> hi :)
In my work, I explore how technical systems, effective processes, and social structures integrate as socio-technical ecosystems that surface ways to optimally use limited resources in a community. Specifically, I investigate how such ecosystems can scale effective undergraduate research training, where students learn to self-direct complex work in a community with limited mentoring resources. I take a design-based research approach, and work at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Learning Sciences (LS), and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW).
My hope is that these systems will enhance and extend the natural ways in which we practice, learn, grow, and support one another in our communities.
I did my Ph.D. at Northwestern, in the Technology and Social Behavior program, where I worked with Haoqi Zhang in Delta Lab. I studied Agile Research Studios, our model for research training at scale, where students practice being self-directed learners in a research community. As part of this work, researched the Design, Technology, Research (DTR) program at Northwestern.
Our community is pretty spectacular.
any semester, email me for info
Fall 2023, Spring 2024
Fall 2023, Spring 2023
We study the application of continual support systems to support the shared regulation of learning in Agile Research Studios by exploring ways to monitor student progress, recognize when students need additional supports, identify resources within the studio community that could support them, and optimize the routing of those support requests to the resources that have the expertise and ability to help.
Agile Research Studios (ARS) is a new socio-technical model for creating a research community of practice that socially shares regulation of learning to apprentice undergraduate teams into research at scale. ARS methodologies, social structures, and tools help groups learn better together so more undergraduates can conduct authentic research.
We study the use of a continual support framework, for engaging ad-hoc crowds in supporting others’ needs while still focusing on their primary goals. The continual support framework monitors the status of individual goals and emerging needs; matches individuals to opportune moments to support others’ needs given the state of their goals; and primes individuals with the context they need to provide support on-demand.
> research mentoring
To help undergraduates monitor and reflect on their research progress and to make effective use of mentor time, we introduce Polaris, a scaffolding tool that supports novice researchers diagnosing project issues on their own. Polaris guides undergraduate researchers through a reflective exercise using computer-based prompts and templates to create and diagnose issues in design arguments, which detail core hypotheses in design-based research projects.
Students: Bomani McClendon, Sameer Srivastava
Research Outcomes: awarded Undergraduate Research Grant, work submitted to CHI
Studying how to support student helpseeking behaviors in ARS, with a goal of distributing support and growing skills across the community.
Students: Aimee van den Berg, Ariella Silver, Shankar Salwan, Sehmon Burnam, Natalie Ghidali
Research Outcomes: awarded 2 Undergraduate Research Grants, work submitted to CHI SRC, CHI LBW
Studying how to support student awareness and reflection on their own research and regulation processes, and what prevents them from being effective.
Students: Molly Pribble, Isaac Miller, Neha Sharma, Olivia Gallager, Victoria Cabales, Zev Stravitz, Nneoma Oradiegwu, Maggie Lou, Judy Lee
Research Outcomes: awarded 3 Undergraduate Research Grants, work submitted to CHI SRC, CHI LBW
MindYoga: Scaffolding the Metacognitive Reflection Process within Learning Ecosystems
*Molly Pribble, *Neha Sharma, Haoqi Zhang, Leesha Maliakal Shah
CHI 2022 Late Breaking Work
The design risks framework: Understanding Metacognition for iteration
Spencer E. Carlson, Daniel G. Rees Lewis, Leesha V. Maliakal, Elizabeth M. Gerber, Matthew W. Easterday
Design Studies 2020
Defining and Assessing Risk Analysis: The Key to Strategic Iteration in Real-World Problem Solving
Spencer E. Carlson, Leesha V. Maliakal, Daniel G. Rees Lewis, Jamie Gorson, Elizabeth M. Gerber, Matthew W. Easterday
Planning to Iterate: Supporting Iterative Practices for Real-world Ill- structured Problem-solving
Daniel G. Rees Lewis, Jamie Gorson, Leesha V. Maliakal, Spencer E. Carlson, Elizabeth M. Gerber, Christopher K. Riesbeck, Matthew W. Easterday
Agile Research Studios: Orchestrating Communities of Practice to Advance Research Training
Haoqi Zhang, Matthew Easterday, Elizabeth Gerber, Daniel Rees Lewis, Leesha V. Maliakal
CSCW 2017 [poster demo] [abstract]
CrowdCheer: Situational Crowdsourcing of Motivation for Runners 2nd Place ACM SRC Award
Leesha V. Maliakal
Grace Hopper ACM Student Research Competition 2015 [abstract] [slides]
CS 330: Human Computer Interaction course co-designer, head TA, guest lecturer, mentor coaching program designer, September - December 2021
Design, Technology, Research program co-designer, September 2015-present
Design, Technology, Research program research mentor, September 2015-present
Agile Research University program and toolkit designer, June 2016-present
DFA Summer Studio Iterative Design Instructor, June 2017-September 2017
Brave Initiatives Head of Curriculum, Coding Curriculum Developer, Coding Instructor, and Coach, April 2015-September 2017
> invited talks + lectures
Designing Learning Ecosystems that Foster Metacognitive Practice @ Northeastern Illinois University 2023 Faculty Institute - Aug 17, 2023
How to De-risk Your Designs like an Expert System Designer @ Purdue Fort Wayne SE 530: Systems Engineering Management - Nov 18, 2021
Interface Arguments @ Northwestern CS 330: Introduction to HCI - Nov 8, 2021
Risk Assessment @ Northwestern CS 330: Introduction to HCI - Oct 11, 2021
Design Arguments and Community Support @ Harvard CS 179: Design of Useful and Usable Interactive Systems - Mar 25, 2020
Not All is Lost: Finding work/life balance in grad school after my dad passed @ The Story Collider: Chicago - recorded Jul 22, 2019, posted July 17, 2020
Continual Support Systems: Connecting Needs to Resources in Communities @ Regina Dominican High School Career Day - Feb 28, 2019
Continual Support Systems to Orchestrate Research Communities @ NU HCI Student Research Colloquium Series - Feb 22, 2018
> awards + fellowships
Microsoft PhD Fellowship Department Nomination, 2019
Segal Cluster Design Research Fellowship, September 2017 - March 2018
Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellowship, March 2015 - September 2016
2nd Place Award in ACM Student Research Competition @ Grace Hopper Celebration, October 2015
Undergraduate Research Grant, February 2015