People



Dr. Betsy DiSalvo
Assistant Professor and CAT Lab Founder
School of Interactive Computing
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Research Focus:Her work has included the development of games such as the Click! Urban Adventure, a game that encouraged middle school females interest in technology and science, and casual games to build interest in the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Her dissertation project was the Glitch Game Testers, which leveraged young African American males passion for gaming into an interest in computer science through authentic work and learning experiences.
Background: DiSalvo received her PhD from Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing in 2012. She previously worked as a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Centerin the UPCLOSE Lab.


Parisa Khanipour Roshan
2nd Year PhD Student
Human Centered Computing
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Background: Undergraduate Degree in Computer Science from Sharif University of Technology
Research Focus: Providing access to educational resources for underserved populations, with a focus on parents as learning brokers
Goal:To design and build culturally relevant systems by borrowing from HCC theories and combining them with my technical background in Computer Science.
Special Recognition: Microsoft Research Graduate Women's Scholarship Awardee in 2013-14


Kayla DesPortes
1st Year PhD Student
Human Centered Computing
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Background: Prior to beginning her PhD, Kayla graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Computer Engineering from Cornell University in 2010, and proceeded to work in Intel’s Platform Validation Engineering group for three years. While at Intel, she gained industry experience while enhancing her knowledge and skills in software development and hardware verification.
Research Focus: STEM education technology and infrastructure targeted at students raised in lower-socioeconomic regions.
Goal: Discovery and creation of the infrastructure needed to stimulate interest and success of these students within a STEM field.
Current Research: Presently, she is conducting research developing workshops for disadvantaged teens, to gauge interest in Arduino projects with various themes. She is also investigating the scaffolding necessary for mentors to successfully guide students through learning and exploration of the makerspace.


John Chandler
Graduate Student
Human Centered Computing
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Background: John graduated with a B.S. in Architectural Engineering Technology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1999 and worked for 13 years in the architectural industry where he spent the last four years designing schools. He has also worked as an instructor for a community college as well as Director of Content for an online architectural training company.
Research Focus: Integration of the built environment and computational technology to improve educational outcomes.
Goal:To explore user-configurable computational and physical infrastructures that will allow individual learners to develop environments that work to their strengths, while exploring their interests.
Current Research: He is currently researching the effect that topic selection has on motivation to pursue learning through microcontroller based projects. Presently he is developing flexible workspaces and toolkits to allow students to engage in learning through a makerspace environment.


Cecili Reid
Undergraduate Research Assistant
4th Year Undergraduate
Computer Science
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