A list of all the posts and pages found on the site. For you robots out there is an XML version available for digesting as well.


Responsibly Reporting Scientific Findings


An article on strategies young researchers can adopt in order to responsibly contextualize research to the general public.

Recommended citation: Saund, Carolyn. (2019). "Responsibly reporting neuroscientific findings" Bright Brains. British Neuroscience Association.

Neuroscience of Emotion: Book Review


An academic review of The Neuroscience of Emotion by Adolphs and Andersson.

Recommended citation: Saund, Carolyn. (2019). "Neuroscience of Emotion." The Psychologist. 32(1).


Cancel Culture Doesn’t Exist, Followup

10 minute read

Thanks all for the engagement on my last post about “cancel culture” (I’m not an #influencer or anything, I just like discussion). In light of a few points that were raised, I’ve written a follow-up that I think clarifies some of my position, incorporates some peoples’ comments, and speaks more directly to some folks’ concerns.

Cancel Culture Doesn’t Exist

10 minute read

Hey y’all, back atcha with another Long post about Cancel Culture, because it seems like it’s an issue that effectively and efficiently sews divide in folks across the spectrum in a way that is surprising and frankly quite frightening. Please engage if you feel moved to, I promise to moderate conversations on this post to be civil and mutually respectful.

Coronavirus Information

4 minute read

Coronavirus vaccination information, for my friends who express concerns over how quickly the vaccine was developed, from a total lay-person-who-knows-a-bit-of-biology’s perspective. This is NOT written for anti-vaxxers, but for the many friends I’ve had who express skepticism at how quickly this vaccine was developed.

Using Pronouns

2 minute read

I have some friends who I suspect might be confused by Elliot Page coming out. Specifically, when to use which pronouns.

‘Violence isn’t the answer’

16 minute read

For Folks who think Racism exists and needs to be dealt with, But Violence Is Never The Answer. Longest so far, and with the fewest concrete sources. I can’t find many good statistics.

‘All Lives Matter’

9 minute read

For people who think the police are thugs who are out of control, and also think “All Lives Matter.” The ground rules from before still apply. We are friends. I respect you, and you respect me at least enough to read this post. I am happy to engage either publicly or privately, and will listen with an open mind as I hope you do to me.

Tear Down The Statues

5 minute read

White folks who don’t like police brutality AND also don’t like tearing down statues: an earnest rebuttal.

Im Having Fun And You Cant Stop Me

6 minute read

In the past, I’ve been accused of having “too much fun,” at work. That it “looks like I don’t do anything,” and I’m “always off away from the lab.” I post “too many photos of having fun,” and am generally far too cheery when folks ask me how I’m doing. Apparently, “fantastic!” and “living the dream!” are inappropriate responses to this question. It’s as if having fun, enjoying my lab, loving the fact that my work is the bomb-diggity, means that I can’t possibly be doing any real work.

The Hype is Real, but the Tech is Not.

3 minute read

Human-Computer interaction is hard, but our technological interfaces have improved over time. From terminal commands to touchpads, and text to voice interfaces, consumer electronics industries understand that ease-of-use is of the utmost importance to customers. The ultimate evolution of this idea is a frictionless Brain-Computer Interface (BCI).

Report Responsibly

2 minute read

How can we, as scientists, do better to inform the public of what we’re actually doing?

Stop Asking People How They Feel About Robots

2 minute read

Humans are notoriously bad at self-reporting everything about ourselves, from our nutritional habits to sleep patterns. So, it always strikes me as odd that social roboticists seem to insist on “measuring,” social personality traits with surveys and personal reports.

Humans Especially Encourage To Apply: Why You Should Not Be Afraid Of Robots

33 minute read

As a new PhD student, starting at a new university, in a new city, in a new country, I’ve found myself introducing my work to many new people lately. I have worked in and (plan to, remember, just started) study machine learning for social and emotional interactions in robots. I’ve experimented with many ways to introduce this topic: “emotional intelligence, but for robots,” “social robotics,” “machine learning for robotic emotions.” Try as I might, I always get some flavor of this response:

Concrete Examples.

15 minute read

“Women are socialized to…”

I’ve had many friends basically say they don’t believe “women are raised to…” and use this skepticism to put the burden of gender inequality on women. Here are some concrete examples I can think of that support the idea that, currently, women are brought up in society to…

Graduate School Dreams

5 minute read

An honest, cheeky, unfiltered brain dump of why I’m ready to go back. Partially an exercise to aid writing my statement of purpose, maybe somebody else can solidify

Dev Chat Interview

9 minute read

A chat for my friends’ blog series, reposted from original found here

Paradox of Awareness

6 minute read

Being a woman is really, really weird. As, I assume, being a man can be really, really weird. But I put forth the idea that being a woman leads to a constant rollercoaster of crazy second-guessing and walking a stupidly fine line between “being assertive” and “playing the victim.”

Deep Learning, Evolution, and Why Intelligence is not (just) Recognition

14 minute read

There has been a lot of talk recently about Deep Learning. Namely, how its recent resurgence is kicking ass across the board on machine learning benchmarks left and right. At the 2010 (and 2012) ImageNet Large Scale Image Recognition Competition, a group from University of Toronto, led by Geoffrey Hinton, built a neural net which outperformed the competition by 10% reduction in classification error rate (misrecognizing an image, so saying a picture that is in fact of a magnifying glass is a photo of scissors). This essentially brought neural networks back into play for the field of computer vision, where it dominates what most of us consider to be the coolest latest technology. Facebook’s face recognition? Neural network. Google’s self-driving cars? Controlled by neural nets. The tempting logical jump to make here is: artificial intelligence? Let’s just use a neural net!


Girls Computer Club

Mentor and Organizer


  • Instructor and curriculum designer for the Girls Computer Club for secondary school students.
  • Recruited 20 girls from local secondary schools.
  • Taught computer science basics, including sorting algorithms, pointers, and python basics.

Women in Computer Science



  • Coordinated logistics of club hackathons, speakers, and outreach.
  • Led executive board in creating WiCS mission and club constitution.
  • Grew club 4x over two years.

Girls Who Code



  • Instructor for Girls Who Code program.
  • Supplemented given curriculum with weekly lessons on computer science basics.
  • Brought in speakers for work presentations, demos, and artists who employ technology in their work.

Cambridge Inventors Club

Volunteer Mentor & Organizer


  • Organized and designed engineering curriculum for Cambridge Inventors Club.
  • 40 children age 11-13 each term participated weekly in engineering challenges, including engineering design principles like iterative testing and collaborative working.

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Resilient Coders

Mentor and Organizer


  • Cogito corporate sponsor and technical mentor for Resilient Coders -- an organization which trains non-traditional background adult students to become software developers.
  • Developed a 8-week "boot camp" curriculum for two apprenticeships.
  • Trained apprentices in software development practices, and in presenting to company.

Girl Guiding



  • Troupe volunteer for Girl Guiding program, ages 9-11.
  • Volunteer weekly with troupe leading leadership and cooperation building skills.
  • Supervise weekend trips to museums and venues around Glasgow.

Student Representative

SRC Class Representative


  • Gathered feedback on courses, program structure, and student experience.
  • Participated in Student Council meetings to represent program cohort.
  • Collaborated with faculty and staff on program and messaging improvements.

STEM Ambassadors


  • Volunteer for STEM Ambassador program.
  • Participate in career talks and robotics demos for high schoolers.
  • Facilitate and mentor high school robotics team.
  • Regularly volunteer with primary schools to teach STEAM lessons about team-based engineering.

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Athena SWAN

Committee Member


  • On Student committee for department Athena SWAN chapter.
  • Designed and implemented initiatives to encourage students to become STEM Ambassadors.
  • Implemented metric gathering mechanism to track demographics of seminar and workshop participation.
  • Collaborated with sociology department on evaluation metrics and surveys to ensure validity of efficacy reports.

Social Robots Journal Club



  • Started and organized Social Robots Journal Club -- with student members from four departments across the university.
  • Organized "Field Trip" to Edinburgh for Social Robotics exhibit.
  • Organized "Bring Your Robot To Club" Day for cross-discipline idea exchange..

Data Science Intern, AI for Good


Volunteer internship with AI for Good working on mixed-method data analysis for project in collaboration with Care Leavers and Spectra to identify obstacles and improve outcomes for children leaving government care. Designed and scoped project with plans to re-join and carryout data analysis in Summer 2021.

Data Analyst, DataKind

Data analyst with Data Kind on project involving NLP and text mining to gather data on human trafficking. Work with small team to learn needs of Stop The Traffic, perform variable extraction and document classification to identify trafficking patterns.


Research Assistant

Tufts University, Department of Biomedical Engineering


  • Research Assistant for Professor David Kaplan in silk lab.
  • Developed directional freezing technique for silk solution.
  • Trained in high-powered electron microscopy.

Teaching Assitant

Tufts University, Department of Computer Science


  • TA for CS courses: Introductory, Data Structures, Assembly Language Programming, and Machine Learning.
  • Ran labs, graded assignments, held open office hours and 1-1 tutoring sessions.
  • Participated in redesigning course curriculum for Machine Architecture and Assembly Language Programming.

Software Engineering Intern

Spotify Inc.


  • Full stack feature development of internal desktop application.
  • Developed web APIs and GUI for music annotation tools.

Robot SDK Developer

Jibo Inc.


  • Employee 20(/110)
  • Designed a series of tutorials from ”Getting Started” to advanced usage to onboard internal and external developers.
  • Architected data APIs for dev tools to manage robot sensory input from cameras and microphones.
  • Implemented frontend UI (React) and developer interfaces to build high-level skills.
  • Won inaugural company culture award for "outstanding cultural contributions."

Character AI Developer

Jibo Inc.


  • Designed and implemented robotic bi-axial Emotion System and corresponding impacts on robot behavior.
  • Fully implemented and maintained robot listening pipeline (main interface for interaction).

Senior Software Engineer

Cogito Corp.


  • Full-stack development of Role-Based User Management (RBUM) APIs
  • Front-end React feature development

Software Consultant

Jibo Inc.


  • Continuing work to rearchitect APIs in cloud-based architecture.

Platform Team Lead

Cogito Corp.


  • Merged two software teams, managed technical team of 10 full-time engineers.
  • Oversaw top-to-bottom development and implementation of three client-facing features.
  • Participated in technical and business software implementation decisions.
  • Presented technical progress to key non-technical stakeholders.
  • Hired and onboarded three product managers, including for other software teams.
  • Acted as Scrum master leading agile rituals (standup, planning, retro).
  • Implemented and managed release pipeline, and later trained release manager.



Genetic algorithms applied to LED badges


Multiple Metaphors in Metaphoric Gesturing


The use of metaphoric gestures by speakers has long been known to influence thought in the viewer. What is less clear is the extent to which the expression of multiple metaphors in a single gesture reliably affect viewer interpretation. Additionally, gestures which express only one metaphor are not sufficient to explain the broad array of metaphoric gestures and metaphoric scenes that human speakers naturally produce. In this paper we address three issues related to the implementation of metaphoric gestures in virtual humans. First, we break down naturally occurring examples of multiple-metaphor gestures, as well as metaphoric scenes created by gesture sequences. Then, we show the importance of capturing multiple metaphoric aspects of gesture with a behavioral experiment using crowdsourced judgements of videos of alterations of the naturally occurring gestures. Finally, we discuss the challenges for computationally modeling metaphoric gestures that are raised by our findings.

Download here

CCFM: An Architecture for Realtime Gesture Generation byClustering Gestures by Communicative Function and Motion


Gestures augment speech by performing a variety of communicative functions in humans and virtual agents, and are often related to speech by complex semantic, rhetorical, prosodic, and affective elements. In this paper we briefly present an architecture for humanlike gesturing in virtual agents that is designed to realize complex speech-to-gesture mappings by exploiting existing machine-learning based parsing tools and techniques to extract these functional elements from speech. We then deeply explore the rhetorical branch of this architecture, objectively assessing specifically whether existing rhetorical parsing techniques can classify gestures into classes with distinct movement properties. To do this, we take a corpus of spontaneously generated gestures and correlate their movement to co-speech utterances. We cluster gestures based on their rhetorical properties, and then by their movement.Our objective analysis suggests that some rhetorical structures are identifiable by our movement features while others require further exploration. We explore possibilities behind these findings and propose future experiments that may further reveal nuances of the richness of the mapping between speech and motion. This work builds towards a real-time gesture generator which performs gestures that effectively convey rich communicative functions.

Download here



Boston ML Meetup

Human-Computer Interfaces

It’s 2016, and humans don’t give instructions through terminals anymore. The future of interfaces is social. Natural language understanding, conversational dialogs, and subtle social cues are the new instruction set – what challenges exist in the vast field of HCI, and how can current machine learning techniques address them?

Lesbians Who Tech

"Alexa, Read the Room."

Emotions govern so much of human behavior – why are voice agents taking so long to catch up? What does the future of an emotional voice interface look like, and how will the ability to perceive and express emotions influence the development of voice interfaces in the future?


Social Robotics Workshop

What is a social robot? What applications are social robots uniquely suited for, and how can we design interactions that are useful, and socially fulfilling?

Women in Technology Conference

Imposter Syndrome

There’s earnest self-improvement and criticism, and then there’s crippling self-doubt. Learn techniques to differentiate between subtlties of the two, and identify self-sabotaging behaviors you can mitigate to reach your highest potential.

FameLab Scotland Finalist

FameLab Scottish first runner-up discussing what Smart technology really means and why calling it “smart” is perhaps a bit of a misnomer. View presentation here.