The iSchool is made up of a constellation of people working together. Here is one of our stars.
Andrea is a part-time PhD student and full-time economist at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Having created data analysis software throughout her career, she began to wonder how software like this could be enhanced through virtual reality and visual imagery. Her exploration of this at the iSchool, alongside adviser Niklas Elmqvist, led her to the unexpected and exciting area of mixed reality, which blends the physical and digital worlds. She has also become interested in computer vision, the development of models and techniques that autonomously assign semantic meanings to digital images such as photographs and videos. Some of her current projects include looking at how to use virtual reality in the context of data analysis, how olfactory stimuli can be used to communicate information, and how computer vision methods can be used to extract information about users from video. She sees her future work focusing on mixed reality applications for data analysis and brain-machine interfaces (a direct connection between a brain and an external device). Andrea plans to teach a course on visual analytics next spring. When not working on mixed reality work, you can find Andrea enjoying video games, running, and biking.