skills or awareness necessary to solve them. With this degree, in conjunction with my past experiences, I will be equipped to face future design challenges because I will be able to more carefully set design problems and see them from many different points of view.

Andrew Shiau

I'm a Interaction Designer and Full Stack Developer. I love minimalism, micro-interactions and React.js

Jialing Song

Hello I'm Victoria. I strive to become a interaction designer at this period of time. In the past several years, I graduated from UC San Diego, majoring in Interdisciplinary Computing & the Arts and minoring in Economics. During my undergraduate study, I was working on creative coding, filming and other digital stuff to make interactive and interesting things happen. And I feel that making these “interactive things” more meaningful and user-friendly should be next phase of study. I really like food, fashion and pop music. I wish I could merge my interests and digital design to create delightful experiences for more people.

Agatha "Aggie" Tutia

My name is Agatha Tutia, I am a native Houstonian, and design enthralls me.

With a background in Management Information Systems and Graphic Design from Texas A&M University, I knew instantly how pivotal business, code, and design relied on one another for success. Interning at Zappos.com with the 6pm.com team as a Visual designer, I shadowed the User Experience team and instantly gravitated towards the field. I applied to the MHCI+D program to immerse myself in the practice of design and move to a city with technology in the forefront.

By the end of this program, I hope to earn the titles of a wise leader, an active teammate, and a passionate designer. It is so incredibly personal to me, to learn as much as I can, to fail repeatedly, and to improve my skill set. Engaging in hands-on projects with not only my cohort, but with outside programs challenges me to think differently, adapt methods, and develop wonderful and interesting products. This program is filled with so many intellectual and vivacious people from all over the world, and I am so grateful to be apart of this cohort and program.

Lan Vu

I'm a user experience designer, with a background in higher education administration, visual design, and international relations. I use my interdisciplinary and cross-cultural experiences to create thoughtful designs centered around human interactions.

Will Wang

I am so addicted to the trending technology, emerging fields and science fiction, no kidding.

I came from Industrial design and Entrepreneurship background. My undergraduate study and professional working experience have cultivated me into an individual who is always seeking the creative solution through the best available resource when facing a challenge.

My design interest follows the path of utilizing HCI and liberal arts to create tangible interactions that bridge the physical and digital world.

Design philosophy:
Impossibility defines the possibility
Connecting the dots
Less is more

Things I like:
Japanese Omakase
Cooking
Street Photography
Daft Punk

Can Zhao

I had been a graduate student of comparative literature, cinema and media at UW in the past four years. Besides teaching freshman composition, I researched on new media theories, historical archives and digital humanities. My interest gravitated towards interaction design when I explored how perceptions of print and cinema formed in the early twentieth-century socio-technical world. With a BA and MA in humanities, I'm now honing my skills to sketch and design experience in the real world. In my spare time, I always enjoy the local breweries and coffee in Seattle. Feel free to contact me!