University of California, San Diego
Tricia is a Ph.D candidate in Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego advised by Scott Klemmer. Her research interests span psychology, computer science, and education to better understand creative cognition. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked at Stanford University in cognitive neuroscience. She interned with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Adobe Research. Her work has received Best Paper Honorable Mention awards at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI).
Creative thinking can be seen as analogous to annealing, starting with a ‘hot’ exploratory phase of broad solution search, then ‘cooling’ to exploitation and narrowing the search space. Effectively exploring and evaluating which ideas are most contextually appropriate are important skills for solving open-ended problems. However, people often satisfice, fixating on the first adequate idea that comes to mind, leading to under-exploration of potentially better ideas. My research examines various methods to set the creative ‘temperature’ and enhance exploration in creative endeavors. I do this through interventions that leverage different aspects of the creative process: 1) Feedback: interactive guidance scaffolds for improving creative feedback, 2) Framing: metaphorical problem-framing scaffolds for improving exploration, and 3) Collaboration: abstract brainstorming methods for helping people explore and create in collaborative drawing.