I am a Research Staff Member at the Almaden Research Center, where I've worked in the USER group since 2002. The focus of my recent work has been social media analysis, seeing how we can learn about people through their linguistic and activity patterns on public social media.
Before social media, the bulk of my work here related to IT System Administration, including field studies of sysadmins in the wild, interviews, surveys, tool prototyping, and trying to apply what we've learned to IBM's administration tools.
I've also done some work on end-user programming, including a programmable spreadsheet called, at various times, J2, A1, and ATMA. I've also worked on the CoScripter project for end-user programming of web-based processes.
You can find downloadable versions of various papers I've been involved in here. I also wrote with my colleagues on a book on system administration, currently in production at Oxford University Press, hopefully to be available by the end of 2012.
My educational and work backgroundbackground is as follows. I received an A.B. in Computer Science with Physics from Dartmouth College in 1988. Not ready to proceed on to graduate school, I spent the following year in England working with horses, eventually receiving the British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor certification. After a year of cleaning stalls and teaching little kids to ride, the transition to graduate student and TA was a smooth one. I spent the next 6 years getting a PhD at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where I worked in the database group studying how formal data modelling could be applied to visualizing large, complex database schemas.
In 1995 I joined Silicon Graphics to work on MineSet, a very cool product for data mining and visualization. Despite our best efforts, SGI didn't really know what to do with a software product (or much of anything else in that period), so in 1999 I moved to the dot-com Rubric. By 2001, a lengthy series of acquisitions left me at a company called Kana, but with the bust came a series of layoffs that left the company 90% smaller, and prompted my move to IBM Research in 2002.