Maitraye Das

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I am a doctoral researcher at Northwestern University where I work at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), and Accessible Computing. My research focuses on making collaborative content production in ability-diverse teams more accessible and equitable. In this space, I have investigated how accessibility is created and negotiated in the contexts of collaborative writing, creative making, and remote work; in teams of blind and sighted individuals as well as among neurodivergent professionals. I take a human-centered, community-based research approach combining in-depth qualitative studies (e.g., contextual interviews, ethnographic field observations) with iterative system building and evaluation. Some examples of my work include developing new auditory techniques for enhancing accessibility in asynchronous and synchronous collaborative writing and an audio-enhanced loom for accessible weaving. I also draw on Disability Studies literature to critically interrogate what roles technologies play in reshaping group dynamics and redistributing the labor of creating access in ability-diverse teams. My research has been recognized with Best Paper Awards and Honorable Mentions at premier venues including ACM CHI, CSCW, ASSETS, and IEEE COMPSAC, a CS PhD Student Research Award and two research grants from Northwestern. I have been selected as a Rising Star in EECS by MIT in 2021.

Currently, I am a PhD candidate in Technology and Social Behavior (dual PhD program in Computer Science and Communication) at Northwestern, where I work with Professor Darren Gergle and Professor Anne Marie Piper. Prior to this, I received a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and worked as a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at United International University, Bangladesh.

Apart from academic activities, I have always been passionate about music. I also like traveling and roaming around new places. Now and then I try to get a break from my busy schedule and set out for a tour with my friends and family.

Announcement!

I'm thrilled to share that I'll be joining Northeastern University as an Assistant Professor in Khoury College of Computer Sciences and the Department of Art + Design at the College of Arts, Media and Design! Prior to that, I will spend a year as a postdoc at the University of Washington Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences (CREATE) starting from Fall 2022!

Name Pronunciation

Moi-trey-ee (Maitraye) Daash (Das). Maitraye means friendly in Bangla. Click the audio player below to listen to the pronunciation of my name.

Pronouns: She/her

Recent News

Publications

Please refer to my Google Scholar page for a full list with citations.

Journal Articles
  1. Maitraye Das, Anne Marie Piper, and Darren Gergle. 2022. Design and Evaluation of Accessible Collaborative Writing Techniques for People with Vision Impairments. In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), Vol. 29, 2, Article 9 (April 2022), 42 pages. [ACM DL link] [Video]

  2. Maitraye Das, John Tang, Kathryn E. Ringland, and Anne Marie Piper. 2021. Towards Accessible Remote Work: Understanding Work-from-Home Practices of Neurodivergent Professionals. In Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, Vol. 5, CSCW1, Article 183, (April 2021), 30 pages. [ACM DL link] [Video]
    *Best Paper Award
    *Recognition for Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion

  3. Katya Borgos-Rodriguez, Maitraye Das, and Anne Marie Piper. 2021. Melodie: A Design Inquiry into Accessible Crafting through Audio-Enhanced Weaving. In ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS), Vol. 14, 1, Article 5 (March 2021), 30 pages. [ACM DL link]

  4. Maitraye Das, Darren Gergle, and Anne Marie Piper. 2019. "It doesn’t win you friends": Understanding Accessibility in Collaborative Writing for People with Vision Impairments. In Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, Vol. 3, CSCW, Article 191 (November 2019), 26 pages. [ACM DL link]
    *Best Paper Honorable Mention Award

  5. Nusrat Jahan Mazumder, Maitraye Das, Tanzima Hashem, Sharmin Afrose, and Khandaker Ashrafi Akbar. 2019. Towards Privacy-preserving Authenticated Disease Risk Queries. In the Journal of Information Processing, Vol. 27, (September 2019), pp. 624-642. [Journal link]

Selected Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings Papers
  1. Maitraye Das, Thomas McHugh, Anne Marie Piper, and Darren Gergle. 2022. Co11ab: Augmenting Accessibility in Synchronous Collaborative Writing for People with Vision Impairments. In Proceedings of the 2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '22). [Video]

  2. Kelly Mack, Maitraye Das, Dhruv Jain, Danielle Bragg, John Tang, Andrew Begel, Erin Beneteau, Josh Urban Davis, Abraham Glasser, Joon Sung Park, and Venkatesh Potluri. 2021. Mixed abilities and Varied Experiences: A Group Autoethnography of a Virtual Summer Internship. In Proceedings of the 23rd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS ’21), 22 pages. [ACM DL link] [Blog post]
    *Best Paper Nomination

  3. Maitraye Das, Katya Borgos-Rodriguez, and Anne Marie Piper. 2020. Weaving by Touch: A Case Analysis of Accessible Making. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '20), April 2020. [ACM DL link] [Video]
    *Best Paper Honorable Mention Award

  4. Maitraye Das, Brent Hecht, and Darren Gergle. 2019. The Gendered Geography of Contributions to OpenStreetMap: Complexities in Self-Focus Bias. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '19), Glasgow, Scotland, May 2019, paper 563, 14 pages. [ACM DL link]

  5. Maitraye Das, Nusrat Jahan Mazumder, Sharmin Afrose, Khandaker Ashrafi Akbar, and Tanzima Hashem. 2018. A Novel Secret Sharing Approach for Privacy-Preserving Authenticated Disease Risk Queries in Genomic Databases. In Proceedings of the 42nd IEEE International Conference on Computers, Software, and Applications (COMPSAC ’18),, Tokyo, Japan, July 2018, pp. 645-654. [IEEE Xplore link]
    *Best Paper Award

  6. Moushumi Sharmin, Monsur Hossain, Abir Saha, Maitraye Das, Margot Maxwell, and Shameem Ahmed. 2018. From Research to Practice: Informing the Design of Autism Support Smart Technology. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '18), Montreal, Canada, April 2018, paper 102, 16 pages. [ACM DL link]

  7. Abir Saha and Maitraye Das. 2017. Impact of Social Networking on Post-Partum Depression in Women: An Analysis in the context of Bangladesh. In Proceedings of the 20th IEEE International Conference on Computer and Information Technology (ICCIT ’17),, Dhaka, Bangladesh, December, 2017, pp 1-6. [IEEE Xplore link]

Workshop Papers, Posters, and Doctoral Consortia
  1. Maitraye Das. 2021. Designing for Accessible Collaborative Content Creation for People with Vision Impairments. In Human Computer Interaction Consortium (HCIC ’21). [Poster]

  2. Maitraye Das. 2020. Designing for Collaborative Content Creation for People with Vision Impairments. In the 2020 Conference Companion Publication on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW ’20). [Doctoral consortium] [ACM DL link]

  3. Maitraye Das, Katya Borgos-Rodriguez, and Anne Marie Piper. 2020. Rethinking Power and Politics in Accessible Making. In the 2020 ACM CHI Workshop on Investigating the Role of Critical Disability Studies in HCI. [Position paper]

  4. Maitraye Das. 2019. Who Can See What: Privacy and Audience Management for People with Vision Impairments on Social Media. In the 2019 ACM CSCW Workshop on Addressing the Accessibility of Social Media , Austin, Texas, USA, November 2019. [Position paper]

  5. Maitraye Das. 2018. Understanding Collaborative Writing Practices of People with Visual Impairments. In Proceedings of the 2018 ACM International Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp ’18), pp. 1744-1749. [Short paper & poster] [ACM DL link]

  6. Maitraye Das. 2018. Towards Understanding the Effects of Social Networking on Postpartum Depression in Women: An Analysis in the Context of Bangladesh. In Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Houston, Texas, USA, September 2018. [Poster]

  7. Maitraye Das, Sharmin Afrose, and Tanzima Hashem. 2015. Protecting Genomic Privacy in Medical Tests using Distributed Storage. In Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Houston, Texas, USA, October 2015. [Poster]

  8. Maitraye Das, Sunandita Sarker, and Shahina Ferdous. 2014. SpeechAid: A Self-treatment System for Individuals with Speech Disorder via Mobile Application. In Grace Hopper Celebration India, India, November, 2014. [Poster]
    *Best Technical Poster

Research

Designing for Accessible Collaborative Writing

Collaborators: Darren Gergle, Anne Marie Piper, Thomas McHugh

In this project, we investigate how people with vision impairments interact with collaborative writing tools (e.g., Microsoft Word, Google Docs) to produce shared documents with their sighted collaborators, the challenges they face in developing collaboration awareness (i.e., understanding who commented or edited what and where in the document), and how they develop shared norms and workarounds to adapt to the complexities of collaborative features. Our work also uncovers how accessibility in collaborative work is shaped by interpersonal relations, power dynamics, and organizational ableism. Building on the insights gathered from interviews and observations with blind writers, we build and evaluate new auditory techniques to support accessible collaborative writing in both asynchronous and synchronous settings.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews, observations, qualitative analyses (grounded theory method and thematic analysis), prototyping, experimental study design, statistical analyses
Tools: Python, PyQt, Amazon Polly
Publications: CHI 2022, TOCHI 2022, CSCW 2020, CSCW 2019, UbiComp 2018
A person is typing on a laptop in a office.

Designing for Accessible Collaborative Making

Collaborators: Anne Marie Piper, Katya Borgos-Rodriguez

In this project, we investigate the situated practice of collaborative making at a community weaving studio where blind weavers and their sighted instructors collaboratively produce handwoven products using physical materials such as loom, shuttle, and yarns. Through ethnographic field observations and contextual interviews, we uncover how blind weavers engage in coordinated embodied interaction with their sighted instructors and the materials in their workspace to learn and perform weaving steps. Building on these insights, we design interactive technologies to augment blind weavers' embodied understanding of the weaving process and the state of the woven products and interrogate the role of digital technologies in traditional, manual form of making.

Methods: Ethnographic field observations, semi-structured interviews, qualitative analyses (grounded theory and thematic analysis), prototyping
Publications: TACCESS 2021, CHI 2020, CSCW 2020
A blind weaver is working with a sighted instructor on a loom to create a blue and black colored cloth

Understanding Accessibility in Remote Work

Collaborators: John Tang, Anne Marie Piper, Kathryn Ringland,
Danielle Bragg, Kelly Mack, Dhruv Jain

This project focuses on understanding and rethinking accessibility in remote work. Through interviews with neurodivergent professionals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, learning disabilities, and psychosocial disabilities (e.g., anxiety, depression), we found that while working from home neurodivergent professionals need to create accessible physical and digital workspaces, negotiate communication and meeting practices, and reconcile tensions between productivity demands and personal wellbeing. In another study, we performed a group autoethnography to unpack how accessibility in remote work is created (or disrupted at times) in an ability-diverse team. Collectively through these studies, we outline an agenda for cultivating inclusive and equitable work environments, highlighting opportunities for both technological improvements as well as reworking organizational policies to integrate accessible practices from the onset.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews, autoethnography, thematic analysis
Publications: CSCW 2021, ASSETS 2021.
video conference clipart

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

Past Projects


Gender-based Self-focus Bias in OpenStreetMap

Collaborators: Darren Gergle, Brent Hecht

Peer-production communities like Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap have become important sources of high quality content that serve billions of human information needs and provide essential world knowledge to artificial intelligence systems. However, these peer-production communities are alleged to have participation disparities, with men significantly outnumbering women. Focusing on OpenStreetMap, this project investigates the relationship between gender participation disparities and content disparities. We are particularly interested in assessing whether men and women contribute diferently, and — to the extent that we see evidence of this — examining whether self-focus bias plays a role in governing the relationship between the two.

Methods: Quantitative analysis
Tools: Osmium, Python, R
Publication: CHI 2019
OpenStreetMap Logo

Smart Technologies for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Collaborators: Moushumi Sharmin, Shameem Ahmed

In this project, we conducted a systematic literature review on smart technologies (wearables, smartphones, VR devices etc.) for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Informed by our qualitative analysis on 149 peer-reviewed articless collected from ACM Digital Library, IEEE Xplore and PubMed, we proposed a set of implications to guide the design of autism support smart technologies.

Methods: Literature review, qualitative coding
Publication: CHI 2018
Photo showing two kids excited in front of a laptop

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

Privacy preserving and Authentication in Genomic Databases

Collaborators: Tanzima Hashem, Nusrat Jahan Mozumder

In this project, we proposed a novel secret sharing approach to compute the probability of a patient to develop a specific disease without revealing sensitive data (patient's genome, name of the disease, disease marker of medical center, and the result of the query i.e. chances of the disease) to dishonest adversaries and ensuring authentication of the genomic data. We proved the practicality of our system via extensive experiments using real human genome datasets.

Methods: Algorithm design
Tools: Java, MySQL
Publications: JIP (2019), COMPSAC 2018.

Figure showing an example of Single Neucleotide Polymorphism

CV

Click here to download my complete CV

Education
  • Northwestern University, USA | Fall 2017 - Present | PhD in Technology and Social Behavior |
    Advisors: Darren Gergle and Anne Marie Piper
  • Northwestern University, USA | March 2021 | MS in Technology and Social Behavior | GPA: 3.97 out of 4.00
  • Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology | September 2015 | BS in Computer Science and Engineering with Honors | GPA: 3.85 out of 4.00 (magna cum laude, ranked 7th in a class of 134 students) |
    Advisor: Tanzima Hashem

Research Experience
  • Collaborative Technology Lab, Northwestern University | Fall 2017 - Present | Advised by Darren Gergle
  • Inclusive Technology Lab, Northwestern University | Spring 2018 - Present | Advised by Anne Marie Piper
  • Ability Team, Microsoft Research, USA | Summer 2020 | Mentored by John Tang
  • People, Space and Algorithms Group, Northwestern University | Fall 2017 - Summer 2018 | Mentored by Brent Hecht
  • Western Washington University, USA | Summer 2017 | Mentored by Moushumi Sharmin and Shameem Ahmed
  • Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology | 2014 - 2017 | Advised by Tanzima Hashem

Awards, Honors, & Grants
  • Donald H. and Carolyn E. Ecroyd Fellowship | Dept of Communication Studies, Northwestern University | 2022
  • Rising Star in EECS | Organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology | 2021
  • Best Paper Award | ACM CSCW 2021
  • Recognition for Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion (Paper) | ACM CSCW 2021
  • Best Paper Nomination | ACM ASSETS 2021
  • PhD Student Research Award | Dept of CS, Northwestern University | 2021
  • Dissertation Research Grant | Northwestern University | 2021 ($1,500)
  • Graduate Research Grant | Northwestern University | 2021-22 ($2,999)
  • Finalist (top 20) | Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship 2020
  • Best Paper Honorable Mention Award | ACM CHI 2020
  • Best Paper Honorable Mention Award | ACM CSCW 2019
  • Special Recognition for Outstanding Review | ACM CHI (4 times), ACM CSCW (2 times), ACM DIS
  • Conference Travel Grant | Northwestern University | 2019, 2018 ($2,300 + $1,500)
  • Best Paper Award | IEEE COMPSAC 2018
  • Student Travel Grant | ACM UbiComp 2018 ($600)
  • Student Scholarship | Grace Hopper Celebration 2018
  • Best Undergraduate Thesis Award | Computer Science and Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology | 2015
  • Best Technical Poster | Grace Hopper Celebration India 2014
  • Student Scholarship | Grace Hopper Celebration India 2014
  • Dean’s List Award | Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology | 2011 - 2015
  • University Merit Scholarship | Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology | 2011 - 2014

Teaching Experience
  • Northwestern University, Department of Computer Science/ Communication Studies | Winter 2022
    Teaching Assistant in COMP_SCI 314/ COMM_ST 351 - Technology and Human Interaction
  • University of Washington, Information School | Fall 2020
    Guest Lecturer in INFO 463 – Input and Interaction
  • United International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh | October 2015 - March 2017
    Lecturer, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
    Courses taught: Digital Logic Design (theory and lab), Computer Architecture, Electrical Circuits, Assembly Programming Language

Course Designed
  • Accessible Collaboration (course designed as one of the three PhD qualifying exams) | Fall 2021
    Supervised by Darren Gergle | Northwestern University

Contact

Northwestern University
Frances Searle Building, #2-431
2240 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208, USA

maitraye [at] u [dot] northwestern [dot] edu

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