I study the future of voice interactions from a human-centered computing perspective. My research focuses on how unexpected mechanisms—sound, taste, participatory experiences—can help people understand quantitative data. For over ten years, I have been making complex information approachable as a journalist, data analyst, producer, and designer.
Qualitative interviewing and ethnographic methods, quantitative and statistical analysis, participatory design, critical technical practice, prototyping, speculative design, data visualization, applied machine learning, quasi-experimental methods/causal inference
University of Colorado at Boulder, Department of Information Science | PhD student (Aug. 2017 - present)
University of Colorado at Boulder, School of Journalism and Mass Communication | Master of Arts in Newsgathering; Graduate Certificate in Environment, Policy and Society (Dec. 2010)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA | Bachelor of Science in Aeronautic and Astronautic Engineering; Minor in Literature (June 2006)
Spotify, Boston, MA
Human-Computer Interaction Research Intern, June 2020 - August 2020
Conducted a research project using participatory design methods to imagine novel voice experiences leveraging personal listening history data.
Emerging Technologies Research Assistant, September 2018 - December 2018
Employed surveys, interviews, user studies, and rapid prototyping to understand listening cultures and develop technologies around podcasting and voice user interfaces.
Yahoo/Oath, Sunnyvale, CA
User Experience Research Intern, June 2018 - August 2018
Conducted research around news products, including a diary study, interviews, usability tests, and surveys.
Inside Energy / Rocky Mountain PBS, Denver, CO
Data Journalist, March 2014 - April 2017
Researched and reported data-driven stories for web, radio and TV about the energy industry; collaborated with fellow reporters on investigative projects; hosted live multimedia events; established data journalism culture and infrastructure for a start-up media organization
The Piton Foundation, Denver, CO
Data Curator, Feb. 2011 - March 2013
Floodlight Director, April 2013 - Feb. 2014
Analyzed and socioeconomic data and community indicators; co-founded Floodlight, a tool for digital storytelling, including grant-writing, product/technology development, outreach and community training.
Jordan Wirfs-Brock, Sarah Mennicken, Jenn Thom. 2020. Giving Voice to Silent Data: Designing with Personal Music Listening History. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (to appear in CHI 2020)
Jordan Wirfs-Brock and Katie Quehl. 2019. News From the Background to the Foreground: How People Use Technology To Manage Media Transitions: A Study of Technology-mediated News Behaviors in a Hyper-connected World. Proc. ACM Interact. Mob. Wearable Ubiquitous Technol. 3, 3, Article 110 (September 2019), 19 pages. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3351268
Jordan Wirfs-Brock. 2019. Recipes for Breaking Data Free: Alternative Interactions for Experiencing Personal Data. In Companion Publication of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2019 Companion (DIS '19 Companion). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 325-330. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3301019.3323892
Frank Bentley, Katie Quehl, Jordan Wirfs-Brock, and Melissa Bica. 2019. Understanding Online News Behaviors. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Paper 590, 11 pages. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3290605.3300820
Jordan Wirfs-Brock. 2019. Quantuition: Exploring the Future of Representing Biometric Data. Entry in Student Design Competition at ACM Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interactions (TEI).
Jordan Wirfs-Brock. 2018. Conversational Sonification: Exploring the Intersection of Data Sonification, Voice Interfaces, and Interactivity. ThinkTank (Doctoral Consortium) poster and talk at International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD).
2019 Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interactions (TEI) student design competition, best concept/design, “Quantuition”
2018 Heartland Regional Emmy Nominee, informational/instructional program/series, "Inside Energy Explainers"
2017 University of Colorado Data Visualization Contest, 1st place - “Indian Lands and Fossil Fuel Resources”
2017 Public Radio News Directors Incorporated Award, 1st place independent podcast - Out There, “High on Failure”
2017 Heartland Regional Emmy Nominee, informational short - “What Does The Clean Power Plan Mean For You?”
2016 Illinois Humanities People-Powered Publishing Fellow - Project: Reciprocal Podcasting
2016 National Headliner Award, second place radio series - “Blackout”
2016 Regional Murrow, investigative radio - “Abandoned Wells” (data journalist working with radio reporter Stephanie Joyce)
2015 National Headliner Award, second place radio feature - “How You’re Invested In Oil And Gas” (data journalist working radio reporter Dan Boyce)
2011 Knight-Mozilla News Partnership finalist and Berlin Hackfest participant
2006-2007 Princeton in Asia Fellow
2006 MIT Boit Writing Prize; Essay, 1st Place
2003-2006 Eight-time Academic All-Conference Team, New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference
2005 NASA Academy/Oregon Space Grant Selection
2002 National Merit Scholar; Oregon Scholar
Never done learning, but these are some things I play with...
Data and Relational Databases / Excel, SQL, Python (with pandas and Jupyter)
Mapping + GIS / ArcMap, Google Fusion Tables, TileMill, CartoDB
Data Design / Illustrator, Tableau, D3.js
Storytelling / Audio editing, podcast production, animation, video storytelling
Trail and Ultra-Running / Six-time 100-mile run finisher: Leadville Trail 100 (2012), Massanutten Mountain 100 (2013), Cascade Crest 100 (2013); Fat Dog 120 (2014); IMTUF (2016); Orcas Island 100 (2018); Badger Mountain 100 (2019)
Participant in 48-hour, 72-hour and 240-hour footraces
Writing / essays, poetry, fiction
Home brewer and craft beer enthusiast
Drawing / doodles, ephemera, pictoral puns, sketchnotes
MIT Varsity Athletics / basketball (co-captain), cross-country, outdoor track
Hapkido / Korean martial art (red belt)