Sarah Coburn has a BA from Westmont College (where she was a President’s Scholar and the recipient of an NSF Computer Science Scholarship). She majored in computer science with an emphasis in psychology; her interests are focused on cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. In her senior project, she created a computer program that improved task management by learning the personality of the user (interactive technology). As an undergraduate, she held several leadership positions on campus in government and in the choral program; she founded an a capella singing group; and she was a weekly mathematics tutor at a dual language elementary charter school for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Sarah has applied to the doctoral program in Computer Science& Engineering. In her application, she summarized her interest in MSU this way: “I came across the MIND Lab at MSU, and I was attracted to the research theme of human-computer interaction in virtual environments, as well as augmented reality interface design. Also, the facilities at this lab could be very useful in what I am interested in, especially the immersive virtual reality platform and the psychological measurement systems. Together, these could be used to research and create intelligent interfaces that rely on more than just mouse clicks.” She will be working with Charles Owen’s research group.
BA from Westmont College
* President’s Scholar
* Recipient of an NSF Computer Science Scholarship
I have always been interested in computing, which led me to attending Grand Valley State University where I majored in Computer Science with an intention to pursue a career as a software engineer. I was a software engineering intern for three years at a company called Industrial Service Technology in Grand Rapids where I was involved in a number of software projects. However, during my time as an undergraduate, I became interested in biology, and how I can use computers to solve biological problems. I am now in the Computer Science PhD program at MSU, where I am working with Dr. C. Titus Brown in the Lab of Genomics, Evolution, and Development. My initial interests are in vertebrate genomics, particularly the sea lamprey, due to its unique place in the tree of life and its role in the Great Lakes as an invasive species.
B. A. Grand Valley State University, 2009. Computer Science
I am currently a PhD student in the Media and Information Studies
program at Michigan State University. I hold a Professional MSc
in Industrial Mathematics from Michigan State University and an
MSc in Economics from Madras School of Economics, Chennai. I received
my Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Mathematics and Statistics
from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore University.
My research interest is in the area of information economics and
policy. I am particularly interested in studying the market structure
and behavior of the information industry. My current research activities
include working with Prof. Johannes M. Bauer on ‘The Economics
of Malware’ and ‘The Economics of Multi-Play’.
My goal is to be able find efficient business models that not only
maximize a firm’s profit but also optimize consumer surplus
in an extremely dynamic market where network effects play a huge
role in the smooth functioning of the system.
B. S. Mount Carmel College, Bangalore University.
Economics, Mathematics and Statistics.
M. Sc. Michigan State University.
M. Sc. Madras School of Economics, Chennai. Economics
Biography and Curriculum Vitae
Christina Wirth is a second year doctoral student in the Media
and Information Studies program at Michigan State University. She
has worked as a research assistant on projects funded by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation for
the past three and a half years. These projects have focused mainly
on the digital divide and teaching and motivating people to engage
in online safety behaviors. She is also interested in negative media
effects, the societal impact of the media and health communication
through new media technologies such as the Internet.
B. A. The University of Denver, 2004.
Communication and Spanish
M. A.,Michigan State University. 2006.
Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies & Media
Currently Ph.D. student, MSU Telecommunication, Media and Information
Studies expected completion in 2009. Specialization: Negative media
- The Information Society
- Comparative and International Telecommunications
- Telecommunication and Information Industries
Publications & Papers
LaRose, R., Rifon, N., & Wirth, C. (2007). Online Safety
Begins with You and Me: Getting Internet Users to Protect Themselves.
Paper presented at the 57th Annual Conference of the International
Wirth, C.B, Rifon, N.J, LaRose, R.J. & Lewis, M.L. (2007).
Promoting Teenage Online Safety with an I-Safety Intervention:
Enhancing Self-efficacy and Protective Behaviors. Submitted
for presentation to the International Communication Association
Conference, Montreal, Canada.
Lewis, M.L., LaRose, R.J., Rifon, N.J, & Wirth, C.B. (2007).
Self-Efficacy Manipulations in Protection Motivation Research:
A Meta-Analysis. Submitted for presentation to the International
Communication Association Conference, Montreal, Canada.
LaRose, R.J., Rifon, N.J., & Wirth, C.B. (2007). Communicating
Online Safety: Motivating Online Self-Protection. Submitted
for publication in Journal of Communication.
Shaw, P., LaRose, R.J., & Wirth, C.B. (2007). Reaching
a New Level and Other Pleasures of Massive Multiplayer Online Games:
A Social Cognitive Theory of MMO Usage. Submitted for publication
in CyberPsychology and Behavior.
Memberships & Honors
- International Communication Association
Member: 2005 – present
- Phi Kappa Phi
- Recipient, CUMREC Fellowship
- Recipient, Dean's Office Fellowship, College of Communication
- Recipient, Rasmussen Fellowship, The Graduate School, Michigan
State University 2006
I grew up in Jackson, Michigan and graduated from a relatively
small high school there in 2000. I've been working with computers
and loved using them since I was 10 years old. This being the case,
when I went to Western Michigan University, I majored in the computer
information systems program and finished my undergraduate degree
Unfortunately, the jobs I had after graduating with my bachelor's
were not very satisfying. I started to think about what I thought
was interesting and what I liked doing in my free time. My decision
to apply and subsequently enroll in the Graduate program in Digital
Media Art and Technology here at MSU in 2006 has been the best personal
and career decision I've made. Working in a creative realm with
great faculty and students has been a great experience. My focus
of study is in 3D Graphics / Animation and I could not be more pleased
with it. It is an extremely challenging, but very rewarding medium
to work in and requires a technical and creative mindset. Being
passionate about what I am working on makes all the difference in
the world and the support of professors along the way is wonderful.
After I have completed my masters degree I will be pursuing a career
as a 3D artist, continue to work on personal projects, and further
educate myself and others in the fascinating field I am in.
B. S. Western Michigan University. 2004.
Computer Information Systems