Robin N. Brewer

robin with a curly hairstyle

I'm Robin. I do research

in Human-Computer Interaction at the intersection of social computing and accessibility. I ask how online and offline experiences with technology can be made more accessible to marginalized and underrepresented populations. I design, build, and study systems to better engage older adults and people with vision impairments, two groups for which technology access and use can be challenging. Most recently, I have investigated the role of accessible voice interfaces (e.g. IVR and digital assistants) and the ways in which these technologies support or do not support social and informational needs. Similarly, I ask how computer science learning experiences can be more accessible to underrepresented populations. By leading Brave Initiatives in Detroit, I develop interactive in-person workshops to teach high school girls about coding, design thinking, and how technology can be used as a tool to empower girls to lead their communities. Through each of my lines of research, I study how experiences seeking to provide resources to communities can be more engaging.

I am currently a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Michigan's School of Information (UMSI). In the past I have conducted research at University of Maryland's HCIL, Carnegie Mellon's Usable Privacy and Security Lab, UMBC's PAD Lab, Northwestern University's Inclusive Technology Lab, IBM Research, Facebook's Research Center, and Microsoft Research.

I hold a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, an M.S. in Human-Centered Computing from UMBC., and a Ph.D. in Technology and Social Behavior from Northwestern University.