Maia Garau teaches at RISD and is a senior user experience consultant with Dynamic Diagrams, where she translates research into visual explanations that bring complex ideas to life. Recent projects focused on information design and service improvements for clients including Hewlett Packard, the Aerospace Corporation and the World Health Organization. Prior to joining Dynamic Diagrams she was sponsored by British Telecom to conduct doctoral research on improving avatar-mediated communication. She went on to manage a European Union research project on social presence in virtual environments, and then focused on design strategy for Radar’s mobile picture-sharing service. Maia has a BA in comparative literature from Brown University, an MSc in virtual environments from the Bartlett School of Architecture, and a PhD in computer science from University College London.