Maria’s experiences spans over 20 years, from art and economics to information science and virtual reality.
She holds a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Information Sciences from the School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. Her major advisor was Dr. Peter Brusilovsky. She has a B.S. in Economics with a minor in Art from Carnegie Mellon University. From 2000 to 2008, she was an Adjunct Professor in human computer interaction, user centered design, human factors in system design, and introduction to information science at the School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, she was an Adjunct Professor in the Art & Design Division of Chatham University, and has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Slippery Rock University.
Professional experience includes financial, strategic, information technology, and human-computer interaction activities for global corporations and institutions such as: PNC Financial Services Group, The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Fidelity Investments, University of Toronto, Alias/Wavefront-Autodesk, DataViews–GE Fanuc, and Federated Investors.
Research focus is on knowledge acquisition and creativity mediated and supported high fidelity information systems, educational simulations, virtual environments, virtual/augmented reality, immersive learning simulations, and very serious games, as they are used for informal learning, formal education, collaboration, creativity, and decision support. Quantitative and causal models of the virtual world are investigated to explain the role of context in human perception, signal processing, memory, decision process, and action in the real world. Current interests are in models of complexity, simulation, imagination and art, virtual and real spaces of nature, especially as sources for educational applications.
Employer(s) & Job(s)
Founder and CEO Virtual Field Trips, LLC.
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Slippery Rock University
Adjunct Professor & Visiting Lecturer of Art & Design, Chatham University
Teaching Fellow, Adjunct Professor & Visiting Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh
Boards, Committees & Associations
Fox Chapel Parks Commission
The Virtual Trillium Trail