My curiosity and passion for mental health awareness and disability advocacy fueled my interest in research. I started off with a research opportunity at the City of Irvine and then began independent research as part of my undergraduate major. I was lucky enough to be continuously challenged to examine ideas of belonging as a key concept in my senior thesis. Today, I still am through my nonprofit, Project Euphemia

My research experience in several labs under UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering provided me with an understanding of how to implement research findings and the complementary ways of linking mathematics, computer science, and design into elegant, usable products. My research background includes government research, scientific studies from the humanities and social sciences, human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-aided design (CAD), and ophthalmology research.

University of San Francisco Ophthalmology

August 2021 - Current

I am thankful for the opportunity to apply my design skills and learn about the field of ophthalmology at UCSF through my role as a pro-bono researcher. Currently, I assist in confidential research projects with the Department of Ophthalmology related to improving medical experiences for patients.

Independent Research Project & Undergraduate Senior Thesis

August 2016 - December 2020


Advised by Professor Rakesh Bhandari, my research is on investigating the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their support team. I conducted secondary research and interviews with nonprofits, educators, caretakers, and parents where I discovered communication problems that need to be addressed. Writing my senior thesis paper, I was inspired to build a potential solution. This led to the creation of Euphemia, a mobile application. As for my senior thesis paper, I am working on having it potentially published in the Berkeley Undergraduate Journal.


Communication can be especially challenging for people with developmental disabilities. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, remote communication and communication technologies are essential tools to connect with others. People without communication disabilities may rely on technologies including smart phones, e-mail, and video chat to connect with others on a daily basis. However, these technologies many rely on regularly aren’t always accessible to the disability community. There is a great need to continue improving communication technology to bring more accessible communication tools to people with communication disabilities. People with communication disorders deserve the tools to be able to speak for themselves, especially during times when their health needs attention. Through my research, I discovered existing communication technologies and communication needs people with little to no communication ability may have. I continue to explore how users who are nonverbal and their support team may experience communicating differently by creating Euphemia, a mobile application prototype.

Berkeley Innovation Index (BII)

June 2020 - July 2021

Berkeley Innovation Index is a research project under Professor Ikhlaq Sidhu. Under Professor Sidhu and my supervisor Elias Castro Hernandez, I worked on improving the user experience for BII, a research concept to measure an individual’s innovative mindset level. I surveyed questions, analyzed questionnaires, improved the visual appeal, and reviewed post-survey content to maximize the response rate. This produced the necessary data to measure innovation using machine learning algorithms.

The Knot Project

August 2019 - May 2020

A torus knot I modeled in Fusion 360

During my undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, I had the privilege of working and learning from Professor Carlo H. Séquin through one of this research teams. I investigated sweep-morph constructions in various 3D CAD programs to design mathematical knots. I mostly worked in Autodesk Fusion 360, but also have experience with Rhino, Solidworks, and Blender. My feedback helped shape the design of Non-Orientable Manifold Editor (NOME), an emerging computer-aided geometric design tool that supports mesh operations to design complex and precise free-form sculptures.

The Hybrid Ecologies Lab

August 2019 - January 2020

In the Hybrid Ecologies Lab, I contributed to the Guardians of Practice research project. This project took place under principal investigator, Professor Eric Paulos, and two PhD students. Our project involved developing a tool that simplified the documentation process for creative practitioners. After conducting interviews, transcribing interview recordings, researching secondary sources, my team ideated on potential documentation tools that could be effective for workshop environments.

The City of Irvine

July 2015 - August 2016

This research was conducted through the City of Irvine and the Mayor's office. My role included collecting statistical data through secondary research and interviews on Irvine’s early childhood education system. We partnered with Irvine’s Early Childhood Learning Center and the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) to give every child under age 5 the opportunity to attend preschool and increase the high school gradation rate. After presenting the research findings at a city council meeting, I worked on investigating how the City of Irvine can help educate their community about the benefits of early childhood education and how the city can further grow and develop daycare programs.

Irvine Preschool & Early Childhood Education Study Research Paper:

Supervisors: Pamela Baird, Assembyman Steven Choi

Authors: Antoinette Bailey, Axel Stern, Deborah (Debbie) Yuen, Madeline Loudon

Goal: Early childhood education directed at the preschool ages of 1-4 that will serve to cultivate their learning capacity and influence future academic successes.

Objective: Research programs and ideas that will allow for universal access for families in Irvine to early childhood education (ages 1-4) in which it could be appropriate for the city to fund and facilitate the program or model.

Publicizing and Marketing Early Childhood Education Paper:

Supervisors: Pamela Baird, Assembyman Steven Choi

Authors: Deborah Yuen