Summary

User experience researcher with expertise in experimental design, data analysis, and statistics. Over 8 years of experience in planning and leading data-driven projects, from designing experiments and surveys, to clearly communicating insights to both technical and non-technical audiences.

Education

2015 – 2020

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Cognitive Science, minor in Quantitative Methods
University of British Columbia

2013 – 2015

Master of Arts (MA)
Cognitive Science
University of British Columbia

2009 – 2013

Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons)
Psychology
University of British Columbia

Skills

Technical

  • Mixed methods research
  • User testing
  • Data analysis
  • Data visualization
  • A/B testing
  • Experimental design
  • Statistics
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Survey design
  • Eye tracking

Machine learning / deep learning

  • Supervised and unsupervised learning
    • Classification
    • Regression
    • Clustering
  • Convolutional neural networks (CNN)
  • Dimensionality reduction
    • PCA
    • Latent factor methods
  • Object localization

Software

  • Python
  • Pandas
  • Matplotlib
  • R
  • SPSS
  • Surveys (Qualtrics, Google Forms)
  • PyTorch
  • Google Analytics
  • Databases (SQL)
  • Git
  • HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • Microsoft Excel, Word, Powerpoint

Statistics

  • Research methods
  • Exploratory data analysis
  • Multiple linear regression
  • Analysis of variance
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Survey design and measurement theory
  • Factor analysis
  • Structural equation modelling

Experience

2013 – 2020

Attentional Neuroscience Lab
Research Scientist

  • Employed mixed methods to study user behaviour and internal cognitive states. Approaches included quantitative analysis of experiments and qualitative analysis of surveys/interviews.
  • Managed research operations, including recruitment, ethics, budgeting, user testing, and data analysis.
  • Expert in experimental design with over 15 published experiments.
  • Tested usability and validity of experiment designs using pilot studies.
  • Programmed data collection platform to collect user data across 9 projects, resulting in 50% faster project completion. Link: GitHub/cognitive-battery
  • Created Python dashboards to aid cleaning of experiment data. Reduced cleaning time by 90%.
  • Created open-source Python package to analyse time-series data. Link: GitHub/sensormotion
  • Trained and mentored 14 researchers on research skills (e.g. project planning, data handling, analysis).
  • Teaching assistant for 6 undergraduate courses, and tutor for statistics and research methods.
  • Published results in 6 peer-reviewed journals and gave presentations at 11 research conferences.

2019 – 2020

Hackspace for Innovation and Visualization in Education
User Researcher

  • Used a mixed methods approach (experiments, surveys, semi-structured interviews) to evaluate effectiveness of the Microsoft HoloLens as a neuroanatomy teaching tool.
  • Collected behavioural data and performed statistical analysis to understand how mixed reality-based learning affects user performance and engagement.
  • Provided insight into how the design of mixed reality software interacts with user cognition.

2019 – 2020

Microsoft
Research Scientist (visiting researcher)

  • Designed and implemented algorithms for extracting novel behavioural metrics from HoloLens sensors.
  • Performed exploratory analysis to research the usability of new metrics in different production contexts.
  • Provided insights regarding the value and potential pitfalls of implementing new metrics in production.

2016 – 2019

UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology
Data Scientist

  • Employed quantitative and qualitative analysis to help instructors evaluate new teaching methods.
  • Conducted experiment to determine whether the benefits of a novel visualization technique outweighed the cost. Results saved over $2000 in future production cost.
  • Streamlined a multi-institution survey. Reduced survey length by 28% without affecting data quality.
  • Analysed A/B test involving 6000 students in an online learning environment to identify factors that improve user engagement.

2011 – 2013

Brain, Attention, and Reality Lab
Research Assistant

  • Designed eye tracking study to examine the role of eye gaze during social interactions.
  • Conducted eye tracking experiments to study the impact of video game experience on visual attention. Responsibilities included recruiting participants, data collection, and data analysis.

Projects

Webcam eye tracker

  • Developed a cost-effective webcam-based eye tracking method for use in usability testing.
  • Programmed data collection pipeline to collect and transform 50k webcam images.
  • Built machine learning computer vision architecture to model unstructured webcam image data.
    • Experimented with multiple end-to-end convolutional neural networks to explore the trade-off between computational cost and model performance.
  • Achieved a final eye tracking error of 1cm, rivalling more expensive infrared-based approaches.

Smartphone walking kinematics

  • Published novel method to measure outdoor walking kinematics using smartphones.
  • Technical lead on cross-functional, collaborative research project with the University of Bristol.
  • Collected both in-lab and real-world experiment data (time-series, unstructured images).
  • Designed algorithms to compute walking metrics from 3 million data points.
  • Method was faster and cheaper than traditional techniques, saving over $7000 in equipment cost.

Digital map reading

  • Designed multiple experiments to study the impact of cognitive function on learning digital maps.
  • Explored interaction between the user’s map reading strategy and cognitive load.
  • Findings have implications for the design of digital maps, as factors like the user’s cognitive state and map reading strategy can negatively impact learning.

Game character planner

  • Developed a web-based character planner for a mobile game using JavaScript/React.
  • Tracked user behaviour using Google Analytics and conducted interviews to understand user needs.
  • Incorporated insights from user testing sessions into the design of 3 new site features.

Publications

Journal Articles

Burtan, D., Joyce, K., Burn, J. F., Handy, T. C., Ho, S., & Leonards, U. (2021). The nature effect in motion: visual exposure to environmental scenes impacts cognitive load and human gait kinematics. Royal Society Open Science. doi: 10.1098/rsos.201100

Gooderham, G. K., Ho, S., & Handy, T. C. (2020). Variability in Executive Control Performance is Predicted by Physical Activity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00463

Ho, S., Mohtadi, A., Daud, K., Leonards, U., & Handy, T. C. (2019). Using smartphone accelerometry to assess the relationship between cognitive load and gait dynamics during outdoor walking. Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39718-w

Ho, S., Gooderham, G. K., & Handy, T. C. (2018). Self-reported free-living physical activity and executive control in young adults. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209616

Cheng, J. T., Tracy, J. L., Ho, S., & Henrich, J. (2016). Listen, follow me: Dynamic vocal signals of dominance predict emergent social rank in humans. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. doi: 10.1037/xge0000166

Ho, S., Foulsham, T., & Kingstone, A. (2015). Speaking and Listening with the Eyes: Gaze Signaling during Dyadic Interactions. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136905

Theses

Ho, S. (PhD dissertation, 2020). Cognition and motion: the relationship between cognitive function, physical activity, and gait dynamics in young adults. Link: UBC Circle

Ho, S. (MA thesis, 2015). Map reading under load : sex differences in learning digital maps. Link: UBC Circle

Ho, S. (Honours thesis, 2013). Here, There, and Everywhere: Spatial Location Moderates the Effect of Self-Relevance on Memory.

Ho, S. (Honours thesis, 2012). The Role of Task Instruction in Video Game Players’ Resistance to Distraction.

Blog Posts

Presentations

Oral Presentations

Carey, K., Grain, K., Dubois, P., Roberson, N., Moosvi, F., Moghtader, B., Semenec, P., Varao-Sousa, T., Ho, S., Kn, T. N., Roll, I., Briseño-Garzón, A. (October, 2018). Graduate Students as SoTL Specialists: Facilitating Faculty-Student Collaborations in a Large University. Talk presented at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference. Bergen, Norway.

Cheng, J. T., Tracy, J. L., Ho, S., & Henrich, J. (July, 2016). Listen, follow me: Dynamic vocal signals of dominance predict emergent social rank in humans. Talk presented in the session, “Mediators of sociality”, at the annual meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society. Vancouver, Canada.

Ho, S., Enns, J. T., Handy, T. C. (May, 2015). Map reading under load: Gender differences in learning digital maps. Talk presented at Psychfest. Vancouver, Canada.

Cheng, J. T., Tracy, J. L., Ho, S., & Henrich, J. (June, 2013). Listen, follow me: Changes in vocal pitch predict leader emergence. Talk presented in the symposium, “Causes and consequences of individual differences in social status: New insights from research on nonverbal behavior, neuroendocrinology, health, and self-regulatory goals” (J. T. Cheng & J. L. Tracy, Chairs), at the biennial meeting of the Association for Research in Personality. Charlotte, NC.

Cheng, J. T., Tracy, J. L., Ho, S., & Henrich, J. (May, 2013). Listen, follow me: Changes in vocal pitch predict leader emergence. Paper presented in the symposium, “Psychophysical cues to fertility, leadership capacity, trustworthiness, and health” (J.T. Cheng, & J.L. Tracy, Chairs), at the annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science. Washington, DC.

Ho. S., Truong, G., Chapman, C. S., Enns, J. T., & Handy, T. C. (March, 2013). Here, There, & Everywhere: Spatial location moderates the effect of self-relevance on memory. Talk presented at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Cheng, J. T., Tracy, J. L., Ho, S., & Henrich, J. (January, 2013). Listen, follow me: Changes in vocal pitch predict leader emergence. Talk presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Pre-Conference on Nonverbal Behavior. New Orleans, LA.

Poster Presentations

Ho, S., Mohtadi, A., Daud, K., Leonards, U., & Handy, T. C. (May, 2018). Walking in outdoor environments: using smartphones to assess the relationship between cognitive load and gait dynamics during outdoor walking. Poster presented at the Association for Psychological Science (APS) conference. San Francisco, USA.

Ho, S., Mohtadi, A., Daud, K., Leonards, U., & Handy, T. C. (May, 2018). Walking in outdoor environments: using smartphones to assess the relationship between cognitive load and gait dynamics during outdoor walking. Poster presented at the Canadian Action and Perception Network conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Ho, S., Daud, K., Leonards, U., & Handy, T. C. (November, 2017). Walk and Talk: The impact of attentional load on gait dynamics in young adults. Poster presented at the Society for Computers in Psychology conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Gooderham, G. K., Ho., S., & Handy, T. C. (November, 2017). Online Survey Tools in Longitudinal Cognitive Psychology Research: A Methodological Review. Poster presented at the Society for Computers in Psychology conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Ho, S. & Handy, T. C. (May, 2017). Executive function and gait dynamics in young adult populations. Poster presented at the Northwest Cognition and Memory Conference. Burnaby, Canada.

Ghanbarzehie, A., Ho, S., & Handy, T. C. (May, 2016). Examining the Impact of Physical Activity and Sleep on Sustained Attention. Poster presented at Connecting Minds conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Ho, S., Gooderham, K., & Handy, T. C. (May, 2016). Lifestyle and Cognition: The relationship between sleep, exercise, and exam performance. Poster presented at the Northwest Cognition and Memory Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Ghanbarzehie, A., Ho, S., & Handy, T. C. (March, 2016). Examining the Impact of Physical Activity and Sleep on Sustained Attention. Poster presented at the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Gooderham, K., Ho, S., & Handy, T. C. (March, 2016). Lifestyle and Cognition: The relationship between sleep, exercise, and exam performance. Poster presented at the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Ghanbarzehie, A., Ho, S., & Handy, T. C. (March, 2016). Examining the Impact of Physical Activity and Sleep on Sustained Attention. Poster presented at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Gooderham, K., Ho, S., & Handy, T. C. (March, 2016). Lifestyle and Cognition: The relationship between sleep, exercise, and exam performance. Poster presented at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Tse, S., Marozoff, S., Gooderham, K., Ho, S., Enns, J. T., Handy, T. C. (May, 2015). The Effect of Cognitive Load on Learning Digital Maps. Poster presented at the Northwest Cognition and Memory Conference. Bellingham, WA.

Gooderham, K., Tse, S., Ho, S., Enns, J. T., Handy, T. C. (March, 2015). The Effect of Cognitive Load on Learning Digital Maps. Poster presented at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Marozoff, S., Gooderham, K., Tse, S., Ho, S., Enns, J. T., Handy, T. C. (March, 2015). The Effect of Cognitive Load on Learning Digital Maps. Poster presented at the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Ho. S., Foulsham, T., & Kingstone, A. (May, 2014). Look Who’s Talking: Effect of Knowledge and Talking on Social Gaze. Poster presented at the Northwest Cognition and Memory Conference. Victoria, Canada.

Ho. S., Truong, G., Chapman, C. S., Enns, J. T., & Handy, T. C. (May, 2013). Here, There, & Everywhere: Spatial location moderates the effect of self-relevance on memory. Poster presented at the Northwest Cognition and Memory Conference. Surrey, Canada.

Ho. S., Truong, G., Chapman, C. S., Enns, J. T., & Handy, T. C. (March, 2013). Here, There, & Everywhere: Spatial location moderates the effect of self-relevance on memory. Poster presented at the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Chisholm, J. D., Ho, S., & Kingstone, A. (March, 2013). Why are action video game players better? A test of the ”Learning to Learn” proposal. Poster presented at Entertainment Software and Cognitive Neurotherapeutics Society. Los Angeles, California.

Cheng, J. T., Tracy, J. L., Ho, S., & Henrich, J. (January, 2013). Listen, follow me: Changes in vocal pitch predict leader emergence. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. New Orleans, Louisiana.

Ho, S., Chisholm, J. D., & Kingstone, A. (April, 2012). The Role of Task Instruction in Action Video Game Players’ Resistance to Distraction. Poster presented at Psychology Students’ Association Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Teaching

Supervision

2013 – 2020

Trained and mentored 14 undergraduate researchers across multiple concurrent projects

2013 – 2020

Supervised multiple Honours, directed studies, and thesis students

2013 – 2019

Graduate Student Advisor for the Undergraduate Journal of Psychology. Provided guidance on the journal review process to editors and reviewers

Teaching Assistantships

2014 – 2015

Cognitive Neuroscience, University of British Columbia
Instructor: Dr. Todd Handy

2014

Cognitive Processes, University of British Columbia
Instructor: Dr. Todd Handy

2014

Social Psychology, University of British Columbia
Instructor: Dr. Alyssa Croft

2013

Personality Psychology, University of British Columbia
Instructor: Dr. Jessica Tracy

2013

Forensic Psychology, University of British Columbia
Instructor: Dr. Donald Dutton

Certifications

  • Neural Networks and Deep Learning by deeplearning.ai on Coursera (2019)
  • Improving Deep Neural Networks: Hyperparameter tuning, Regularization and Optimization by deeplearning.ai on Coursera (2019)
  • Structuring Machine Learning Projects by deeplearning.ai on Coursera (2019)

Awards

2017 – 2019

Faculty of Arts Graduate Award, UBC

2015 – 2019

Kitty Heller Foundation Fellowship, UBC

2014

Faculty of Arts Graduate Award, UBC

2013

Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Student Award for Academic Excellence, Best Undergraduate Honours Thesis

2013

Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Research Award, UBC

2013

Outstanding Research Talk, 15th Annual UBC Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference

2012

Trek Excellence Scholarship, UBC

2012

Faculty of Arts International Student Scholarship, UBC

2012

Rosemary Stewart Scholarship, UBC

2011

Member, PsiChi International Honour Society in Psychology

2010

Rosemary Stewart Scholarship, UBC