Alexandra To

PhD Candidate in HCI at Carnegie Mellon University

I use storytelling and design to illuminate patterns of racial oppression in technology.

I recently defended my PhD in HCI and am seeking both academic and industry positions!

Research Overview

I am a qualitative HCI researcher, designer, and social justice activist. In my work I use qualitative methods to explore and study experiences of marginalization. I then utilize design methods to empower people in marginalized positions.

I have additional experience with UX research, educational games research, and expert crowdsourcing research.

Download Research Statement

PhD Thesis

"Empowering Uncertainty Resolution for Marginalized Populations"

My thesis focuses on how marginalization can harmfully amplify the negative impact of uncertainty. I focused on two contexts of marginalization: 1) STEM learning environments for female and/or students of color and 2) social coping with interpersonal racism for adults.

Download Thesis Proposal

Selected Research Projects

Several hands place sticky notes on a table at a PD workshop

Coping After Racist Experiences (CARE)

A colorful gradient placeholder

Critical Race Theory for HCI

A table with a four-person board game laid out

Sensing Curiosity in Play and Responding (SCIPR)

An infinity-like diagram that demonstrates the game design process flow

Tandem Transformational Game Design

Many character images from the Arkham Horror game

Character Diversity for Digital and Non-Digital Games

A colorful gradient placeholder

Flash Teams & Orgs

Contact

Get in touch with me to chat about research collaboration, speaking engagements, open positions you think I should consider, or to learn more about my work!

I am currently unable to take on new undergraduate or Masters students while I finish my PhD thesis. However, I'd be happy to chat or consult on a project you are leading! You may be interested in either of my advisor's labs, the OH! Lab (Dr. Jessica Hammer) or the eHeart Lab (Dr. Geoff Kaufman).

Twitter Google Scholar
Email: aato [at] cs.cmu.edu