Kristin Williams

I am a PhD student at the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. I investigate how we can upcycle everyday objects using computing abilities. In particular, I design and create systems using tangible computing, internet of things paradigms (IoT), and novel measures of personal data to give households the ability to modify the home with new kinds of computational properties. This work enables users to make 'dumb' objects 'smart' to realize new practices, division of labor, and alternative social arrangements in the home. I am advised by Scott Hudson and Jess Hammer. I am also part of the wonderful research groups the Devlab and the OH! Lab.

I am always fascinated by how we can equip society's members with the tools to raise critical issues and correct for power imbalances in conversation. Before working in human-computer interaction, I focused on issues such as DIY publishing, access to information and archives, dissent, and the political abuse of psychiatry. I have an MS in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Maryland, College Park where I worked in the Inclusive Design Lab on head-worn displays to support individuals with aphasia under the guidance of Leah Findlater. I also have a BA in Philosophy from Reed College where I wrote a thesis on the role of Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean in a theory of learning guided by Meg Scharle.