Kristin Williams

I am a PhD student at the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

An Upcycled IoT: I investigate how we can upcycle everyday objects using computing abilities. When we think about many everyday objects, they have little if anything to do with the world of computing. I work to understand how people use these objects to structure their social roles and context in the home. I then create interaction techniques to enable users to make their 'dumb' objects 'smart' so that they might manipulate and impact that context. This work realizes a new socially informed context-aware computing and end user programming. It also enables users to construct new social practices, division of labor, and alternative 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.