About Me

My work is dedicated to developing and deploying technology for robotics and computer science education, particularly for students who don't see themselves as robot or computer geeks. Within the field of educational robotics, Artbotics and Robot Diaries are two great examples of this approach. If you'd like to hear more about how robots are taking over the world of education, check out my Google tech talk.

I'm currently on sabbatical while I explore what I'd like to do next in my career. I'm available to work as a consultant and interested in hearing about other jobs in educational technology development. My resume is available here. Please click here to reveal my email address if you'd like to discuss collaboration.

Recent Projects

Most recently, I was the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Outreach Program Manager at iRobot Corporation. I led iRobot's efforts to promote STEM education through the use of robots both in and out of the classroom, which included:

  • National Robotics Week, for which I was a leading organizer at the national level and in the Boston area. The first National Robotics Week in 2010 included over 50 affiliated events in 21 states, DC and Puerto Rico. Over 46,000 people participated, including over 24,000 K-12 students. The second National Robotics Week in 2011 was April 9-17. In 2012, we'll celebrate National Robotics Week April 7-15. Check out the official event calendar, follow along on Twitter @roboweek or check out the Facebook page.
  • SPARK, an educational robotics web portal which features links to curricula and activities for students in kindergarten through college. SPARK includes information on a variety of robotics platforms as well as articles demonstrating how educators around the United States are utilizing robotics to teach students. Feel free to visit the SPARK website or follow SPARK on Twitter @iRobotSPARK.
  • The STREAM workshop series for teachers, which offers sessions illustrating how to use different robotic technologies to teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STREAM 2011 is scheduled for June 29, 2011.

I also helped to coordinate school tours of iRobot, Demo Days during which iRobot employees visit schools, and STEM-related volunteer opportunities for iRobot employees. If you are in the Boston area and would like to request a tour or school visit for your group, please click here.

Educational Background

Before joining iRobot, I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Computer Science Department at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. I worked primarily with Holly Yanco and the UML Robotics Lab.

I received my MS and PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University under my advisors, Illah Nourbakhsh and David Wettergreen. The major contribution of my PhD thesis is Robot-Proxy Grounding, an application of common ground theory which focuses on promoting common ground between people and robots who are collaborating on an exploration task.

I completed my undergraduate degree, a BS in Computer Science with a minor in Anthropology, at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

My resume is available for download (PDF).