Research and Goals

My research interests include:

Human-centered AI;

Future of work;

Augmenting skill;

Ethics of technology;

Social factors in technology;

AI and work teaming

At this point, I hope to: 

Refine my research interests;

Develop a map toward the end of my educational career;

Study social and ethical impacts of AI on the concept of work, and identify productive ways to augment human skill with increasingly intrusive AI.

This year, I did:

  • Research

    • Worked on There's no AI in Team project

      • Added to draft around the area of trust.​

      • Paper is being split into different focuses and I'm assisting in several areas for preparation to submit for publishing.

      • Currently addressing pre-pub review questions on paper submission for INGroup conference (5th author)

      • Drafting small paper about design implications of AI and team interaction. (3rd author)

    • Worked on the shift handover (HATIT) project

      • Helped develop interview protocol

      • Recruited participants

      • Interviewed analysts to facilitate development of the research tools

      • Synthesized analyst interview information in order to fine-tune requirements for development team

      • Developed imitation documents for use in future experiments

      • Worked with an interdisciplinary team

  • Coursework

    • INST 800​

      • Created a research plan​

      • Led a class with a partner - Life After PhD 2 - Beyond Academia

        • Outlined class plan​

        • Created class survey and Jamboard

        • Created slides and discussion questions for small groups and full class

        • Facilitated discussion

      • Created a "Sarah Strategic Plan" outlining tentative plans for my time in this program.​

        • Including this SWOT

    • INST 888

      • Led class discussion with a partner - Sociotechnical Perspectives  (and slides)  

        • Outlined required texts

        • ​Researched text authors and found connections

        • Created a Doodly video to engage students

        • Created more in-depth slides for further reference

        • Explored epistemology and AI/ethics

    • INST 808 (Quant)

      • Research Project

        • Became familiar with common NLP models currently used: BERT; GPT3​

        • Became familiar with coding python to run a model based on Covid-19 media information

        • Became familiar with Google Colab

        • Became familiar with Overleaf/LaTeX

    • INST 631

      • CHI paper comparisons

      • UX research​​

        • Became familiar with heuristic apps

        • Used evaluation software to run user studies with task completion and survey components.

        • Became familiar with foundational accessibility in design principles

    • INST 888 (Spring)

      • Paper proposal

        • Narrowed down research focus

        • Completed a literature review on creativity in AI and jobs

        • Created a research proposal (in-progress)

    • CSMC 828L     (AI and Existential Threats)

      • Became more familiar with common NLP models

      • Learned about machine learning's use and impact in addressing issues such as climate change, fake news detection, and Covid-19

      • Created a research proposal based off an NSF template (in-progress)

      • Created a presentation on my proposal that addressed machine learning from a social science perspective, and presented to a highly technical, mostly computer scientist audience.

    • INST 810 (Independent Study with Dr. Shilton)

      • Focused on a literature review intended to provide a foundation in tech ethics.

      • Read and summarized 10 curated texts focused on tech ethics (in progress)​​​​​​​

      • Joined and attended EVID lab​​​​​​​

  • Independent work

    • Created academic website​ (several times!)

    • Collected and organized documents from various university career and graduate student sites that can be helpful for current PhDs or when looking for career/professional development information.

    • Collected and created a repository of links to useful, free datasets to share with my cohort.

    • Learned many new programs to a functional level, including Adobe Premiere, Adobe Audition, Doodly, Scrivener, Paperpile, Zotero, Overleaf, Mindomo, Notion, Wix, XKCD-style chart developer, etc. etc. etc, as well as many sites that aid in better design.

    • Attended (either in-person or on-demand) workshops, meetings, roundtables, forums, conferences, presentations, etc. related to human-centered AI and the future of work

    • Familiarized myself with literature, research organizations, researchers, seminal products, etc. related to human-centered AI and the future of work.

    • Reviewed submissions to IEEE VR 2021 Conference and Creativity and Cognition 2021 Conference

    • Reviewed several classmates' papers prior to submission for publication.

    • Survived(ing?) a global pandemic

Next year I plan to:

Complete independent study course over summer in preparation for Fall 21 integrative paper;

Continue to work on the HATIT project;

Apply for ARLIS Fellowship

Continue to attend HCIL events;

Continue to work with the EVID lab;

Continue to attend seminars, workshops, talks, etc.

Submit at least 2 papers/posters to journals or conferences as a co-author;

Complete my integrative paper in such a way that it can be modified to submit on my own.

Read research papers related to each of my interests described above, and covering a broad representation of research methods;

Develop stronger research skills;

Identify areas that I need to shore up on in order to conduct my research;

Shore up on these areas;

Complete my integrative paper;
Connect with UMD's social robotics group;

Connect with other professors and students in the program;

Consider taking a course in qualitative research methods;

Consider continuing EDMS certificate;

Consider auditing ANTH666 - Anthropology of Work;

Consider pros and cons of PhD by publication and examine actual feasibility;

Plan work on dissertation proposal

This relates to my dissertation and PhD program completion by:

Strengthening my academic foundation so that I can develop good and novel research questions.

Developing stronger research methodology skills

Identifying research goals;

Keeping me up-to-date on my areas of interest;

Keeping me up-to-date on related areas/disciplines;

Giving me experience researching, submitting, and hopefully publishing;

Continuing to fulfill PhD program requirements

Continuing after next year, I hope to:

Get a stronger grasp of these areas that will help with my research;

Read papers related to research and dissertation ideas;

Attend conferences, talks, symposia, etc.;

Network at said events;

Develop stronger research skills;

Submit papers for publication;

Become involved in organizations related to my research interests;

Refine my dissertation ideas and begin to work on the proposal