I am an interdisciplinary researcher who uses computational and artistic methods to explore visual communication and culture at scale. Many computer scientists want to make computers think more like people -- I want to use computers to make us think about other people. I especially focus my work on individuals and groups who are not represented in the making, regulating, and evaluation of visual technologies, data, and communities that affect them.
I am currently in the first year of my PhD in the Human Centered Design Engineering Department. I am working on a rotation project under direction of Professor Cecilia Aragon in the Human Centered Data Science Laboratory, focusing on different audience visual media trends of popular Latinx figures. I am a member of the Center for an Informed Public, under Professor Kate Starbird where I think about the role of visual media and visual trends in misinformation campaigns that dehumanize marginalized groups.
On the side, my friend and collaborator Dr. Katlyn Turner and I run KTLN, a boutique research consultancy.
I completed my undergraduate education at MIT (with a brief stint at Apple) in Computer Science and Design, and continued on to my MS at the MIT Media Lab. As an undergrad, I developed my research passion and fundamentals under Ira Winder, deploying computational interactive simulations for urban and corporate entities. I also spent time in the classroom as a TA and instructor during my undergrad years.
My MS focused on the intersection of art, identity, and technology. My thesis was a sign language edition of a digital participatory artwork called A Counting, featured in multiple museums and the NY Times. I was also a guest for a unit on creative coding at Gallaudet University and I taught a seminar at MIT with Dr. Katlyn Turner on our framework, DeCentering.
After graduating in 2021 with my MS, I moved to the enchanting Pacific Northwest, where I now call Seattle home. I worked for Redfin for 2 years, focusing on products that ensured service to homebuyers at every budget and property type.
Please reach out via email I am ninalikespi or ninalutz on all the other internet things, but I look at email the most :).
My living CV