Sarah Esther Williams

                                                                Wisdom, Discipline, Courage


Abbreviated Resume (PDF) : Last Updated 9/30/2007
Extended Resume (PDF) : Last Updated 1/29/2007

Sarah Williams - Business


College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA                                        
Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction (CS Track) - Expected May 2008
GPA: 4.0/4.0

Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, May 2006                
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Minor in French.
Magna Cum Laude, Cumulative GPA: 3.75/4.0


Persuasive Technology,  Information Visualization, Social Networking, Website
Design and Usability, API Usability

Professional Experience

Search Experience Intern, Inc : Software Development Engineer, User Interface      Summer 2007

·         Worked with designer and product manager to redesign Amazon’s Advanced Search features. After iterating on several mockups, implemented the final design using HTML, CSS and Javascript.

·         Along with other usability specialists, defined goals and designed tasks for usability studies on two Amazon search features. Performed these studies and helped integrate results into subsequent design iterations.

MSN Messenger Intern, Microsoft Corp. : Software Design Engineer in Test,
Summer 2006 

·          -  Conducted an API Usability Study on an internal JavaScript API. Drove cross team
collaboration in prioritizing API Usability in our group. Heuristic evaluation and
cognitive walkthrough techniques were used.

·          - Wrote test automation in C# to verify daily MSN Messenger builds.

MSN Shopping Intern, Microsoft Corp. : Software Design Engineer in Test, Summer 2005                                                  

·         - Created a monitoring XML web service and contributed to the construction of a
website used to funnel information about the site’s health to necessary personnel
for corrective action.

·          - Developed utility tools and wrote test automation using C#.

Research Experience

Design/Usability Evaluation, GVU Information Interfaces Lab : Research Assistant
August 2007 to present

     Overseeing the usability evaluation of JIGSAW, a visual analytics tool that shows connections between entities in large datasets. Using heuristic evaluation and think aloud study to drive design changes.

3D Brain Computer Interfaces, Georgia Tech BrainLab : Research Assistant 
October 2006 to present                                                                                                             

Advisor: Dr. Melody Moore Jackson, Georgia Institute of Technology

     Created 3D environments through which researchers could test the control of mouse cursors in 3D Space by patients with severe motor disabilities

The Effect of AJAX on User and Programmer Experience : Directed Research                  
Spring 2006                                               
Advisor: Dr. Michael Crowley, University of Southern California
       Conducted a 4 month long study seeking to enumerate determine the positive and negative effects of AJAX use on the experience of the web programmer, web designer and end user.


Technology Assisted Public Transit (User Centered Design, Persuasive Technology)

Fall, 2006                 
      Helped design an in-vehicle navigational assistant that provides personally relevant, compelling public transit suggestions. Surveys, hierarchical task analysis, mockups, prototyping and usability study techniques were used.

Viterbi Student Ambassador Management System,  May 2005 to May 2006
      Spearheaded effort to create the Engineering School’s first data driven
ambassador website in PHP and MYSQL.


Programming Languages: C, C++, C#, Java, J2ME, PHP, MYSQL, JavaScript, HTML
Applications: MSSQL Server, Dreamweaver, Macromedia Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Processing, Microsoft Expression Web and Graphic Designers
Usability: User Centered Design, Heuristic Evaluation, Cognitive Walkthrough,
Prototyping, Usability Study Design


USC Office of Intl. Services Leadership Award; USC Merit Research Scholar; USC Trustee Scholar; W.V.T Rusch Engineering Honors Program; Golden Key, Tau Beta Pi,
Upsilon Pi Epsilon  Honor Societies                                                                

Other Activities


Women@CC : College of Computing’s  Mentoring Program Co-coordinator      Fall 2006          Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship: Web Design Team Leader                              2004-2006 (

·       Organized tasks among team members in order to reach goals; programmed
dynamic web pages using PHP and MYSQL.

Association of Computing Machinery, Member                                                    2006-2007

Volunteer Work

Dawn to Dusk Charity Sports Event, Blacks at Microsoft, Volunteer                   June 2006
Los Angeles Scrub Down, City Wide Cleanup Event, Participant                    October 2004
Joint Educational Project, Teaching Assistant                               March 2003 to May 2003