About Me

I am currently a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering at MIT in the Fluid Interfaces group in the MIT Media Lab.  I work with machine learning and human-centered design for applications in assisitve technology and health, and particularly personalized technologies and real-world data collection.  My current research focuses on creating new augmentative technologies for communication by developing a better understanding of non-traditional communication styles.  In my doctoral work, I have developed personalized machine learning models to classify the meaning of nonverbal vocalizations from individuals who do not communicate using typical verbal speech, as well as designed novel research protocols, datasets, and applications with this population.  My academic interests include machine learning & computational engineering, assistive technology, human-centered design, and human-computer interaction.  I have a strong background in computational and analytical modeling, design optimization, and product design.  I graduated from MIT in 2017 with a SM in mechanical engineering, and in 2015 with a SB in mechanical and ocean engineering.  

I am one of the founders of MIT's ATHack, a design and educational program focused on assistive technology.  I am also passionate about outreach and mentoring.  I have mentored teams in global engineering, introductory design, and toy development classes at MIT, and have been involved in a number of other outreach events on campus for K-12 students.

In my free time, I exploring my neighborhood and beyond, cooking, and reading.  I like to travel and see new places when I have the chance.  I enjoy running and walking outside by the Charles.  I also like listening to music and playing the piano.



Commalla (PhD Project) Overview