Hi, I’m Emily!

I research ways to improve motivation, self-efficacy, and performance. I am interested in the role of technology in helping individuals, teams, and communities reach their full potential. I am currently studying this in the contexts of crowdfunding, physical crowdsourcing, online learning, and design teams.

I am a fifth-year PhD student in Technology & Social Behavior at Northwestern University, a joint-program in Computer Science and Communication Studies. I conduct my research with Liz Gerber in the Delta Lab.

Prior to Northwestern, I worked for Disney Research in the Behavioral Sciences Research Team conducting research in consumer behavior, entrepreneurship, crowd movement, and decision making for two years. Last fall I worked as a UX Research Intern at Facebook. I received my B.A. in Social Anthropology with a Minor in Psychology from Harvard.

I am interested in finding ways to help individuals build confidence in their own unique abilities to better the world. To do so, I helped found Brave Initiatives, a nonprofit dedicated to helping girls build self-efficacy in coding, design, and leadership. I also helped launch Youth Lead the Change, a program dedicated to helping empower youth to realize their voices and make change in their communities.

In my free time, I enjoy doing things outside like hiking, skiing, playing volleyball, and running with the November Project. I also enjoy music, photography, and gathering for Thoughtlucks.

Recent Work:

  • Harburg, E., Greenberg, M., Hui, J., Gerber, E. Understanding the Effects of Crowdfunding on Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy, CSCW 2015, Vancouver.
  • Rees Lewis, D., Easterday, M., Harburg, E., Gerber. E., and Riesbeck C. Overcoming barriers between volunteer professionals advising project-based learning teams with regulation tools. British Journal of Educational Technology, 2017
  • Obiorah, M.; Harburg, E.; Franklin, J.; Downs, B.; Ye, S.; Bos, M.; Horn, M. JumpGym: A Jumping Exergame for Waiting Areas, Games Learning & Society 2016.
  • Kim, Y; Harburg, E; Shaw, A; Azria, S; Gerber, E.; Gergle, D.; Zhang, H. Studying the Effects of Task Notification Policies on Participation and Outcomes in On-the-go Crowdsourcing, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence 2016.
  • Harburg, E., Kim, Y., Gerber, E., Zhang, H. CrowdFound: A Mobile Crowdsourcing System to Find Lost Items On-the-Go”, CHI WIP 2015, Korea.
  • Kim, Y; Harburg, E; Shaw, A; Gerber, E., Zhang, H.  Enabling Physical Crowdsourcing On-the-Go with Context-sensitive Notifications, HCOMP 2015.
  • Rees Lewis, D., Harburg, E., Easterday, M., and Gerber. E. Building Support Tools to Connect Novice Designers with Professional Coaches. The Proceedings of Creativity and Cognition, ACM Press, 2015
  • Edmondson, Amy C., Ager, David L., Harburg, Emily and Bartlett, Natalie. “Teaming at Disney Animation.” Harvard Business School Case 615-023, August 2014.