C. Estelle Smith is wrapping up her PhD in Computer Science with a social computing emphasis in GroupLens Research at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is co-advised by Professors Loren Terveen (Department of Computer Science & Engineering) and Susan O’Conner-Von (Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing). Her dissertation explores the ways in which caring and wonderful human beings can exchange social and spiritual support in online spaces as they navigate life-threatening physical and mental health crises. Her interdisciplinary research has also touched on topics like Human-Centered Machine Learning and Science Communications/Public Engagement in HCI (CV available here). Her dissertation defense is scheduled for December 18, 2020 at 11am CT. Please mark your calendar and request a Zoom invite link by clicking here if you’d like to attend!
Estelle has been president of the Computer Science Graduate Student Association (CSGSA) at the University of Minnesota from Fall 2020-Summer 2021. During this time, she masterminded a complete organizational restructuring of CSGSA and lead a student body of over 450 graduate students through an unprecedented shift into all-virtual experiences of grad school caused by the COVID19 pandemic. She successfully advocated for a complete remodel of CSGSA’s graduate student lounge space (which will be opened when it becomes safe to do so), launched a virtual community on Slack, successfully facilitated numerous in-person and virtual events, and has re-invigorated the social fabric of the Department in just one year.
Estelle is deeply grateful and excited to be joining the CU Boulder Department of Information Science in January 2021 as a postdoc with Brian Keegan and Chenhao Tan. She’ll be working to support an NSF-sponsored grant to study genealogical relationships, behavioral sequences, and social support in online communities. More exciting news to come as her next steps unfold!