HCII ~ School of Computer Science ~ Carnegie Mellon University

Past Members of ArticuLab at Northwestern University

Past Ph.D. Students

Andrea Tartaro
Andrea Tartaro andrea at cs dot northwestern dot edu

Andrea Tartaro was a Ph.D. student in the Technology and Social Behavior program, the joint Ph.D. in computer science and communication studies. Her research explores developing innovative technology tools for children with special needs to help them access social and learning opportunities. In particular, her dissertation research involves designing, building and evaluating a new kind of "authorable" virtual peer that will allow children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to learn about social interaction with peers by building their own virtual humans and observing how they interact with people. A virtual peer is a life-sized, computer-animated character that looks like a child and interacts with children using both speech and gestures. The authorable virtual peer will offer children with ASD a space to play with social communication, social interaction and imagination - skills that come naturally to typically-developing children, but are the most challenging for children with autism. This research employs new methods in Human-Computer Interaction for designing and implementing interactive virtual characters, and improves our understanding of the educational and communciation needs of children with ASD. For more information visit

Former Staff

Miriam Davidson
Miriam Davidson m-davidson at northwestern dot edu

Miriam Davidson joined the CTSB in August 2009. She earned an MS in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology and a B.A. in Quantitative Economics from Tufts University. With experience in software engineering and project management, Miriam has worked for the educational, financial and game sectors, at times melding the realms of education and entertainment with embodied conversational agents, instructional videos, tools and games to enhance students' classroom learning possibilities. As ArticuLab's Information Systems Architecture Engineer, Miriam is serving as the lead software engineer on the "Alex" project, collaborating with the graduate students, supervising the research assistants and technical assistants and maintaining the efficiency of the lab.

When designing software architecture, she first considers how the intended audience behaves and thinks. Miriam reports that her work is driven by a desire "to provide clean architectural design and to devise accurate and efficient algorithms." She enjoys creating engaging game play and easily understandable user interfaces.

In her free time, she is a strong supporter of sustainable farming, educational gardening, community music and cooperative education.

Margaret Echelbarger
Margaret Echelbarger m-echelbarger at northwestern dot edu

Margaret is the Project Manager and a Research Associate for the NSF-funded study 'Bridging the Achievement Gap with Authorable Virtual Peers' in the Articulab. She earned a BA in Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences at Wellesley College in 2009. Margaret's research interests include atypical language, the relationship between language and the development of higher-order cognitive processes, and the interface of syntax and semantics.

Mark Mangoba
mmangoba at northwestern dot edu

Mark Mangoba, a Chicago native, was inspired by his parents to work and study hard, and ultimately found his home in the world of technology. Mark's educational path has been eclectic and impressive. As well as obtaining his BA in Information Technology at DePaul University, Mark has also studied Engineering Law at the University of Illinois, and Information and Web Technologies at Stanford University, but ultimately he discovered that the intersection between technology and education is his career passion. Before coming to the CTSB, Mark has held positions as technology coordinator in a public school, as the head of a technology development group for DePaul's School of Music and their Community Music Division, and as a Technical Specialist at Stanford University. Mark has also worked for Apple, Knowledge Networks (New York), Noble Network of Charter Schools (Chicago) and Santa Monica Unified School District.

Mark has researched and developed effective ways to implement technology in K-12 schools and universities with a particular focus on learning management, student information and smart classroom technologies and systems.  Mark is excited about the work he is doing as a Systems Administrator at the CTSB, and sidekick for Miriam Davidson (IS Architecture Engineer). Currently he is working on the "Alex Project" virtual peer, and continuing to improve the systems infrastructure of the CTSB. Please remember that all CTSB affiliates have access to Mark's talents, and to the CTSB technological infrastructure, including servers and mobile eye tracking lab.

John Pickett
j-pickett at northwestern dot edu


Former Research Assistants

Luke Rouser
Luke Rouser lrouser at gmail dot com

Luke is a Northwestern graduate who got his BA in classical Greek and modern Italian. Taking some time to focus on writing and working as an activist and sex educator in Chicago, he hopes to somehow channel his interests in minority education and awareness into a career as a librarian. In a cruel mix-up of fate, he is a good student who doesn't like going to school but will probably never leave. He also likes ribbons.

Former Undergraduate Students

Samuel Carton
Samuel Carton samuelcarton2012 at u dot northwestern dot edu

Sam is a sophomore computer science major in the McCormick School of Engineering. He's angling for a minor both in math and writing. He has completed two research internships at the National Institutes of Health and has a strong interest in artificial intelligence, creative writing and ultimate frisbee.

Angelica Cleveland
jjc at u dot northwestern dot edu

Angelica is a junior at Northwestern and her major is in Secondary Education with a concentration in Spanish. She tutors second-graders in a dual-immersion program at a local elementary school and is part of a student group on campus working to form connections between minority undergraduates in the School of Education and Social Policy with elementary and high school students, professors and graduate students.

Shiana Crosby
ShianaCrosby2010 at u dot northwestern dot edu

Shiana Crosby is a junior studying Sociology and Anthropology. She works with Kathleen Geraghty on the Alex project.

Matthew Gilk
Matthew Gilk matthewgilk2012 at u dot northwestern dot edu

Matt is a sophomore computer science major with plans to pick up a double major in cognitive science. In his free time, Matt enjoys cross-country running, programming, and patronizing various Evanston coffee-selling venues.

Jasmyne McDonald
Jasmyne McDonald jmcdonald at u dot northwestern dot edu

Jasmyne McDonald is a sophomore Communication Studies major with a concentration in Business.  Her career goals include working  for a non-profit organization after graduation and having a a successful freelance writing career.  At Northwestern she is a member of House on the Rock- a campus ministry, OASIS -a service oriented student group, and writes for a number of student organizations.  In her spare time, she tutors and volunteers at local organizations.

Derek Morris
Derek Morris derekmorris2008 at u dot northwestern dot edu

Derek is a sophomore-year computer science major in the engineering school with plans to add cognitive science as a second major. He comes to Northwestern from the North Shore area. In his spare time, Derek enjoys water polo, playing with technology, and involving himself in his residential college. 

Katy Witmer
Katy Witmer KatherineWitmer2010 at u dot northwestern dot edu

Katy is an RTVF senior in the School of Communication. This year she wrote and directed her first short film on a grant from the NU Women's Filmmaker's Alliance, and is interested in working in the film/entertainment industry after graduation. In her free time Katy keeps up with the local music scene and watches a lot of movies.


Joaquin (Kino) Aguilar
Joaquin (Kino) Aguilar kino at northwestern dot edu

Kino is a Ph.D. student in the Technology and Social Behavior (TSB) program. His research interests focus on the areas of artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction. He is currently interested in studying rapport and grounding over time. In 2007 he graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso with a B.S. in computer science. More information can be found here.

Miri Arie
Miri Arie miri-arie at northwestern dot edu

Miri Arie was a post-doctoral fellow who worked with Justine Cassell. Miri came to Northwestern from Tel-Aviv University, where she completed a PhD program in clinical child psychology. In addition, she worked as an intern in clinical child psychology at Schneider Children medical center of Isreael, where she acquired a broad experience in psychopathologies and treatment methods.

Miri's interests are studying the development of social skills in children and understanding the psychopathologies related to social skill deficits. Miri's current research focuses on developing a social skills assessment for children using technologically mediated devices. Her previous research and clinical experience includes: selective mutism, high-functioning autism, Asperger's disorder, anxiety, mood-disorders and autobiographical memory. More information can be found at

Rachel Baker
Rachel Baker r-baker2 at northwestern dot edu

Rachel is a Ph.D. student in the Linguistics department. She is currently studying how speakers use redundancy when giving directions. Ultimately, this research will be used to improve directions given by the embodied conversational agent NUMACK. Other interests include the prosody-meaning interface and the effects of a word's probability on hypo- and hyper-articulation. In 2003 she received an M.Sc. in Speech and Language Processing at the University of Edinburgh, writing a dissertation on improving prosody in speech synthesizers. In 2001 she graduated from Vassar College with a major in Cognitive Science, focusing in Linguistics. More information can be found here.

Adia Berry
a-berry at northwestern dot edu

Adia majored in Psychology and minored in African-American studies.

John Borland
John Borland j-borland at northwestern dot edu

John graduated from Stanford University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering. He was awarded a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in December 2001, where he participated in research with Dr. Lui Sha's Quality of Service group and Dr. David Wilkins' Knowledge Based Systems group. His professional experience includes work in healthcare, defense, communications and gaming. John served as IS Architecture Engineer for Articulab/CTSB from 2007-2009. He now works in the Human-Level Intelligence Laboratory at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Cathy Breen
c-breen at northwestern dot edu

Cathy majored in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Kyrsten Brown
kyrstenbrown2007 at u dot northwestern dot edu


Nathan Cantelmo
Nathan Cantelmo n-cantelmo at northwestern dot edu

Nathan joined the ArticuLab as a full-time software engineer after graduating from Northwestern with a BS in Computer Science in June 2005. While studying for his degree, he acquired a strong interest in the development of cross-discipline applications for new and emerging technologies. At the ArticuLab, he has been afforded the opportunity to pursue this interest while working on cutting-edge software systems. Nathan's research interests include embedded systems, mobile devices, computer graphics, and real-time systems. He is currently working for Yahoo! in San Francisco, California.

Meg Cramer
Meg Cramer megs at northwestern dot edu

Meg Cramer was a Research Assistant at the Articulab. She has a B.S. in Sociology and Radio, Television and Film from Northwestern University('06). She is currently in Rabat, Morocco as a PBS Frontline Fellow to research women's soccer.

Dustin Derby
Dustin Derby d-derby at northwestern dot edu

Dustin C. Derby (Ed.D., Northern Illinois University) was the Center for Technology and Social Behavior lab manager from 2006-2007. Derby came to Northwestern after working in higher education as an administrator and a research/statistical consultant. Derby's research focuses on student outcomes in higher education, and specifically understanding how students' background characteristics and college environmental contexts impact learning and enrollment management related outcomes within two- and four-year institutions. More recently, Derby has investigated the impact of self-belief, social, and institutional variables on women's adjustment to the four-year college environment.

Shruti Desai
shruti at u dot northwestern dot edu


Angela Ellington
a-ellington at northwestern dot edu

Angela majored in Communication Studies and minored in Film & Media Studies.

Kim Ferriman
Kim Ferriman kferriman at northwestern dot edu

Kim was the Research Coordinator and Lab Manager for the Articulab. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University ('03), and is currently a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University.

Brooke Foucault
Brooke Foucault b-foucault at northwestern dot edu

Brooke Foucault is a Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology, and Society program. She received M.S. and B.S. degrees from Cornell University where she was a member of the Human Computer Interaction lab. Her research aims to understand how technology can be used for social and public good. Currently, Brooke is working on the Survey Interview Project to develop new survey interviewing technologies that improve
our ability to collect data about sensitive subjects.

Kathleen Geraghty
Kathleen Geraghty k-geraghty at northwestern dot edu

Kathleen (MSc University of Edinburgh, BA Alverno College) was a Research Associate in the ArticuLab and CollabLab in the CTSB from 2008-2010.  Her work in CTSB included developing a code-switching virtual peer to engage African American English-speaking children in science-based collaborative play. She is currently a Research Associate  and Lab Manager in the Project on Child Development with Dr. Sandra Waxman's research group, focusing on conceptual and linguistic development in infancy and early childhood.

Alastair Gill
Alastair Gill alastair at northwestern dot edu

Alastair Gill is a Post-Doctoral Fellow working with Justine Cassell and Darren Gergle. His interests are in the social and psychological aspects of communication, especially with reference to computer-mediated technologies which minimise the availability of interpersonal cues. His research focuses on the application of data-intensive techniques to the study of these interpersonal language phenomena. Before coming to the Articulab, he was Faber Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Laboratoire d'Etude de l'Apprentissage et du Developpement (C.N.R.S), University of Burgundy, France. He received his Ph.D. in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh in 2004. More information can be found at:

Courtney Gilliam
CourtneyGilliam2007 at u dot northwestern dot edu


Alberto Gonzalez
Alberto Gonzalez albertogonzalez at u dot northwestern dot edu

Berto Gonzalez graduated from Northwestern University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Shortly aftter, he joined the ArticuLab as an IS Architecture Engineer. He was the Technology Coordinator for the Alex Project and lead developer on establishing a Virtual Agent Engine to be used by all Virtual Agent Teams. His interests include Human Computer Interaction, interface design & development, tangible objects as interfaces, and all things Python.

Dai Hasegawa
Dai Hasegawa dha899 at hecky dot it dot northwestern dot edu

 Dai Hasegawa is a visiting scholar working with Justine Cassell. Hasegawa is interesting in psychological aspects of communications and applications of communication theories to Embodied Conversational Systems. His research here focuses on measuring effectiveness of embodied direction giving systems, a humanoid robot and NUMACK, which give users talking directions by speech accompanied by gestures. He is also a first year doctoral student at Hokkaido University in Japan. He recieved a master's degree in information science at Hokkaido university.

His website can be found at:

Alex Hill
Alex Hill alex-hill at northwestern dot edu

Alex Hill is a post-doctoral fellow specializing in Human Computer Interaction working with Justine Cassell. He received his doctorate while working in the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His dissertation topic concerned the development of an integrated development environment for VR worlds that can be used both on the desktop and within the CAVE virtual environment.

In addition to bringing extensive expertise with real-time computer graphics and non-traditional input devices to the CTSB, Alex will be looking into software architectures and markup languages used to develop and deploy virtual peers for interventions regarding Autism and African-American Vernacular English.

Lynne Horey
Lynne Horey l-horey at northwestern dot edu

Lynne was the Lab Manager for the ArticuLab from 2007-2008. She received her Masters degree in audiology and hearing science from Northwestern University in June 2007. Lynne has taken her experience in research, organization and healthcare to the UK and is currently a research assistant in the department of orthopaedic surgery at an NHS hospital in Glasgow.

David Huffaker
David Huffaker d-huffaker at northwestern dot edu

David Huffaker was a graduate research assitant in the Articulab.  He is currently a Research Fellow at the School of Information at University of Michigan.  He completed his doctoral work in the Media, Technology & Society program at Northwestern University in 2009. His research focuses on leadership, expertise, social networks and language use in online groups and communities. Visit  for the latest publications. 

Francisco Iacobelli
Francisco Iacobelli f-iacobelli at northwestern dot edu

Francisco is a Ph.D. student at the Computer Science department. He got his undergraduate degree in Systems Engineer and Informatics at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile . He got his Masters in Computer Science at DePaul University with a concentration in AI. His interests of research include Virtual Peers, intelligent tutoring systems and other aspects of AI applied to the education of children. For more, visit fid punto cl.

Joris Janssen
j-janssen at northwestern dot edu

Joris was a visiting scholar from University of Twente (Enschede, The Netherlands). He got his Bachelors degree in Computer Science and is a graduate student in Human Media Interaction. His research interests include embodied conversational agents (ECA's), (non) verbal behavior and multimodal interaction.

Joseph Jorgensen
Joseph Jorgensen josephj at northwestern dot edu

Joseph was the ArticuLab's resident systems/software engineer from 2004-2006. He has a B.S. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from Northwestern University ('04). He is currently working in new media design and development in New York City.

Yoram Kalman
Yoram Kalman y-kalman at northwestern dot edu

Yoram Kalman is a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Technology and Social Behavior. Yoram was previously at The Center for Study of the Information Society (INFOSOC) at The University of Haifa in Israel, where he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on Online Silence. Previously Yoram took his MBA at Tel Aviv University, following undergraduate and graduate studies in human genetics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. During his time in industry, his latest corporate position was Senior Vice President, Academics, at the Amsterdam-based Laureate Online Education.

Yoram's dissertation work focused on response latencies in e-mail and in other forms of text-based online communication, and explored the causes and consequences of unresponsiveness in e-mail. His work combines obtrusive and unobtrusive, quantitative and qualitative methodologies. During his post-doctoral research, Yoram examines the way impressions are formed in text-based online communication. He is especially interested in subtle cues used in online communication that are equivalent to nonverbal cues in traditional communication. He also continues his work on the role of time and of silence in online communication, at the individual and organizational level. Lastly, he explores the way 'real world' events and processes affecting people, are reflected in their online writing. Yoram's academic homepage is


Laura Kingsbury
l-kingsbury at northwestern dot edu


Stefan Kopp
skopp at techfak dot uni-bielefeld dot de

Stefan was a postdoctoral research fellow for the Articulab. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Bielefield University. See his personal website for more.

Elizabeth Kozak
ElizabethKozak2007 at u dot northwestern dot edu

Lizzy was a Senior Learning and Organizational Change major with a double major in International Studies.

Tara Latta
Tara Latta t-latta at northwestern dot edu

Tara Latta was the Project Coordinator/Lab Manager for the ArticuLab. She has a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Lewis University. Currently, she is the Research Administrator at the Family Institute at Northwestern University.

Alex Markov
a-markov at northwestern dot edu

Alex is a Junior majoring in Communication Studies.

Gabriela Mendieta
g-mendieta at northwestern dot edu

Gabriela majored in Communication Studies.

Julia Merryman
juliamerryman2007 at u dot northwestern dot edu


Audrey Meshulam
a-meshulam at northwestern dot edu

Audrey was Senior Performance Studies major.

Jason Okonofua
jasonokonofua2007 at u dot northwestern dot edu

Jason recently received a bachelors degree for a double major in Psychology and African American Studies from Northwestern University. He is currently applying for PhD programs in social/developmental psychology. In the lab, he serves as a temporary Project Coordinator on the Virtual Peers for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders project and a research assistant for the Junior Research Summit study.

Evelyn Parks
evelynparks2009 at u dot northwestern dot edu

Evelyn is a Junior studing Psychology and African American Studies.

Elonna Pervos
e-pervos at northwestern dot edu


Yolanda Rankin
Yolanda Rankin yrankin at northwestern dot edu

Yolanda was a graduate research assistant for the Articulab. She has a B.S. in Mathematics from Tougaloo College and a M.A. in Computer Science from Kent State University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Compuer Science at Northwestern University.

Ryan Reid
RyanReid2011 at u dot northwestern dot edu

Ryan Reid is an undergraduate Computer Science major at Northwestern University, also planning on an adjunct major in Animate Arts.  He plans on working in the video game design industry after graduating in 2011.  He assisted Kino Aguilar on the Lucy Project.

Elisa Revello
Elisa Revello e-revello at northwestern dot edu

Elisa was the program assistant in the lab where she performed a variety of tasks. Her professional experience was in marketing, but in the (somewhat distant but) near future, she would like to pursue her master's degree in creative writing.

Marcus Shepard
marcusshepard2008 at u dot northwestern dot edu


Kristina Striegnitz
Kristina Striegnitz kris at northwestern dot edu

Kristina was a postdoctoral researcher with the Articulab. She received a joint Ph.D. in computational linguistics from Saarland University (Saarbrücken, Germany) and University Henri Poincaré (Nance, France) in 2004. For more information see her personal homepage.

Rick Swette
r-swette at northwestern dot edu

Rick was a Senior Cognitive Science, Interdepartmental Communications major.

Jared Thebeau
jaredthebeau at hotmail dot com

Jared Thebeau was a Game Design student at Columbia College Chicago. He joined the ArticuLab in 2008 as a Character Design and Animation Consultant. He worked on numerous virtual agent projects, modeling and animating the agents, as well as creating their environments.

Rick van der Werf
r-werf at northwestern dot edu


Taranee Wangsatorntanakhun
Taranee Wangsatorntanakhun taranee at northwestern dot edu

Taranee was the Program Assistant for the ArticuLab until June of 2007. She graduated in 2001 from Barnard College with a BA in American Literature; in 2004 she earned an MA in English from the University of Notre Dame, where she focused on posthuman notions of the body as a text in both real and virtual literature. Currently she is working towards nursing school, and finishing a plethora of knitting projects before her cat shreds them.

Hannah Wells
hannah-wells at northwestern dot edu

Hannah was a Freshman who was interested in studying Computer Science and/or Film.

Jennie Wong
JennieWong2011 at u dot northwestern dot edu

Jennie is a sophomore majoring in Communication Studies. She is working on the Teens and Technology Study with Brooke Foucault.

Michelle Yamada
Michelle Yamada m-yamada at northwestern dot edu

Michelle came to CTSB from the NU Humanities Institute, where she was an administrator for seven years. She says, "Having a family of technophiles, I am constantly bombarded with the latest video game or gadget at home, as my two teenage sons work to keep me up to date." In her psychology undergrad she began to work on gesture and language acquisition, and found her interests expanded by the various research carried out through CTSB. Michelle worked with CTSB's HR, finance and grant administration.

Debbie Zutty
Debbie Zutty d-zutty at northwestern dot edu

Debbie Zutty was the Undergraduate Coordinator for the ArticuLab. She graduated from Northwestern with a B.S. in Communication Studies in June 2006. She is interested in social networking and friendship formation among online communities, and worked on the Junior Summit project in the ArticuLab while simultaneously attempting to figure out her plans for the future.

Alexander Zylman
azylman at u dot northwestern dot edu