Angela Chang enjoys designing and engineering sensory experiences to bring people closer together. Chang uses computation and mobile tools to create visual works that research how sensory design can enhance cognition, collaboration, and presence. Her pieces aim to expose the workings of color and hidden geometric forms relationships in nature to stimulate awareness of our shared sensory experiences.
At M.I.T., she studied Mechanical Engineering and received a Masters and Ph.D. from the MIT Media Lab. She patented haptic prototypes to translate touch remotely with at the Media Lab. At Motorola, she further patented haptic devices and systems with the Motorola CxD ACG (Consumer Experience Design’s Advanced Concepts Group). As a blogger for the PR-IF, she organizes interactive fiction meetings. She reviews Massachuseetts Cultural Council art grants for the Berkley Cultural Counciil. People across five continents, from rural children in Ethiopia (with OLPC) to audiences in Japan (at NTT Telecommunications Center), have experienced her work. She has exhibited works at Ars Elecrtronica, SIGGRAPH, DIS, CHI, and ELO, She founded TinkerStories to encourage parents to learn storytelling rituals that help with early literacy. She has taught exploratory programming at Emerson College, interactive narratives at Southern New Hampshire Univerrsity, visual communication at Roger Williams University, and 3D printing and technology classes at the Berkley Public Library.
ART & TECHNOLOGY EXHIBITIONS
- Taper #7 Wonders, Online launch exhibition hosted by the Electronic Ligterature Organization January 6, 2022.
Taper #5 Pent-Up, An exhibition for the 2021 Electronic Ligterature Organization Platform (Post?) Pandemic conference and festival, May 1, 2021, hosted by Netherlands. https://www.eliterature.org/elo2021/covid/
Salon 256, A presentation of 256-Byte Creative Programs, May 2017, MIT Trope Tank, Cambridge, MA.
LatinoSTEM Alliance, May 2016, community outreach demonstration of the Luminous Firefly Dress.
Fashion 4Wrd Invited demonstration for “Luminous Firefly Dress”. Show coordinator of the runway showing 6 models at an event hosted by the MIT Entrepreneurship Forum on innovation in fashion and technology. Sept. 2015. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. http://www.fashion4wrd.us/
Descience Research on the Runway 2014 Designed a fire-fly-inspired musically responsive light up dress and app that allows wearers to create synesthetic experiences. The Firefly Dress was the first from my artist collaboration, Synesthesia Muse.
Melange 2014 (San Francisco), Blue and Red Luminous Firefly Dresses, as part of the Synesthesia Muse collaboration, with designer Harry Umen.
Fashionably Late (Boston Oct 2014). Chosen as a semi-Finalist, part of Synesthesia Muse collective.
TinkerStories- Unbound: Speculations on the Future of the Book, Interactive Showcase hosted at MIT 2012.
TinkRBooks- Designing Interactive Narratives for Children, presented at Dangerous Readings unConference. Sponsored by Eastgate Systems, hosted at MIT 2011.
Sonik Youth, Co-designer of sonic garment with Heather Knight, TEI Superhero Design Challenge, Tangible Embedded Interfaces (Munich, Germany-2010)
Tangibles at Play, Exhibit Coordinator, SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies (Boston, MA- Aug. 2006)
MotoVibes, Exhibit Coordinator for Motorola Haptics, Designing Interactive Systems Conference (Boston, MA- Aug. 2004)
ComTouch, Technology Exhibitor, Extreme Interfaces Conference at Media Lab Europe, (Dublin, Ireland- Jan. ‘02)
Get in Touch, demonstrator, Ars Electronica TakeOver Exhibition (Linz, Austria- Aug. ’01)
Tangible Bits, demonstrator, NTT Intercommunications Center (Tokyo, Japan- Aug. '00)
- Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellow, Enerson College 2016.
- Runner-Up IntroComp 2015. Interactive Fiction Introduction Competition finalist.
- Descience Research on the Runway 2014 Semifinalist for the Luminous Firefly Dress by Synesthesia Muse.
- MassChallenge 2012 Accelerator Competition semi-finalist 125 out of 1300 entries.
- MIT 2012 $100K Entrepreneurship Competition semi-finalist.
- IDC 2011 Interaction Design and Children Doctoral Consortium Award.
- NSF grant Human-Centered Computing (HCC) #1117584, awarded to MIT and WPI. My thesis research provided the background on how to foster parent-child interaction in early literacy.
- Graduate Student Life Grant for organizing a Student Run Lecture Series at the MIT Media Lab, Spring 2010.
- IDC 2009 Interaction Design and Children Como4Children Competition Finalist, co-author.
- Samsung Fellow Recipient at the MIT Media Lab 2008-2009.
- Conference for Human-Computer Interaction CHI 2008 Doctoral Consortium Award.
- Toshiba Fellow Recipient at the MIT Media Lab 2001-2001.
VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP & PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
- Adjunct Faculty Workshop for Communication & Media Studies, Graphic Design, Public Relations, Journalism, Roger Williams University, August 2020.
- People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction meeting scheduler and blogger since 2018.
- Berkley Cultural Council member, technology coordinator and co-treasurer (2018). Invited to be on the committee to oversee grants and fundraising for Berkley, MA.
- Sierra Leone Innovate Contest (2012-2013) Invited to judge and give feedback to applicants of grassroots innovation contest.
- Undergraduate Researchers at MIT (UROPS). Directly supervised students from a wide array of disciplines: Tom Roberts (linguistics), Adam Bouhenguel (computer science, now Founder of Tsumobi), Victor J. Wang (computer science), Amy Qian (mechanical engineering), Alex Hornstein (electrical engineering, inventor starting an incubator in Hong Kong), Flora Chiu (electrical engineering), Zahra Kanji (biomedical engineering), Kenji Alt (architecture, now Managing Editor of Serious Eats). Wellesley undergraduate researchers: Sophie Wang (Economics and Architecture, now a business analyst) and Cidney Hamilton (Computer Science).
- Ji Do Kwan Academy, Cambridge class leader, and high red belt martial artist, 2003-2010.
- Student Committee at the Media Lab, Webpage maintenance, fundraiser, and lunch organizer, 2005-2009.
- MIT Media Lab Women's Group, Founding organizer, 2001-present. Informal counselor and fundraiser for over 20 female graduate students in the department.
- Tangible Reading Group, organizer 2005-2006. Led weekly reading group for discussing human-computer interaction paradigms.
- Graduate Resident Tutor residential advisor at MIT undergraduate residence 1999-2002, 2006-2010. Advised and mentored over 180 undergraduates in an undergraduate dormitory. Many former mentees have gone on to complete graduate and research careers, including current professors.
- MIT Student Ambassadors Club, Founding Organizer, 1997. Program is in its 20th year, providing venues for students to network with alumni and admitted students.
Publishing and Editing Activities
- Editor for Taper, a digital ezine that merges electronic literature and constrained HTML5 programming. Published 8 issues from 2018-2022. taper.badquar.to
- DIS 2004 Proceedings, Proceedings Editor, 374 pages, 2004.
- Mathematical Perspectives on Theoretical Physics, Copy Editor of a book by physicist and mathematician Nirmala Prakash 1997, work with Tata-McGraw Hill.
INVITED TALKS & WORKSHOP PRESENTATIONS
- Play, Tinker, Share. Invited talk for Trope Tank Salon at MIT Trope Tank Apriil 2022.
- Taper Digital Poetry Zine. Invited talk for WinterHack IV at Code & Supply Hackerspace, Feb. 2022.
- Interactive Narratives. Invited talk for Studies in Digital Media and Culture at Emerson University, Nov. 2017.
- UNESCO Technology for Developing Countries Conference 2014 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Presented work on educational software that tracked the progress of two villages in Ethiopia.
- Data Visualizations of Literacy Tablet Usage in Rural Ethiopia Electronic Visualizations and the Arts 2014, London, England. Presented a talk on big data visualizations from yearlong tablet use by Ethiopian children.
- GestureNet at Electronic Visualizations and the Arts 2014, London, England. Presented a talk on algorithms using commonsense reasoning and artificial intelligence for storytelling visualization.
- PaxEast 2013 Designing to Do Good Invited Panelist, a panel on game design for non-traditional learners and abilities. Angela's focus was on how universal usability can be accomplished by working with people who have disabilities to make a better game. @hackcessibility March 22, 2013, Boston Convention Center.
- PaxEast 2013 Ready Player Everyone! Invited Panelist, a panel about collaboration and gaming. Angela's focus was on the importance of mentorship as a collaborative learning tool. March 23, 2013, Boston Convention Center.
- Tinkering with Story, Oct. 2012, at the University of New Hampshire, sponsored by TEDx Amoskeag Millyard.
- Narrative Interfaces Talks, invited talk, hosted by One Laptop Per Child, June 2011.
- My life in Robotics, Oct. 2011 at the Museum of Science and Discovery, FIRST Robotics kickoff sponsored by the MIT Alumni Club of South Florida.
- Robot Design Rubrics for Social Gesture Categorization and User Studies with Children. Human-Robot Interaction 2009 (with Heather Knight) Workshop on Societal Impact: How Socially Accepted Robots Can be Integrated Into Our Society in San Diego.
- Hasbro Research Invited Talk and Brainstorm on the preschool toys project, Dec 2009, Pawtucket RI.
- Personalization for Tangible Interfaces, Tangible User Interface at Workshop at CHI 2007 in San Jose, CA.
- Prototyping Lecture, Invited lecturer, and reviewer at Tufts University HCI and Tangible Interfaces Class Fall Semester, 5 years from ’02-’07.
- Invited reviewer for MIT 2.009 Product Engineering Processes, MIT Mechanical Engineering Department, Fall 1998, 2006, 2007.
- Personalized Interactions with Reality Based Interfaces, Reality Based Interfaces Workshop at CHI 2006 in Montreal, Canada.
- The Haptic Phone, Sensing Change Invited Conference Talk at Media Lab Europe, Dublin, Ireland, April 2004.
- Can You Feel Me Now? CHI 2004 Conference Session Chair in Vienna, Austria, 2004.
- Sensorial Interfaces at Tufts CS Dept. Colloquium Talk, Somerville, MA. Nov. 2004.
- Sensorial Communication Interfaces Lecture, Invited lecturer for Tangible User Interfaces Class, MIT Media Lab, Fall 2004, 2005, and 2006.
- Designing Touch-based Communication Devices, Universal Design Workshop at CHI 2001, Seattle WA.
Doctorate of Philosophy in Media Arts & Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Invented interactive storytelling interface techniques for fostering parent-child communication during shared reading. Used ethnographic investigation to analyze storytelling between parents and their children in their homes. Dissertation Topic: TinkRBooks: Tinkerable Story Elements for Emergent Literacy. Thesis Advisor: Cynthia Brazeal of the Personal Robotics Group.
Masters of Science in Media Arts & Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Haptic Interpersonal Communication research and invention of communication devices using touch as a medium. Thesis topic: ComTouch: A Vibrotactile Communication Device. Published one patent and two highly-cited papers on devices that facilitate emotional communication. Thesis Advisor: Hiroshi Ishii of the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab.
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis topic: Distributed modeling of manufacturing systems using neural networks (DOME). Modeled and implemented a manufacturing systems simulation using neural networks. Thesis Advisor: David Wallace of the Computer-Aided Design Laboratory in the MIT Mechanical Engineering Department.
Notes: In Human-Computer Interaction and computer science fields, conference papers are more important than journal papers. According to Google Scholar, I have 1624 citations. Papers marked with ✸ are highly cited in my field.
Additionally, an intellectual patent, US Patent 7,148,789 at Motorola has 169 citations.
- Chang. A. and O'Sullivan, C. An Audio-Haptic Aesthetic Framework Influenced by Visual Theory. In the Proceedings of HAID 2008, p.70-80, presented in Jyväskylä, Finland.
- O’Sullivan, C. and Chang, A. An Activity Classification for Vibrotactile Phenomena. In Proc. of the MultiVis 2006, Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 145-156, 2006.
- O'Sullivan, C. and Chang, A. Dimensional Design: Explorations of the Auditory and Haptic Correlate for the Mobile Device. Presented at the 11th International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2005) in Limerick, Ireland.
- Chang, A. TinkRBooks: Tinkerable Story Elements for Emergent Literacy, Ph.D. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 103p, 2011.
- Chang, A. ComTouch: A Vibrotactile Mobile Communication Device, S.M. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 92p, 2002.
- Chang, A. A modular method for modeling processes in constant demand manufacturing systems, S. B. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 53p, 1997.
- Chang, A., Tilahun, L. Visualisations of Data from the Literacy Tablet Reading Project in Rural Ethiopia. In Proceedings of Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, (EVA2014) London, 142-149.
- Chang, A., Mota, S., Lieberman, H. GestureNet: A Common Sense Approach to Physical Activity Similarity. In Proceedings of Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, (EVA2014) London, 89-94.
- Chang, A., Nunez, D., Roberts, T., Sengeh, D., Breazeal, C. Pre-pilot findings on developing a literacy tablet. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 471-474.
- Puccini, A.M., Puccini, M., Chang, C. Acquiring educational access for neurodiverse learners through multisensory design principles. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 455-458.
- O’Sullivan, C. and Chang, A. 2005. Dimensional Design: Explorations of the Auditory and Haptic Correlate for the Mobile Device. In Proc. of ICAD’05 (International Conference on Auditory Display), 212-217.
- ✸Chang, A. and O'Sullivan, C. 2005. Audio-haptic feedback in mobile phones. In CHI '05 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, New York, NY, 1264-1267. ✸Cited 169 times
- ✸Chang, A., O'Modhrain, S., Jacob, R., Gunther, E., and Ishii, H. 2002. ComTouch: design of a vibrotactile communication device. In Proc. of Designing Interactive Systems (DIS '02). ACM, New York, NY, 312-320. ✸Cited 384 times
- ✸Chang, A., Resner, B., Koerner, B., Wang, X. And Ishii, H., 2001. LumiTouch: an emotional communication device. In CHI '01 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, New York, NY, 313-314. ✸Cited 323 times
TROPE-17-02 - 256-Byte Creative Programs (Sofian Audry, Angela Chang, Chris Kerich, Milton Läufer and Nick Montfort) https://tropetank.com/reports/TROPE-17-02.pdf
- US Patent 694,049,3B2 Socializing Remote Communication A Chang, H Ishii, Brad Koerner, Ben Resner, XingChen Wang, assigned to MIT, 2002.
- US Patent 7,098,776 Methods and apparatus for vibrotactile communication A Chang, H Ishii, JE Gouldstone, C Schmandt, assigned to MIT, 2006.
- US Patent App. 8352853B2 Composer circuit and method for encoding device independent multi-modal content M Caine, A Chang, D Cranfill, R Thrush, assigned to Motorrola, 2005
- US Patent 7,148,789 Handheld device having multiple localized force feedback DJ Sadler, ME Caine, A Chang, X Dai, C Jensen, D Zindel, assigned to Motorola, 2006.
- US Patent 7,433,649 Tag for facilitating interaction with a wireless communication device TT Toulis, ME Caine, A Chang, J Park, R Tagliabue, LY Yong, AA Kumpf, assigned to Motorola, 2008.
- US Patent App. 10/962,300 Integrated input roller having a rotary mass actuator M Caine, A Chang, D Cranfill, R Thrush, assigned to Motorrola, 2008.
Roger Williams University
Taught Introduction to Visual Communication, a 3-credit core class for undergraduates. Based on scientific theories for visual communication, students work to design and create visual works to explore iconic visual forms. Students use photography, blogging, and presentation skills to learn how to compose visual narratives that are memorable and efficient.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Perform research in electronic media and digital humanities in the Comparitive Media Studies/Writing Deparment.. Assisted in teaching exploratory programming workshops. Collaborated and presented work on 256-byte creative programs.
Protect The Force
Electronic Textiles Consultant
- Developed a working prototype application for a smart temperature control of fabric. Performed research, designed, and ran experiments to characterize novel materials and delivered a first prototype.
- Developing apps to help children learn literacy. Consulting to app companies on interactive storytelling experience platform architecture for motivating students toward college completion, gift-giving, and multisensory learning. Semi-finalist in the MassChallenge 2012 competition.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral Research Assistant
- Postdoctoral Research using big data to monitor and analyze tablet usage by villages in Ethiopia. Coordination of international and multi-institution collaboration for deploying touchscreen tablets to rural villages in Africa. Combined tablet data with on-location videos, audio recordings, and photos to understand how rurally isolated children were progressing toward literacy without human literacy teachers. Published research on pilot tests conducted in Sierra Leone and Ethiopia on the use of educationally evolving adaptive narratives to assist in emergent literacy, a continuation of my doctorate work.
Ph.D. Research Assistant
- Research and development on haptic sensing in robotics and tablet-based storytelling technology. Supervised over 5 undergraduate researchers, and assisted in grant writing for NSF Human-Centered Computing award #1117584 for a collaboration between MIT, WPI, and Tufts University. Technology disclosure filed on thesis research.
- Research and development in sensory interfaces focusing on collaborative communication technology. Designing, prototyping and exhibiting demonstrations of touch communication device technology internationally. Coordinated exhibitions and maintained technology demonstrations with worldwide museums. Supervised 3 undergraduate researchers. Granted 2 patents in the field of haptic remote communication devices.
Senior Design Engineer
- Worked in Motorola’s Advanced Concepts Group conceptualizing and telling stories about how touch could be used in mobile communication. Collaborated on design of hard appearance models and working experience prototypes under the direction of designer Marco Susani.
- Prototyping and design of new user interface scenarios for mobile phones. Performed the role of electrical engineer, material scientist, and mechanical engineer for in-house portfolio planning.
- Researched experience storylines and technical content for concepts presented at yearly CEBIT (Centrum für Büroautomation, Informationstechnologie und Telekommunikation) and CES (Consumer Electronics Showcase). CanCam and StickyCam concepts published in Wired Dec. 2005.
- Technology scouting and rapid prototyping of multimedia and hardware for intellectual property. Awarded 4 patents on innovative communication technique in haptic and sensorial communication.
- Programmed device drivers in C and Assembly for tablets, multi-tiled displays, and touchscreens for novel input device products. Answered developer questions about the WinTab Application Programming Interface, a specification for pointing devices in windowing environments.
- Ethnographic interview techniques: video recording, interviewing, and natural language processing. Experience with annotating, manipulating, and analyzing audio-video media. Familiar with mining social media and using social media marketing techniques (e.g. Twitter and Facebook).
- Programming proficiency: Python, C, Actionscript, HTML. Experience with data analysis and visualization of big data from mobile devices.
- Software packages: CAD: Solidworks, ProEngineer, Processing, Matplotlib, Python for Data Analysis (Pandas). Open Mind Commonsense (OMCS), TouchDesigner, Matlab, Adobe Suite, Inform7, Corel Suite, Office, Anvil Video Annotation.
- Firmware for embedded microprocessors: MSP430, AVR, and PIC family.
- Rapid prototyping technologies: 3D printing, laser cutter, sewing machine, electronics for fabrics, Arduino, Android SDK, and TI Launchpad SDK. Basic shop skills: mill, lathe, drill press, bandsaw.
- Fibre arts: I am passionate about embroidery, knitting, crochet, and sewing, Mostly to create paper robots or electronic textiles.
- Electronic arts: I am proficient in video & music productionk, interactive media arts
- Sculptural media: I mostly work in clay, paper origami, and foamcore. I can teach 3d printing and lasercut acrylic design.
- Traditional manufacturing skills: machine shop, pattern making, woodworking, silicone form casting, plastic machining, glassblowing, and metalsmithing.