deana brown

deana's curriculum vita


Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA    GPA: 4.0/4.0
Ph.D. Human-Centered Computing (Awarded June 2015)
Advisor: Dr. Rebecca (Beki) E. Grinter
Thesis: Designing technologies to support migrants and refugees

Research Interests: Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Mobile and Ubiquitious Computing (ubicomp), Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D)

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY     GPA: 4.0/4.0
Masters of Science, Information Technology
(Human-Computer Interaction)
Thesis: Designing a cell phone application to alert and report drinking water quality to South Africans

Lawrence University, Appleton, WI
Bachelor of Arts
Majors: Computer Science - Mathematics, Spanish

University of Cape Town, South Africa
HCI Research Affiliate

University of Granada, Spain
Study Abroad


[7] Brown, D, Grinter, R. E. (2016). "Designing for Transient Use: A Human-in-the-loop Translation Platform for Refugees." CHI'16: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, San Jose, California.
[6] Brown, D., Ayo, V., Grinter, R. E. (2014). "Reflection Through Design: Immigrant Women’s Self-Reflection on Managing Health and Wellness." CHI'14: Proceedings of the 2014 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Toronto Canada.
[5] Brown, D., Grinter, R. E. (2014). “Abroad Abroad: Supporting Transnational Parent-School Communication in Migration Separated Families.” Journal of Information Technologies & International Development.
[4] Brown, D. and Grinter, R. E. (2013). "Parenting Across Borders: Designing a Network to Connect the Home, School and Migrant Parents of Caribbean Teens." International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) ’13: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries, Ocho Rios Jamaica. [PDF]
[3] Brown, D. and Grinter, R. E. (2012). “Takes a Transnational Network to Raise a Child: The Case of Migrant Parents and Left-Behind Jamaican Teens.” UbiComp ’12: Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, Pittsburg PA. [ACM] [PDF]
[2] Brown, D., Marsden, G., Rivett, U. (2012). “WATER Alert!: Using Mobile Phones to Improve Community Perspective on Drinking Water Quality in South Africa.” ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, Atlanta GA. [ACM] [PDF]
[1] Brown, D., “Designing a Cell Phone Application to Alert and Report Drinking Water Quality to South Africans”. (Thesis) Ann Arbor, Michigan: ProQuest UMI Publishing. [PDF]


[5] Brown, D (2013). “Conceptualizing Technologies to Support Parenting at-a-Distance”. ACM Conference on Human Computer Interaction (Extended Abstracts), Paris, France.
[4] Brown, D., Grinter, R.E. (2012). “Remote Parenting: ICT Use Among Jamaican Migrant Parents, Left-Behind Children and their Caregivers”. ACM Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work (Extended Abstracts), Seattle, WA.
[3] Brown, D., Marsden, G., Loudon M. (2011). “WATER Alert! Disseminating Drinking Water Quality Information to South Africans.” ACM Conference on Human Computer Interaction (Extended Abstracts), Vancouver, Canada. [ACM] [PDF]
[2] Brown, D., Fajebe, A. (2012). “ICTD Peer Mentorship Session”. ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (Open Session), Atlanta GA.
[1] Garg, S., Brown, D., Best, M. (2012). Sharing Online with the People Around You. ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (Demo), Atlanta GA.


[2] Brown, D. (2012) Designing a Network to Support Migrant Parents and Left-Behind Teens. Google Grad CS Forum, CA
[1] Brown, D. (2011) WATER Alert! for South Africans. The Richard Tapia/ELA Conference San Francisco, CA


User Experience Researcher, Google Inc. (Current)

  • Lead researcher on driving apps discovery, engagement and reengagement through Google Search and Play Store app ads
  • Support Researcher on Verily's Liftware project

User Experience Research - Intern, Summer 2014
Google Inc. (Team: Search - Ineternational), London, UK, May 2014 – August 2014

  • Worked on multiple language and search in several countries including emerging countries
  • Conducted mixed-methods studies to understand the information seeking habits of users in select countries and made product recommendations across Google search, voice search, Google translate and Android

User Experience Research - Intern, Summer 2013
Google Inc. (Team: Google+), Googleplex, Mountain View, CA

  • Conducted user experience research on the Google+ Team which included moderating usability and field studies across Google+ and YouTube and presenting feedback and product enhancement recommendations
  • Planned and conducted an in-depth formative study
  • Created diary studies, activity workbooks and conducted interviews with participants
  • Analyzed data from studies and presented findings to the team
  • Prepared research paper for conference publication

User Experience Research - Intern, Summer 2012
Intel Corporation, Portland, OR

  • Designed and conducted research investigating users preferences for managing social data; Translated the findings into design requirements for the creation of a privacy dashboard
  • Designed the UI and work flow for a geofence aware messaging application that allows users to leave messages for people to receive when they arrive within a specified geofence perimeter; This application was chosen as a feature demo app demonstrating the context aware platform at the Intel Developer Forum 2012

Usability Analyst, Summer 2010
MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA

  • Researched factors contributing to the low usage of the MITRE Acquisition Portal (MAP) wiki site through interviews with employees and usability tests
  • Proposed recommendations and helped to implement changes which enhanced the knowledge management tool

Interaction Designer (full-time), 2009 - 2010
Blackbaud, Charleston, SC

  • Guided the design of accounting software solutions on an agile scrum team
  • Gathered user input (design playgrounds, client meetings) to inform the design of new software versions

Business Analyst/App Developer Intern, Summer 2008
Chevron Corporation, San Ramon, CA

  • Gathered requirements and prepared a design document for a Video Conferencing Application
  • Developed various web applications built in the .NET framework as part of the ITC-GCAS team

Software Engineering Intern, Summers 2005, 2006, 2007
Lockheed Martin, STS, Orlando, FL

Virtual Training Systems (VTS) (2007)

  • Updated the Training Management System to output student records based on an XML Schema
  • Programmed in ADA on a Unix Platform; Assisted with functionality testing of tanker simulators

Research & Development Ontology (2006), ALIS (2005)

  • Worked on an application (Job Shop) in Oz to schedule unplanned flight line maintenance actions
  • Improved the interface of the JSF ALIS Online Peer Review Tool; authored its user/admin guide


Inducted into Upsilon Pi Epsilon (Computer Science/Engineering Honor Society) 2013
Nominated to Gamma Beta Phi (Academic Honor Society & Service Organization - top 15%) 2013
Inducted into Phi Kappa Phi (Academic Honor Society - top 10%)


2014 Intel PhD Fellowship Awardee (only female; 9 awardees from top CS Schools; 9%)
2014 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholar
2014 Georgia Tech Foley Scholar (highest award in Interactive Computing)
2014 Nominee, Georgia Tech Diversity Champion Award (Student Category)
1st Place Winner UN Global Hackathon for Development in Education, 2nd Overall (2013) – met President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica at awards
Grace Hopper NSF Scholarship Recipient 2013
Selected Attendee and Presenter, 2012 Google Grad CS Forum
GEM Fellowship Recipient
Ford Fellowship - Alternate/Honorable Mention
Selected Attendee – University of Maryland Workshop on Technology-Mediated Social Participation
Scholarship Recipient - Richard Tapia Computing Conference
Selected Attendee, Microsoft Research India – Computing for Socio-Economic Development
Rochester Institute of Technology, Graduate Student Scholarship
Selected Attendee, 2008 Google Workshop for Women Engineers
PAETEC Student in Computing Scholarship
XEROX Technical Scholarship
Lawrence University Heritage Scholarship for academic excellence (4 years)
Sigma Alpha Iota Music Scholarship for piano studies
Heritage Scholarship for academic and leadership performance


Design of Online Communities | Prototyping Interactive Systems
Human-Computer Interaction | User-Centered Design Methods
Mobile Apps and Services | Graphical Elements of the User Experience | Human-Centered Computing
Usability Testing | Usability Engineering
Interactive Media Implementation

MOOCS: Design Thinking (Stanford University) | Technology Entrepreneurship (Stanford University)


Mentor (Big Sister), 2013 - 2014
Refugee Family Services - Young Women's Leadership Program

Fundraising Chair, 2013-2014
Georgia Tech, Graduate Students Association

Coordinator, 2013-2014
Georgia Tech Women in Computing (Women@CC)

After-school Tutor, 2012
Heritage Prep Academy

Mentorship Committee Co-Chair, 2011-2012
ICTD Conference 2012, Atlanta, GA

Information Technology Chair, 2010-2012
Georgia Tech, Graduate Students Association

Social Networking Chair, 2011-2012
ICTD Conference 2012, Atlanta, GA

Volunteer Math/CS Tutor,1 year
North Charleston Dream Center for at-risk youths

Women in Computing Ambassador, 1 year
RIT College of Computing

Pre-College Initiative Chair, 1 year
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE - RIT)

President, 2 years
PIECE–Privileged Individuals Engaged in Community Enrichment

Senior Member, 3 years
ULEAD (leadership training program)


Deana The most splendid achievement of all is the constant striving to surpass yourself and to be worthy of your own approval.
~ Denis Waitley