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.
Matthew Berland
Visiting Scholar
Matthew Berland Matthew Berland ( is a visiting scholar in Comparative Media Studies at MIT, an Associate Professor of Design, Creative, and Informal Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UW–Madison, and Affiliate Faculty in Information Studies, Computer Sciences, Educational Psychology, and Science/Technology Studies. He uses design-based research to create and analyze tools and learning environments that support students' creative agency and computational literacies. His projects are designed to better understand how students learn complex skills and understandings through mixed methods including learning analytics, data mining, and constructionist design research. Berland holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, and he is the director of both the Complex Play Lab and the UW Game Design Program.
Chris Buttimer
Postdoctoral Associate
Chris Buttimer Chris Buttimer is a postdoctoral associate and educational researcher in the Teaching Systems Lab. His research focuses on supporting teachers to incorporate equity teaching, including through the use of MOOCs, blended learning spaces, and action research. Chris is also a former middle school ELA teacher in the Cambridge (MA) Public Schools, and he has extensive experience providing professional development to teachers in MA and GA around adolescent literacy, socioemotional learning, and youth participatory action research. He holds an Ed.D. and Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, an M.Ed. from UMass Boston, and a B.A. from Wake Forest 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.
Joshua Glick
Fellow, Open Documentary Lab
Joshua Glick Joshua Glick is an A​ssistant Professor of English and Film & Media Studies at Hendrix College and affiliate faculty at Columbia University, where he teaches in their Global Core. He holds a Ph.D. in Film & Media Studies and American Studies from Yale University. Glick’s research, teaching, and public humanities projects focus on documentary, race and representation, cultural studies, the comparative histories of cinema, TV, and radio, and emerging media. His writing has appeared in Jump Cut, Film Quarterly, World Records, Film History, Documentary, The Moving Image, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, and numerous edited volumes. Glick served as the digital media curator and produced the award-winning documentary This Side of Dreamland (2016) for the NEH-funded museum exhibition, Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008. His book Los Angeles Documentary and the Production of Public History, 1958–1977 was recently published by the University of California Press. Glick is currently co-editing a volume with Patricia Aufderheide that brings scholars and practitioners into dialogue around the ethics and aesthetics of social justice filmmaking. He is also researching a new book project on contemporary documentary and the media industries as well as collaborating with the flagship PBS series POV on a digitization and community outreach initiative.
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.
Melissa Kagen
Visiting Scholar
Melissa Kagen Melissa Kagen holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University (2016) and has spent the last several years as a lecturer in Digital Media & Gaming at Bangor University in Wales. She has published work in Game Studies, Convergence, The German Quarterly, The Opera Quarterly, and The Year’s Work in Nerds, Wonks, and Neocons, as well as a forthcoming article in Gamevironments. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds. Her research focuses on walking simulators, postcolonial play, gendered gaming, and intersections between participatory theater and videogames​. Wandering Games​, her current book project, considers the different ways that bodies can wander (and players can be wanderers) depending on the game world. She is excited to spend this year in collaboration with the Game Lab, working on transgressive, counter-colonialist play of board games and video games.
Laura Larke
Postdoctoral Associate
Laura Larke Laura Larke is a social theorist and qualitative researcher interested in how power is enacted and experienced at the intersection of computer science, education policy, and classroom practice. She is currently working on the CSforALL: PACE and INSPIRE: CS-AI projects at MIT’s Teaching Systems Lab, supporting the improvement of equity in computer science education in Massachusetts and beyond.

She earned her DPhil in Education and MSc in Education (Learning & Technology) from the University of Oxford and her BA in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her doctoral research focused on how local, professional cultures and power relationships impacted the way that England’s new national computing curriculum was implemented in schools.
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.
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.