What am I up to?

How is writing changing in the 21st century, now that we can update, edit, and revise writing quickly and at rapid scales? What strategies do online writers use to adjust their writing when they can textually interact with their audiences?  How can technical writers, including engineers, account for participatory audiences?


Research Interests

My research focuses on five areas:

  • Participatory audience theory and multidirectional communication
  • Interface and design theory
  • Participatory cultures, including reddit, Amazon reviewing, and online journalism. Often, we focus on issues of trolling, gender, and sarcasm.
  • Professional and Technical Communication, including engineering writing and engineering research labs
  • Computational methods, including web-scraping, data structuring, and web development

Current Projects

Interested in working with me? I’m currently trying to build a research group, tentatively titled, “Designing Digital Discussions.” Current and future plans include:

  • (current) Designing a better comment detection system. We are  building a sentiment analysis model around rhetorical concepts. We are focusing on genuine and sarcastic comments. Our modest goal is to build a better internet.
  • (current) A study of data visualization processes of scientists on UIUC’s campus.
  • (future) A study of training Mechanical Engineering graduate students how to read like their advisors, thus synchronizing audience awareness and expectations.
  • (future) An ethnography of machine learning and “artificial intelligence” scientists.
  • (future) Improving the social media presence of STEM faculty at UIUC.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign