Michael Brooks


I am a PhD student in Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. I am advised by Cecilia Aragon and am a member of the Human-Centered Data Science Lab.

I grew up in Pittsboro, NC, and studied Math and Computer Science at Oberlin College.

Research Interests

I am interested in helping people understand data by combining human intelligence and computation. Computers excel at processing great quantities of data, but human knowledge, pattern recognition, and inference are needed to make sense of data and to guide analysis. My research is about designing data analysis tools that support a productive “collaboration” between people and computers; I draw ideas from data visualization, machine learning and statistics, human-computer interaction, and human-centered design.

In my dissertation research, I am designing and building tools to help social scientists analyze large amounts of qualitative data (e.g. tweets, emails, chat messages). Some of my recent projects involve collaborative analysis of tweets, techniques for thinking of machine learning features, and machine learning tools for detecting emotions in chat messages. More about my research