Gabriela Marcu
Assistant Professor
College of Computing and Informatics
Drexel University

Rush Building 414
30 N. 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

gmarcu -at-

I am an Assistant Professor in the College of Computing and Informatics and a Research Fellow with the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University. I hold a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University, and a BS in Informatics from the University of California, Irvine. 

I direct the Empathic Design and Technology Research Group. My research seeks to improve coordination and decision-making in health and social services through technology. I am particularly interested in the contexts of behavioral intervention, mental health, and special education. I design and evaluate new technologies by working closely with community partners. I use primarily qualitative methods to study and shape the role of technology in social interactions and organizational workflow.

My research interests include:

  • human-computer interaction
  • ubiquitous computing
  • computer-supported cooperative work
  • mobile health (mHealth)
  • electronic health records


  • health equity and social justice
  • behavioral intervention
  • ethnography, empathy, and understanding users
  • participatory design and empowering users
  • community-based participatory research and action research

I am also passionate about diversifying participation in computing and changing the culture of our field. Read about my outreach efforts here.

Current Activities

  • Project Leader, Opportunities for Undergraduate Research in Computer Science (OurCS) 2017 - registration is open!
  • PervasiveHealth 2017 Doctoral Consortium Co-Chair
  • Workshop on Interactive Systems in Healthcare (WISH 2017) Organizing Committee
  • CHI 2017 Program Committee – Health, Accessibility, and Aging Subcommittee
  • Faculty Advisor, Women in Computing Society (WiCS) at Drexel
  • Faculty Advisor, Drexel University Computer Science Teachers (DUCSTeach) - interested in becoming a volunteer?
  • Pushback Initiative, with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, supporting the rights of girls and young women of color to education in Philadelphia


Apr 17 | Our Robot Springboard tech camp for middle school girls has been funded again this year by the NCWIT AspireIT Program! Looking forward to another fun summer. [media coverage]

Apr 17 | Thank you to graduating senior Donna Kwon and Pennoni Honors College for this great profile in PHC Magazine: "Room for Improv-ment: Pennoni Aspire students learn improv techniques to deal with the uncertainties in research". [pdf]

Feb 11 | Our submission "Collecting and managing data in public health research on autism" was accepted as late-breaking work to CHI 2017. [pdf]

Jan 9 | Our submission "Reverberations of trauma and marginalization when engaging in community-based research with criminalized young women of color" was accepted to the CSCW 2017 Workshop on Reflections on Design Methods for Underserved Populations. [pdf]

Sep 21 |  Excited to be a co-investigator on a project funded by the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Initiative, focused on identifying risk factors for autism spectrum disorder by testing for chemicals in lost baby teeth. My research group is developing custom tools to support data collection, monitoring, and coordination across nine institutions in the Drexel-led study. [media release]


Feb 16-18 | CUR Dialogues in Arlington

May 6-11 | CHI 2017 in Denver

May 23-26 | PervasiveHealth 2017 in Barcelona


Fall | INFO 110: Human-Computer Interaction

Winter | INFO 110: Human-Computer Interaction

Spring | INFO 215: Social Aspects of Information Systems