Portrait of A.J. Brush

A.J. Brush

Principal Program Manager


A.J. Bernheim Brush’s research area is Human-Computer Interaction with a focus on Ubiquitous Computing and Computer Supported Collaboration (CSCW). Currently embedded in a Microsoft product group since January 2016, she spent the previous 11 years in Microsoft Research. A.J. is most well known for her research on technologies for families and her expertise conducting field studies of technology. She co-led MSR’s Lab of Things project, a flexible open-sourced platform for experimental research that uses connected devices in homes and beyond. She has built and deployed numerous sensing systems into homes. She is a Senior Member of the ACM and was honored to receive a Borg Early Career Award in 2010. Her research has received a 10-year impact award, 2 best paper awards, and several best paper nominations.  A.J. was co-general chair of UbiComp 2014, serves on the UbiComp Steering Committee and is a current board member and former co-chair of CRA-W.  A.J. also serves regularly on Program Committees for many conferences including UbiComp, Pervasive, CHI, and CSCW.




Always-Available Mobile Interfaces

We have continually evolved computing to not only be more efficient, but also more accessible, more of the time (and place), and to more people. We have progressed from batch computing with punch cards, to interactive command line systems, to mouse-based graphical user interfaces, and more recently to mobile computing. Each of these paradigm shifts has drastically changed the way we use technology for work and life, often in unpredictable and profound ways. With the…

SuperBreak: Using Interactivity to Enhance Ergonomic Typing Breaks

Established: November 28, 2016

Repetitive strain injuries and ergonomics concerns have become increasingly significant health issues as a growing number of individuals frequently use computers for long periods of time. Currently, limited software mechanisms exist for managing ergonomics; the most well-known are "break-reminder" packages that schedule and recommend typing breaks. Yet despite the proven benefits of taking breaks, such packages are rarely adopted due to the over-head of introducing periodic interruptions into a user.s workflow. In this paper, we…

Society of Devices Applications (SODA)

Established: March 25, 2015

We envision a future Internet of Things where every human-created artifact in the world that uses electricity will be connected to the internet. We are creating new experiences and technologies for the coming convergence of digital and physical systems enabled in this future.

EmotoCouch: An exploration in interactive furniture

Established: September 13, 2014

EmotoCouch is a prototype exploring how furniture could be augmented as part of a smart home. It uses lights, patterns, and haptics to explore possibilities for interactive furniture. Specifically, EmotoCouch was designed to explore how effectively furniture could convey a range of emotions to people around it. We used the Circumplex model of emotion to identify six emotions to covey that span the range of valence and arousal (see below). Based on initial studies and…

PreHeat: Controlling Home Heating With Occupancy Prediction

Established: March 2, 2011

Home heating uses more energy than any other residential energy expenditure, making increasing the efficiency of home heating an important goal for saving money and protecting the environment. We have built a home-heating system, PreHeat, that automatically programs your thermostat based on when you are home. PreHeat’s goal is to reduce the amount of time a household’s thermostat needs to be on without compromising the comfort of household members. PreHeat System PreHeat builds a predictive…


















SPARCS Link description



January 1, 2008


Kori Inkpen, A.J. Brush


Microsoft Research



Check out Lab of Things, a flexible platform for research that uses connected devices in homes. My closing keynote at SIGCSE 2014 describes why we built LoT, what the platform includes, and has case studies of folks using LoT.

My research area is Human-Computer Interaction with a focus on Ubiquitous Computing and Computer Supported Cooperative Work. I study and build technology for homes and families. My current focus is home automation as co-leader of the Lab of Things project which was built on HomeOS. I have studied home heating, mobile context-aware applications for activity recognition and location sharing, reducing email overload, interacting with technology beyond the desktop, and annotations for asynchronous collaboration. I am a Senior Member of the ACM and was honored to receive a Borg Early Career Award in 2010. I am co-chair of CRA-W, a group that works to increase the number of women in computing research. I co-organized the HomeSys 2013 workshop at UbiComp 2013 and served as co-general chair of UbiComp 2014.

I graduated summa cum laude from Williams College in 1996 with a double major in Computer Science and Mathematics. I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington in Sept 2002 and I have been at Microsoft Research since 2004. My CV has more details.


Interns and Students Supervised

  • UWHCID Capstone project mentor for the Sound Choice project, Summer 2014, Prototype a smart watch system that translates sounds in the home to tactile and visual cues.
  • Dimitris Papanikolaou, Summer 2014, Connected Furniture
  • Erin Griffiths, Summer 2013, Healthy Furniture
  • Sarah Mennicken, Summer 2013, Interactive Furniture
  • Jason Wiese, Summer 2012 (with Scott Saponas) Human activity inference
  • Ryder Ziola, Summer 2011 (with Scott Saponas) Human activity inference
  • Hong Lu, Summer 2010 (with Bodhi Priyantha, Jie Liu, Amy Karlson) Speech recognition for mobile devices
  • Shah Amini, Summer 2010 (with John Krumm, Amy Karlson, Jaime Teevan) Mobile search with destination prediction
  • Andres Neyem, Summer 2009 (with Ranveer Chandra) Proximity sensing
  • Lana Yarosh, Summer 2009 (with Kori Inkpen) Free play over video by children
  • Junius Gunaratne, Spring 2009 Sharing during mobile calls
  • Marshini Chetty, Summer 2008 Home computer power management
  • Adrienne Andrew, Spring 2008, (with Amy Karlson) Mobile micronote capture using voice and ink
  • Serge Egelman, Winter 2008, (with Kori Inkpen) Account management on home computers
  • Kate Everitt, Summer 2007, (with Merrie Morris) Linking paper and digital documents
  • Andrea Grimes, Summer 2006, Life scheduling and home/work calendar management
  • Kimberly Tee, Summer 2006, Spring 2007, Communication and Sharing between extended family members
  • Carman Neustaedter, Summer 2004, Summer 2005, LINC, an inkable family calendar

Invited Talks & Recent Professional Activities

Steering and Organizing Committees

Program Committees

Selected Press