Amy Rae Fox

Amy Rae Fox
University of California, San Diego | UCSD · Department of Cognitive Science

PhD Cognitive Science (in Progress) MA Cognitive Visualization, MEd Ingénerie de la Formation, BSc Computer Science


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I am a PhD student in Cognitive Science at the University of California - San Diego where I study the how representations of information influence human cognition. Research Interests: Cognitive Science: embodied cognition; abstract concepts; spatial, temporal & numerical cognition; distributed cognition, semiotics, external representations Human Centered Computing: data visualization, data analytics, virtual reality


Publications (9)
Full-text available
Students of visualization come to formal education with an abundance of personal experience. However, one's exposure to graphics through media and education may not be sufficiently diverse to appreciate the nuance and complexity required to design and evaluate effective representations. While many introductory courses in visualization address best...
Full-text available
What is a visualization? There is limited utility in trifling with definitions, except insofar as one serves as a tool for communicating and conceptualizing our subject matter; a statement of identity for a community. To establish Visualization Psychology as a viable inter-disciplinary research programme, we must first define the object(s) of our c...
The historical moment when a person worked in front of a single computer has passed. Computers are now ubiquitous and embedded in virtually every new device and system, connecting our personal and professional activities to ever-expanding information resources with previously unimaginable computational power. Yet with all the increases in capacity,...
Conference Paper
The Burden of Selfhood is an interdisciplinary performance artwork exploring the intersection of feminism, identity and technology. By connecting methods from cognitive science, music, poetry, video and performance art, we investigate the experience of viewing and being viewed as a gendered body. Technology has accelerated the recursive gaze to the...
Conference Paper
How does one visually represent the use of time? We explored students’ use of graphical metaphors by asking undergraduates at a public French university to generate representations of their personal time-use including: activities, sequence, duration, timing, and frequency. The resulting use of space and form was analyzed by way of an iteratively de...


Cited By


Project (1)
Understanding a graph is an inevitably semiotic process, as we try to construct meaning for a sign purposefully constructed by a fellow meaning-maker to refer to their interpretation of something(s) in the world: a game of semiotic telephone. But what if we don’t know the rules of the game? Even familiar representational systems like scatter plots and line graphs can prove challenging for students (Shah & Hoeffner, 2002) and experts (Roth, 2003) alike. In short, we know a great deal more about learning with representations than we do about the learning of representations. As Larkin and Simon note in their seminal 1987 paper, “a representation is useful only if one has the productions that can use it,” (pg.71). If we lack the ability to draw inferences from a representation, then we may find it largely useless. In this project we build upon previous research on reading and graph comprehension to explore how readers make sense of unconventional representations—specifically, statistical graphs—and what early, intuitive behaviours of graphical sensemaking can tell us about the role of prior knowledge, interaction and insight in graph comprehension.