Portrait of Alex Fiannaca

Alex Fiannaca



I’m a Research Software Development Engineer working on the MSR NExT Enable Team where we are developing cutting edge technologies for people with disabilities.

In Spring of 2016, I received my second M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington. I am co-advised by Maya Cakmak (Human-Robot Interaction) and Richard Ladner (Accessibility) and collaborated with Merrie Ringel Morris. My master’s qualifying exam was based on research I performed at MSR in the summer of 2015. In this work, we attempted to address many of the current communication issues in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for people with ALS by redesigning an AAC system from a groupware perspective. This work will be presented at CSCW 2017.

In May of 2014, I graduated with my first M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno. My master’s thesis research surrounded the development of assistive technologies related to spatial perception for people with visual impairments. This involved two major projects published at Graphics Interface 2013 and ASSETS 2014.

Prior to my work in computer science, I earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Magna Cum Laude) from UNR, and before that, I graduated Valedictorian from Spanish Springs High School in Sparks, Nevada.