Jaya Narain

Fluid Interfaces
  • Research Assistant

I am a PhD candidate in the Fluid Interfaces group.  I study intersections of assistive technology, artificial intelligence, and human centered design.  My research focuses on new augmentative communication interfaces to better understand nonverbal communication styles, particularly with individuals who have nonverbal or minimally verbal autism.  I graduated from MIT in  2017 with a SM in mechanical engineering, and in 2015 with a SB in mechanical and ocean engineering.  I have a strong background in computational and analytical modeling, design optimization, and product design.  

I am a co-founder of MIT's ATHack, an assistive technologies hackathon that aims to promote innovation and interest in assistive technologies while building connections between community members and student engineers.  ATHack emphasizes collaborative development—teams of students are matched with a community co-designer who is living with a disability, and work with the co-designer from ideation through fabrication and testing.  Since the hackathon began in 2014, we have worked with over 400 st… View full description

I am a PhD candidate in the Fluid Interfaces group.  I study intersections of assistive technology, artificial intelligence, and human centered design.  My research focuses on new augmentative communication interfaces to better understand nonverbal communication styles, particularly with individuals who have nonverbal or minimally verbal autism.  I graduated from MIT in  2017 with a SM in mechanical engineering, and in 2015 with a SB in mechanical and ocean engineering.  I have a strong background in computational and analytical modeling, design optimization, and product design.  

I am a co-founder of MIT's ATHack, an assistive technologies hackathon that aims to promote innovation and interest in assistive technologies while building connections between community members and student engineers.  ATHack emphasizes collaborative development—teams of students are matched with a community co-designer who is living with a disability, and work with the co-designer from ideation through fabrication and testing.  Since the hackathon began in 2014, we have worked with over 400 student hackers and 100 community co-designers.  

I also enjoy outreach and mentoring.  I have mentored teams in design and toy development classes at MIT, and have been involved in a number of other outreach events on campus for K-12 students.