Alexandra To, PhD

This fall I will start as an Assistant Professor jointly appointed in the College of Arts, Media & Design and the Khoury College of Computer Science at Northeastern University. In my work I use human-computer interaction research methods, storytelling, and design to illuminate patterns of racial oppression in technology.

Download CV

Biography

I am an HCI researcher, game designer, and racial justice activist.

I received my Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University where I was advised by Dr. Jessica Hammer and Dr. Geoff Kaufman. I received both my M.S. and my B.S. in Symbolic Systems with a concentration in HCI and a minor in Asian American Studies at Stanford University, advised by Dr. Michael Bernstein.

Research Overview

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 through Social Technologies"

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, or to learn more about my work!

Prospective Students

I am currently unable to take on new undergraduate or Masters students while I complete my PhD thesis. However, I'd be happy to chat or consult on a project you are leading!

Twitter Google Scholar
Email: a.to [at] northeastern.edu