Hi 👋,

I’m Jon, a Professor in Human-Computer Interaction at UW’s Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering where I work with an extraordinary set of students and collaborators on problems related to accessibility, urban informatics, environmental sustainability, and STE(A)M education.

At UW, I direct the Makeability Lab and am the Associate Director of CREATE (Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences), Associate Director of Tech Transfer and Outreach of PacTrans, Faculty Chair of the MHCI+D program, and co-founder of Project Sidewalk, a web tool aimed at transforming how sidewalks are mapped, analyzed, and visualized using crowdsourcing+AI. I also serve as a Core Faculty Member in the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Urban Design and Planning within the UW Graduate School.


One of the great privileges of being a professor is working with students. In the Makeability Lab, we work with students across multiple disciplines and levels from high school to PhD. For a full list, see the Makeability Lab’s People page.

Makeability Lab PhD Students

If you’re interested in working with me, please read our Makeability Lab Handbook. I currently advise these fantastic students:

I also work closely with HCDE PhD students Steven Goodman and Emma McDonnell on sound recognition and captioning tools to support people who are deaf or hard of hearing with Co-PI Professor Leah Findlater (NSF #1763199)

Makeability Lab PhD Alumni

Manaswi Saha, University of Washington, 2022
Dissertation: Designing Interactive Data-driven Tools for Understanding Urban Accessibility at Scale
Now at Accenture Labs

Liang He, University of Washington, 2022
Dissertation: Fabricating Kinetic Objects with 3D Printable Spring-Based Mechanisms for Interactivity.
Now an Assistant Professor at Purdue University.

Dhruv Jain, University of Washington, 2022
Dissertation: Sound Sensing and Feedback Techniques for Deaf and Hard and Hearing People. Co-advised with Professor Leah Findlater.
Now an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan.

Seokbin Kang, University of Maryland, 2020
Dissertation: Augmented Reality Systems and User Interaction Techniques for STEM Learning.
Now at Zoom.

Matt Mauriello, University of Maryland, 2018
Dissertation: Designing and Evaluating Next-Generation Thermographic Systems to Support Residential Energy Audits.
Postdoc at Stanford. Now an Assistant Professor at University of Delaware.

Lee Stearns, University of Maryland, 2018
Dissertation: HandSight: A Touch-Based Wearable System to Increase Information Accessibility for People with Visual Impairments. Co-advised with Rama Chellappa.
Now at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Kotaro Hara, University of Maryland, 2016
Dissertation: Scalable Methods to Collect and Visualize Sidewalk Accessibility Data for People with Mobility Impairments.
Postdoc at CMU. Now an Assistant Professor at Singapore Management University.


In the Allen School, I teach CS courses that explore the materiality of computing and the ever-changing relationships between humans, bits, and atoms such as CSE490 Physical Computing, CSE590 Ubiquitous Computing, and CSE599 Prototyping Interactive Systems. I also co-teach HCID521 Prototyping Studio in the Master of Human-Computer Interaction Design (MHCI+D) program. Topics across these courses include prototyping with electronics, microcontrollers, code, 3D printers, and lo-fi craft material. See our teaching website for more details.

Acknowledgments and funding

The Makeability Lab is grateful for funding support from the NSF, the Department of Defense’s Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program, the PacTrans Consortium, UW CREATE, UW’s Global Innovation Fund, and the UW Reality Lab as well as corporate sponsors, including: Google Faculty Research Awards, a 3M Faculty Award, and research funding from Facebook, Nokia, and Microsoft. We are also grateful for our PhD student funding awards, including two Google PhD Fellowships, an IBM Fellowship, a Google-CMD-IT LEAP Alliance Fellowship, an Allen School First-Year Fellowship, an NSF GRFP, a GEM Fellowship, and a Microsoft Dissertation Grant.

We are honored and humbled that our work has been recognized with sixteen Best Paper and Honorable Mention Awards, including five Best Papers at CHI, two Best Papers at ASSETS, and a 10-Year Impact Award at UbiComp.

Learn more

You can learn more about our research by following the Makeability Lab Twitter or my personal Twitter.