Innovative approaches to answering difficult research problems. Award-winning teaching. Cutting-edge product on the App Store.




My language experiments in the Language, Development, & Cognition lab at CU Boulder make use of the tools Psychopy, Qualtrics, and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk along with the statistics package R to answer clear research questions and deliver actionable answers.

My goal is  to utilize large amounts of data from meticulous experimental design to tell a clear story through publications and novel data visualizations.

I am presently engaged in research in three domains: Time Conceptualization, Health & Stigma, and User Experience.


Nearly every expression that we use encodes time. It is fundamental to the human experience. For English speakers, time is physical, with the past behind us and the future in front of us. That’s why we can ‘look back on our lives’ or ‘look forward to a meeting.’ But my research shows that the past and …

User Experience

Language is also critical in developing engaging and effective user products. My research tackles this issue in two ways. First, the Inherent Games lab repeatedly runs tests with users, placing prototypes in their hands and gathering as much qualitative data—especially verbal descriptions of their experience—as possible. These data are used to change products from the …

Health & Stigma

The way we talk about diseases matters. In a series of experiments using Qualtrics surveys on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, Shefali Das, Saud Alwatban, and I are demonstrating that people with diabetes are perceived as more guilty and deserved of punishment than those with other diseases, even for a completely unrelated crime. Interestingly, this effect is …


Passion translates to passion. In every course I teach, I try to convey how exciting a time it is to be in the fields of Linguistics and Cognitive Science. There are a tremendous amount of unanswered questions about the intricate interplay of language, cognition, design, and culture.

Languages of the World

Spring 2015 & Fall 2013. A survey of the world’s 6-7,000 languages, covering language families, structure, and the possible role of language on in nonlinguistic thought.

Metaphor & Mind

Fall 2014 & Fall 2012. An in-depth study of empirical approaches to Cognitive Linguistics, with emphasis on conceptual metaphor and embodied cognition.

Language in U.S. Society

Spring 2013, Spring 2012, Fall 2011, & Spring 2011. An overview of linguistic varieties in the United States, covering identity construction, accent discrimination, and bilingual education.

User-based Game Design

Teaching language concepts through games is difficult work. That’s why I’ve put together a workshop that focuses on hands-on game design for language learning. Focusing on the user first, students brainstorm, design, playtest, and revise a board, social, or mobile game that teaches novel words to the player.

Writing & Rhetoric

Fall 2015. Research doesn’t mean much if you’re not able to deliver your message in a persuasive manner. In my Writing & Rhetoric class, I teach the importance of writing data-driven argumentative papers that are accessible to a general audience.


Inherent Games


Working with engineers, designers, and artists, our company has worked to re-shape the language-learning space by giving users what they want: game-based language instruction.

Using the affordances of mobile devices, Inherent Games works to make language physical. Players gesture to learn key concepts, like rotating the device like a steering wheel to learn ‘drive.’

Inherent Games’ first app, now available on the App Store, is the result of funding from the National Science Foundation.