Cornell University
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Michael Elfenbein, IS Major '15

This year, we are spotlighting some of our graduating Seniors in time for graduation. Mike Elfenbein is an Information Science major in CALS who was recognized with an Excellence in Research Award in May 2015. Mike studies abroad at Bond University in Australia in the fall of 2014 and found time to explore the barrier reef between studies. 

From Mike: Early on in my college career, I realized I had too many interests to box myself into one strict discipline.  The technical side of me enjoyed my programming classes, yet I always tried to fill the gaps in my schedule with art and psychology.  Entering into the IS major let me take all of my academic interests and craft a skill set directed toward a particular field.

After graduation, I'll be working as a User Experience Designer for IBM.  As part of the Social Business team, my job is to inject social media into business software.  The skills I learned through IS are invaluable in pushing my career forward- every business today is either moving toward the web or already there.  My favorite classes were Web Design, Game Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Object-Oriented Programming, and Perception of Visual Display.     

A big part of my undergraduate experience was my work with the Interaction Design Lab.  Professor Geri Gay, director of the lab, was happy to have me as a research assistant as soon as I asked.  For the last couple of years, I have worked with PhD graduate Phil Adams to build a tangible user interface for chronic pain sufferers to report pain levels with ease and track their improvement over time.  I want to thank Geri and Phil for all of their support- undergrad research assistants in the lab are challenged and treated with the same respect as graduate students and faculty.  

A very special thanks to the amazing IS Undergraduate Coordinator Amy Sindone for constant logistical help and casual chats about life.  I am going to miss all of the students, staff and faculty that have made up my IS family.

Quote from Geri Gay's Lab Group: “Mike's design contributions have been invaluable over the last several semesters, particularly in exploring momentary measurement and small moments of feedback. Beyond his design and other research support tasks, Mike is an absolute pleasure to work with, and I'm consistently impressed with his initiative and reliability. We in the Interaction Design Lab will miss him sorely!”