The Variation Lab @ Harvard SEAS
augmenting human intelligence with variation
Science and Engineering Center
Rooms 2.347 (Student Office) & 2.108 (Faculty Office)
John A. Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Harvard University

Vision & Values

What success looks like
A vibrant, supportive community of undergraduates, masters, PhD students, Postdoctoral Scholars, and collaborators who are creating tools that augment human sensemaking and human-computer collaboration.

How we’re getting there
  • Frequent feedback from each other
  • Reflecting on our personal and community practices
  • Getting enough sleep so we can bring our best selves to our work
Latest Publications (CHI'24, DIS'24, & ICML'24 Pre-prints)
Recorded Public Talks


  • Stanford CS Seminar On People, Computers, and Design Jan 20th 2023
    Systems for Supporting Intent Formation and Human-AI Communication [YouTube]
  • Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Public Lecture Oct 13th 2021
    Novel Interfaces to Support Human Intent Formation and Communication to Humans and Computers Alike (for the general public)


  • ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming (ICFP) Keynote August 24th 2021
    Building PL-Powered Systems for Humans
  • ACM SIGPLAN conference on Systems, Programming, Languages, and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH REBASE) Speaker Nov 20th, 2020
    PL and HCI: Better Together
Additional Selected Publications


HCI + Program Synthesis

HCI + Software Engineering

HCI + Online Information

HCI + Reading

Additional Working Drafts

About Prof. Glassman


Elena L. Glassman is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, specializing in human-computer interaction. From 2018-22, she was the Stanley A. Marks & William H. Marks Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and, more recently, she was named as a 2023 Sloan Research Fellow. At MIT, she earned a PhD and MEng in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a BS in Electrical Science and Engineering, supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the NDSEG Graduate Fellowship. Before joining Harvard, she was a postdoctoral scholar in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the Berkeley Institute for Data Science Moore/Sloan Data Science Fellowship.

Curriculum Vitae

Administrative Support

Mark Peterson (

Archive of Faculty Application Materials

Current Lab Members
Elena Glassman's professional headshot

Assistant Professor of Computer Science, SEAS, specializing in human-computer interaction

Postdoctoral Scholar, who is on the faculty job market this year!
PhD student, Computer Science
Tyler Holloway
PhD student, Computer Science
co-advised by Nada Amin (PL)
PhD student, Computer Science
Chelse Swoopes
PhD student, Computer Science
Recent Alumni
Postdoctoral Scholar, now Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Montréal in the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research (DIRO)
Related Courses
(New!) CS 178: Engineering Usable Interactive Systems
  • Public course website forthcoming
CS 179: Design of Useful and Usable Interactive Systems
Blog posts & short video commentaries

When we're actively recruiting, instructions will be linked here.