My first research job, which I took in 1997, involved administering memory experiments in the Stanford Psychology Department. I then spent a semester looking up references and drawing charts of history of weather models in the Science and Technology Studies — work that I at the time did not resonate with my own interests, but which ironically was similar to what I do now out of everything I did those years. In 1998 I started working on a project at Stanford's Center for Study of Language on Information, building prototypes of voice interfaces. In summer of 1999 I spent three months at FX Palo Alto Laboratory, looking at disfluencies in computer-directed human speech. The year after that I returned to CSLI and worked on connecting a dialog planning system. That year I also conducted a study on human perception of mixture of human and computer voice (Gong, Nass, Simard and Takhteyev 2001). After that I spent three years working in industry (at Quack.com / AOL), which involved some interesting challenges as we attempted to build one of the first platforms for speech applications.

During my first year at the School of Information I participated in a project on emerging uses of digital photography lead by Nancy Van House and Marc Davis. See our CHI paper and some unpublished papers.

During the first and second year I also did two studies of bloggers, and wrote too papers about it (another with Joseph Hall):