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Sheena standing by a building and typing on her smartphone.
Sheena Lewis
Hometown: Middlesex, VA
Current City: Chicago, IL
Education: BS, Computer Science and Math, Spelman College; MS, Computer Science, Georgia Tech; PhD student, Technology and Social Behavior, Northwestern University
Hobbies: Travelling
Fun Fact: "I really liked math as a kid but was told I wasn't good at it. I decided that if I wasn't good at it, then I was going to become good at it. The rest is history!"

I research how people in low-income communities use technology to respond to violent crime in their neighborhoods.

—Sheena Lewis

Helping low-income communities help themselves
Sheena's research combines her two main interests: building technology and helping people. "I research new ways that people who live in high crime areas can use smartphones and computers to reduce violent crime in their communities."

What's her passion?
Developing mobile apps that empower people in low-income neighborhoods. "Many times technology isn't designed with people of lower socioeconomic status in mind—they're often marginalized," says Sheena. She believes it's essential to give people a voice in creating the digital tools that address the issues they face every day.

Digital solutions to social issues
Sheena also helped develop a mobile app that promotes healthy eating habits in African-American families. Another one of her projects was exploring how games in virtual environments (like Second Life) can improve cross-cultural interactions among coworkers.

Stimulating creativity
"I've also researched how images can change people's moods while they're using technology. We embedded happy and sad images in the sketching software participants were using, and then asked them to do a creative task. Those who viewed the happy images generated the more original ideas."