My name is Ceara Byrne and I’m a postdoctoral research fellow in the Traverso Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I received my PhD in Human Computer Interaction at Georgia Tech. I’m a designer and developer who believes in creating things around empathy before everything be it physical or digital. I use a data-driven approach to develop products that put people and their needs first. I have a masters in both Industrial Design (ID) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) from Georgia Tech.

I am a Computing Innovation (CI) fellow supported by the Computing Research Association (CRA) and the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) through NSF. 

My PhD research focused on instrumenting dog toys with various sensors for measuring computational ethograms of behavior. With these computational ethograms we are better able to understand aspects of working dog temperament and behavior, and as funding for these centers mainly come from donations, programs can more efficiently use their funding to train more working dogs or create new programs that can benefit individuals with disabilities.

ceara on a desk

Data-Driven Design

Animal Computer Interaction

I take a multi-pronged approach to data for ACI. Leveraging interviews with handlers, observation of handler/canine interactions and relationships, and by quantifying the canine interactions with their world, we can start to get a better understanding of how to design technology for animals.

Brain-Computer Interfaces

Analysis and design go hand in hand. I have been experimenting with electrode design, placement within the ear, filters, and time frequency domain classifiers to improve signal-to-noise ratios and accuracy of classifying human attention in selection tasks.

Wearable Computing Interfaces

The interplay between data and design allows for the robust development of tools. Additionally, design for wearability includes the consideration of tradeoffs with respect to heat, power consumption, networking capabilities, and design…among many other things.


Computational Animal Behavior Analysis

Non-human species are non-verbal, active or passive participants with technology. Quantifying the relationship between animals and their world, such as how they bite, the frequency of play interactions, etc, provides us insight into more effectively improving animal welfare on farms and in the home environments.

research photo


I conduct research to both answer questions and to create new questions. I’ve worked on behavioral research for both humans and on dogs.


Design allows us to explore and rapidly iterate over ideas. It allows us to bring concepts to life.

finding the right pixel
how i feel about programming is that it's on fire


Hardware is my passion and finding new applications for tools is my jam.


Software gives us the ability to turn things to life and to understand how to make it more effective.