About Me

Anamary Leal

I’m an award-winning user experience researcher, maker, crafter and educator who can research, design and craft custom technologies, props, costumes, and everything in between.

If you have a tricky opportunity for technology to support people, or an intriguing interactive experience that needs a fusion of crafting and tech expertise, let my skills as an interdisciplinary user experience researcher and maker/crafter help you craft the perfect experience. I am currently looking at compelling career opportunities and collaborations!

I served as assistant professor of the Computer Science department at Sonoma State University. I study Human-Computer Interaction with the context of making and building. I was a doctoral candidate at Virginia Tech’s Computer Science program in the Center of Human-Computer Interaction. I am passionate about crafting, and empowering others to craft and build what they want.

My research interests, among others, are:

  • Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture, maker spaces and culture, art and technology, craft, 3D User Interfaces, Gaming, Human-Computer Interaction
  • investigating how to design technologies to help people build in the real world, whether it is sewing clothing, dabbling with electronics and beyond. I want to encourage people dive into building, like the kinds of things built in maker spaces.
  • designing interactions that negotiate and keep these ambiguities in descriptors and how to better represent materials.

To help others craft, I additionally have experiences in costuming, specifically costume crafts, drafting and building garments, as a costume shop assistant at the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech, costumer at local theater, and on my own as a hobby. I have met so many people that want to build and craft a cool outfit or toy, so my research is to encourage others to sew, build and learn in the real world with sewing machines, electronics and more.

I have taught a variety of computer science courses, from Operating Systems to introductory computer science courses, for to CS majors and non-majors, teaching anywhere from 16 to 90 students.

I am also passionate about bringing women and underrepresented minorities into computing and STEAM fields. I served as co-chair for my club, the Association for Women in Computing at Virginia Tech, to bring as many women to the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing. I have also served the club as a co-chair.

I have published at IEEE’s Symposium of 3D User Interfaces, Tangible and Emboided Interaction, ¬†and Graphics Interface, among others. Awards I’ve won included the Ronald E. McNair Post- Baccalaureate Scholar, Google Hispanic Scholarship, GEM Fellowship, and National Science Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship.

Comments are closed.