I am an Italian-American, born and bred on pizza and cappuccino, now transplanted in the UK (adding g&t’s to my diet), via Finland. You can find an updated CV here. (Last updated January 2016).
You can find my UCL page here.
Currently, my research now focuses on communication technologies across devices (desktop computers/laptops, smartphones, tablets and smartwatches) and how it affects our work-life balance. I am interested in how people use technologies to shape boundaries between work and personal life, and how they work around technology constraints to make this happen. I have focussed primarily on email management, as it is one of the most common communication technologies out there. Email habits are changing in our always-online society of ubiquitous technologies, and work and personal communications are happening beyond just email. I’m curious to understand what is today’s role of email with respect to other communication technologies, and how this plethora of mediums is shaping our society. This research is part of the Digital Epiphanies project and is taking place in the Social Computing Experiences Lab, lead by Dr Anna Cox.
Before my PhD in UCLIC (pronounced ‘u-click’), the UCL Interaction Centre, I lived most of my life in Verona, most famous for Romeo&Juliet, and less famous for the Two Gentlemen of Verona. Despite Shakespeare’s warning (“there is no world without Verona’s wall, but purgatory, torture, hell itself”), at the age of 20 I ventured out and moved to Padova for my undergraduate studies in Psychology in the second oldest university in the world (University of Padua), where Galileo Galilei taught and invented the telescope.
During my MSc, also in Padova, I also decided to spend a year in Finland working with the UIx group at Helsinki University and HIIT (Helsinki Institute for Information Technology) under the guidance of Prof. Giulio Jacucci and Dr Eve Hoggan. While up north, I conducted a series of studies around the use and interaction with large public displays, as well as lab studies on haptic feedback and published my first paper as a co-author. I also spent nine months learning Finnish and regretting not putting more effort in learning Latin when I was in high school (the two languages have far more in common than you’d think!). By the end of that year I could proudly describe my day in present tense. Now, 4 years later, I can remember a collection of random words, including the useful phrase “kaski olutta, kiitos!” (“two beers, please!” for those wondering…).
Back in Italy for my MSc dissertation, I worked at HTLab (Human Technology Lab) on multimodal feedback for touchless interactions, focusing on the role of haptics. This project was part of the European funded FP7 project CEEDs and was supervised by Prof. Luciano Gamberini and Prof. Giulio Jacucci from Helsinki University. To help with my work-life balance and remind myself that life is not just work-work-work, that year I became a volunteer paramedic. I worked weekly night shifts on emergency service ambulances, learning the absolute necessity of team-work and building resilience strategies to cope with stress. Despite having witnessed some high-intensity and emotionally-loaded situations, it was one of the best experiences of my life.
My desire to travel and experience new cultures was not satisfied, so in summer 2013, after graduating I applied for a PhD at UCL. One and half months after getting my acceptance letter, I was packing my bags again, this time with a one-way ticket for my absolute favourite city in the world – London – to start my PhD in UCLIC (pronounced ‘u-click’), the UCL Interaction Centre. As I got (and still get) the grips with this PhD-lark, I started exploring London on foot and expanding my culinary experiences. Weirdly enough, I had never had a mango or an avocado before!
In summer of 2015 I interrupted my PhD to do an internship at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK. I worked in the Human Experience & Design group with Abigail Sellen and Gavin Smyth, as well as Milad Shokouhi from the Machine Intelligence and Perception group. My project there looked at how we manage and retrieve emails across multiple devices.
At the moment (2016), I am in my third year of the PhD. I have moved to Cambridge permanently (for now) and for the first time in my life, I have a garden so I can sit and write my thesis outside, with a glass of Valpolicella Superiore. Between writing, teaching, reading, and doing studies, I keep myself sane by going running, cooking, and catching up with Netflix.