Visitors and Postdoctoral Associates

CMS/W takes pride in welcoming young and established scholars and helping them advance their own work by pairing them with one of our research groups. Past visitors have played key roles in our speaker series, contributed to masters student theses, and established long-term ties between MIT and other institutions.

How how to join us as a visiting scholar or postdoctoral associate.

Nancy Baym
Research Affiliate
Nancy Baym Nancy Baym is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New England, a couple of blocks to the east of CMS/W's haunts. Her work focuses on interpersonal relationships and new technologies. She is the author of Personal Connections in the Digital Age (Polity 2010), Internet Inquiry (co-authored with Annette Markham) (Sage 2009) and Tune In, Log On: Soaps Fandom and Online Community (Sage 1999). Her current research is about musicians' relationships with audiences and how social media affect them.
Zeynep Çetin Erus
Visiting Scholar
Zeynep Çetin Erus Zeynep Çetin Erus is a Professor at Marmara University, Faculty of Communications in Istanbul, Turkey. Her Ph.D. thesis is on adaptations from novel to cinema. She had been a visiting scholar at Northwestern University during 2002-2004 and 2011-2012 academic years. Her research focuses on adaptations as well as Turkish Cinema industry and Third Cinema movements in Turkey. Her current work investigates striking increase in box office of domestic films in Turkey in a comparative framework. She has several journal articles and three books. She teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses on film studies at Marmara University.
Katerina Cizek
MIT Visiting Artist
Katerina Cizek Director of the National Film Board of Canada’s multi-year HIGHRISE project, Katerina Cizek is an Emmy-winning documentary-maker working across multiple media platforms. Prior to HIGHRISE, she worked as the NFB’s Filmmaker in Residence. Her work has documented the digital revolution and has itself become part of the movement.

For more information on the MIT Visiting Artists Program, visit Arts@MIT.
Rus Gant
Fellow, Open Documentary Lab
Rus Gant Rus Gant is a well-regarded international 3D artist, computer engineer and educator. He is currently on the Research staff at Harvard University, he is also a Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Open Doc Lab and is on the adjunct faculty at Tokyo’s Showa Women’s University’s Institute for Language and Culture, he is currently pursuing work in the future of real-time 3D computer graphics, virtual reality, augmented reality and telepresence for teaching. He currently runs the Visualization Research and Teaching Laboratory at Harvard and has served as the Lead Technical artist for the Giza 3D project at Harvard reconstructing the pyramids, temples and tombs on the Egyptian Giza Plateau in virtual reality. He is a past fellow at the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies and the Center for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. For more than 40 years he has applied his visualization skills to work in computer science, science education, archaeology and museology for some of the world’s leading museums and universities.
Garron Hillaire
Postdoctoral Associate
Garron Hillaire Garron Hillaire completed his B.A in Mathematics (philosophy option) from the University of Washington and his Ed. M. Technology Innovation and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After working as an Educational Software Architect at where he researched Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for four year he enrolled in the Open World Learning research program at the Open University, UK as a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Technology. His thesis focuses on emotional measurement and emotional design in online and blended learning with a focus on sentiment analysis using crowd sourcing methods.

Currently he is a postdoctoral associate at the CMS/W department at MIT where he is part of the Teaching Systems Lab as a member of the Equity Teacher Practice team which focuses on teacher education using practice spaces such as the Teacher Moments simulations. Practice spaces allow teachers to practice how to interact with colleagues and students to better understand issues of equity as it relates to topics like computer science education in K-12 settings. The Equity Teacher Practice team works with professional development organizations, teacher education programs in higher education, and school districts to support teacher professional development on equity. He is exploring how emotional measures can help teachers to reflect on their practice.
Alexander Pfeiffer
Postdoctoral Fellow
Alexander Pfeiffer Alexander Pfeiffer is recipient of a Max Kade Fellowship awarded by the Austrian Academy of Science to work at MIT with The Education Arcade. His research focus as a postdoctoral fellow is on blockchain technologies and their impact on game-based education and learning assessment.

Before joining MIT, Alexander headed the center for applied game studies at Danube-University Krems, Austria, for eight years. He is also co-founder of the Austrian-based tech start-up Picapipe GmbH and the Malta-based B & P Emerging Technologies Consultancy Lab Ltd. He holds a doctorate and a social and economic sciences degree (mag.rer.soc.oec) from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, a Master of Arts from Danube-University Krems, and an Executive MBA from Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage.

Besides this particular research his fields of interests are e-sports, media studies, emerging technologies, game studies and binge-watching TV series.
Dario Rodighiero
Postdoctoral Associate
Dario Rodighiero Dario Rodighiero ( is a postdoctoral associate at MIT in Comparative Media Studies/Writing and affiliated at EPFL in the Digital Humanities Laboratory. The Swiss National Science Foundation is currently funding his position for a project of scholarly mapping of worldwide collaborations.

Dario investigates the social dynamics of data visualization and the readers who recognize themselves in the visual representation. His research revolves around the design process that allow for combining computer programming, humanities, and vector graphics.

He received a Ph.D. from EPFL, attending the doctoral program of Architecture and Sciences of the City. His doctorate was advised by Prof. Frédéric Kaplan and Prof. Boris Beaude, while the dean Marilyne Andersen financed his studies. The outcome his thesis is a visual method called Affinity Map⁠.

Previously, Dario joined the médialab of Sciences Po, led by Prof. Bruno Latour, and has been a scientist at the European Commission and a research assistant at the University of Milano-Bicocca.
Sandra Rodriguez
Sandra Rodriguez Sandra Rodriguez (Ph.D. University of Montreal) is a documentary-maker and a scholar. As a Sociologist of New Media Technology, her interests focus on understanding our relationship to new media developments, networked cultures, interactive and immersive technology and how they are used for social change. A SSHRC postdoctoral fellow, Dr Rodriguez is a lecturer and a public speaker on sociology of the web, new media trends and technologies. She has published a book and articles on social mobilization in network cultures and collaborates as consultant with NGOs and organizations focusing on Youth, media and public engagement.

As a filmmaker, Sandra Rodriguez has directed, written and produced award winning documentary films broadcasted and exhibited internationally. In 2015, she authored and directed episode 05 of the interactive webseries Do Not Track (winner of a Peabody 2016), a personalized exploration of the web economy (dir. Brett Gaylor, co-produced Upian, ARTE, BR and NFB). She is currently a fellow at the MIT Open Doc Lab, where she pursues research-creation projects on rethinking impact, new storytelling forms and techniques.
José Ruipérez-Valiente
Postdoctoral Associate
José Ruipérez-Valiente José A. Ruipérez-Valiente completed his B.Eng. and M.Eng. in Telecommunications at Universidad Católica de San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM) and Universidad Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M) respectively, graduating in both cases with the best academic transcript of the class. Afterwards, he completed his M.Sc. and P.hD. in Telematics at UC3M while conducting research at Institute IMDEA Networks in the area of learning analytics and educational data mining. During this time, he completed two research stays of three months each, the first one at MIT and the second one at the University of Edinburgh. He has received several academic and research awards and has published more than 25 scientific publications in important journals and conferences of his area of research. He has also held industry appointments at Vocento, Accenture and ExoClick, combining experience in academia, research institutions and business companies.

Currently he is a postdoctoral associate at the CMS/W department at MIT where he is part of the Teaching Systems Lab and also collaborates with the Education Arcade in applying data science to large scale free online courses and to game-based environments to enhance human knowledge on how we learn. He is passionate about how learning occurs, solving data-based problems, teaching and sharing knowledge, yoga, nature and photography.
Greg Schwanbeck
Visiting Lecturer
Greg Schwanbeck Greg Schwanbeck is a visiting lecturer for MIT’s Scheller Teacher Education Program, teaching a three-course sequence in educational theory and practice (11.129-131). Greg draws on his more than 15 years of experience as a high school Physics teacher to inform his work in teacher training.

In addition to his role with MIT, Greg works full-time at Westwood High School, where he teaches Physics and Astronomy to grades 11 and 12 and serves as an instructional technology coach tasked with helping colleagues capitalize on the district’s 1-to-1 Chromebook program.

Greg is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a Google Educator, and a US Department of State Teachers for Global Classrooms fellow. Greg’s teaching methods and thoughts on educational technology have been featured nationally in publications such as The Huffington Post, EdSurge, and American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom by Katrina Fried.

Greg earned his master’s degree in Technology, Innovation, and Education at Harvard University and earned his bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Mathematics at Union College.
Carles Sora Domenjó
Postdoctoral Associate
Carles Sora Domenjó Carles Sora, a postdoctoral associate on a Fulbright grant with CMS/W's Open Documentary Lab, is a digital culture scholar at the Department of Communication of Pompeu Fabra University and a digital artist. He has been involved in several artistic, museum, and digital performance projects which have been exhibited at international conferences. Sora holds a Ph.D. and a M.S. in cognitive and interactive systems. His research interests are the impact of new immersive and interactive storytelling, temporal and spatial representations of digital media, interactive narratives, and digital arts. He has recently published a new book about digital temporalities in interactive narratives.