Marcu headshot Sept2017.jpg


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 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 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)
  • qualitative methods


  • equity, inclusion, and social justice
  • behavioral intervention and mental health
  • empathy and user experience
  • participatory design
  • community-based participatory research, action research

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


Mar 19 | Our paper "Bounce: Designing a Physical Activity Intervention for Breast Cancer Survivors" was accepted to PervasiveHealth 2018.

Mar 15 | Honored to be selected for the NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, which recognizes faculty "for their outstanding mentorship, high-quality research opportunities, recruitment of women and minority students, and efforts to encourage and advance undergraduates in computing-related fields".  Thank you to my students and colleagues for nominating me!

Feb 16 | My research group had 4 late-breaking work submissions accepted to CHI 2018:

  • Co-Designing a Classroom Display to Support Behavior Management Plans [pdf]
  • The Role of Reflection and Context in Medication Adherence Tracking for People Living with HIV [pdf]
  • Designing an Emergency Response Community for Opioid Overdoses in Philadelphia [pdf]
  • Not Alone: Designing for Self-Disclosure and Social Support Exchange After Pregnancy Loss [pdf]

Feb 9 | Our workshop "Designing with Diverse Populations: Sharing Experiences, Best Practices and Opportunities" has been accepted to PervasiveHealth 2018. See you in New York! [website]

Sept 30 | Looking forward to working with a network of new collaborators in public health, and leading the technical team of Drexel's coordinating center, for a CDC sponsored project studying community characteristics associated with geographic disparities in diabetes.

Jul 1 | Excited to be a co-investigator on a newly funded NIH grant, "Piloting a naloxone intervention in an emergency response community to reduce opioid overdoses in Philadelphia". [description]

May 15 | Our submission "How can participatory design help young women of color navigate their identities?" was accepted to the Workshop on Equity & Inclusivity at the Interaction Design & Children Conference. [pdf]

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]


Mar 13-16 | IMLS National Forum on design thinking and methods in master's level library education in Seattle

Mar 28-Apr 7 | Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain

Apr 9-10 | Sociotechnical Interventions for Health Disparity Reduction workshop in New Orleans

Apr 21-26 | CHI in Montreal

May 15-17 | NCWIT Summit in Grapevine, Texas

May 21-24 | PervasiveHealth in New York


Fall | INFO 150: Intro to Ubiquitous Computing

Winter | INFO 405: Social & Collaborative Computing

Spring | INFO 110: Intro to Human-Computer Interaction