My academic career has taken a path that started in Engineering, through Architecture and Design Computing, and more recently Computer Science and Information Studies. My research and teaching has centered on computational models of design and creativity. My current focus is on issues related to curiosity, novelty, and surprise. With big data we can look for patterns and trends that lead to a better understanding of creativity as a combination of novelty, value and surprise. In crowdsourcing, we have the opportunity to study the impact of casual users participating in online creative communities, and the impact of knowledge diversity on quality and creativity of designs. I am also interested in how different modes of interaction affect creative cognition and am working on various gesture-based and tangible interaction designs.
In 2012 I joined the College of Computing and Informatics as the Chair of Software and Information Systems. I am the Director of the Center for Education Innovation and lead efforts in studying the impact of active learning in CS education and the use of learning analytics to better understand diversity and inclusion.
While at NSF, 2006-2010, I started a funding program CreativeIT and co-chaired the Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation Program. I was a Program Director in the Human-Centered Computing Cluster. In 2008 I became a member of Senior Executive Services was appointed as Deputy Director of the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems.
While Professor of Design Computing and Co-Director of the Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition at the University of Sydney, I developed and implemented an innovative Bachelor degree in design computing, I was Chair of the Department of Architectural and Design Science, as Co-Director of the Key Center I led a group of 11 academics in developing teaching and research in design computing and cognition, and I taught research methods in the School of Information Technology and in Design Computing. I assisted in the development of a research program for the Collaborative Research Centre for Construction Innovation and in the start up of the Humans Understanding Machines group at National ICT Australia.