Dr. Ali Mazalek
BSc (Hons.), University of Toronto
MS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Areas of Expertise:
Tangible and embodied interaction; human-computer interaction; augmented, mixed and virtual reality design, interactive narrative experiences, tools for scientific creativity and discovery.
As a Canada Research Chair in Digital Media and Innovation, Mazalek works at the forefront of trends in computing and interaction design that support a tighter integration of the physical and digital worlds. She designs and develops tangible and embodied interaction systems that enable people to be more creative across both science and art disciplines. Her research interests include the design and application of emerging physical sensing and digital media technologies to areas such as scientific modeling, abstract thinking, and narrative expression, as well as the study and use of embodied cognition as a framework for tangible and embodied interaction design. She has published her research in a range of academic conferences and journals, delivered guest lectures in both academia and industry, and exhibited her media art works and interfaces at numerous galleries and festivals. Mazalek received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the MIT Media Lab and a Hon. B.Sc. in computer science and mathematics from the University of Toronto. She a Member of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (iBEST) and a Member Emeritus of the inaugural cohort of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.
Mazalek founded and directs the Synaesthetic Media Lab (Synlab), a research playground where physical materials, analog sensors, and digital media happily co-exist and come together in novel ways to support creativity and expression. The lab's approach combines theoretical study and scientific research with technological development and arts/design practice. The lab's research is supported by industry and government organizations, including Epic, Cirque du Soleil, Intel, Turner, Google, NSF, CFI, NSERC, SSHRC, and MITACS.