About Me

Anamary Leal

My name is Anamary Leal, assistant professor of the Computer Science department at Sonoma State University. I study Human-Computer Interaction with the context of making and building. Prior to this, 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 goals are:

  • To investigate 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.
  • To design 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.

Interests: DIY culture, maker spaces, art and technology, craft, 3D User Interfaces, Gaming, Human-Computer Interaction

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