2504B Newell Simon Hall
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213






Welcome! I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Protolab, mentored by Steven Dow, based in the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. I was trained in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, under Christian Schunn.

"Good artists copy, great artists steal" -Pablo Picasso

"Everything is a remix" -Kirby Ferguson

My research program is motivated by a fundamental puzzle of creativity: people only ever have access to old thoughts (whether in their heads or in the world), but somehow great creators find a way to forge them into really new and useful ones. Great creators have mastered the art of turning knowledge into creativity. Consider how motion pictures were invented: Thomas Edison leveraged his knowledge of phonographs to “do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear” (Carson & Gorman, 1999). My research explores how we can better understand and support knowledge-based creativity.

My past work has focused on understanding how people use sources of inspiration to generate creative ideas, and clarified the role of making connections between conceptually distant ideas. In ongoing work I am building knowledge-based creativity support systems, both applying and generating new insights for theories of knowledge-based creativity. My long-term research goal is to develop a robust theory of knowledge-based creativity embodied in artifacts that augment human creativity.

To learn more, read more about my specific research projects, or check out some of my papers.

I'm always looking for interesting people to talk to or work with: if you have ideas, brickbats, feedback, or project ideas, please drop me a line!


Summer 2015

  • New paper on conceptual combination distance (from my dissertation) accepted to Cognition!
  • Our paper on improving crowd innovation with expert facilitation was accepted to CSCW 2016!

Spring 2015

Fall 2014

Summer 2014