I am a PhD candidate at the University of Washington's Information School. I am particularly interested in comparing and combining the subject indexing approaches of professional indexers, domain and folk experts, social and casual indexers, and machine indexers.
I returned to academia after a 15 year career as a technical writer and technical writing manager at IBM and Google. As a technical writer, I wrote about databases and storage systems, data analytics tools, internationalization, and a variety of other technologies. At IBM I wrote documentation for DB2 for z/OS. At Google I wrote about almost every part of Google's internal software stack and led the team in charge of that documentation for years. I also went beyond writing documentation and built a variety of metadata-based information architecture tools and a company-wide crowdsourced glossary that supplied much of the knowledge graph for Google's internal search. When Google's internal software infrastructure became an external platform, I was Head of Documentation for Google Cloud Platform for a couple of years.
I enjoyed learning and writing about technology and I enjoyed managing my teams at Google, but I became even more interested in how to organize all of the information that we were writing. I decided to learn more about how to classify and organize large corpora and— because I always loved teaching—to prepare for a second career as a professor.
Labs and People
I am a member of two research groups in the University of Washington iSchool:
- The Data Science and Analytics Lab (Datalab), which helps me take a Big Data approach.
- The Knowledge Organization and Classification group, which helps me understand approaches more grounded in librarianship.
I work with the following UW professors:
- International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO)
- Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)
- Special Interest Group on Classification Research (SIG/CR) - Social Media Officer and Webmaster
I am an avid runner. When I was younger and faster I ran on Google's competitive relay team for 7 years, helping to win numerous races across the country. I also completed 6 marathons, including a 3:04 in the Boston Marathon. More recently, I ran an ultramaraton, the Chuckanut 50k Ultramarathon.
I read for fun, primarily literary fiction.
I enjoy geocaching, either by myself or with my daughters.
I listen to indie rock and indie pop, especially bands like Belle and Sebastian and the Decemberists. You can see my top albums for each year from 1993 to the present.
I typically commute to campus on my bicycle.
I run my own library! It is very small—a Little Free Library in my front yard—but I think it is great.