John profile photo My name is John Frens. I am a PhD student at the University of Washington department of Human Centered Design & Engineering. Previously I was a Software Engineer at Microsoft. I obtained my BS in Computer Science and Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University.

My research centers around the design of online communities that support informal, self-directed learning and peer help. I utilize a broad range of methods including rapid prototyping, data science, online experiments, statistical analysis, surveys and interviews. I work with Dr. Gary Hsieh of the Prosocial Computing Lab at University of Washington, Dr. Erin Walker of the 2 Sigma Learning Lab at Arizona State University, and Dr. Cecilia Aragon of the Human Centered Data Science Lab at University of Washington.