Jessica Quinn Dawson


As of August 2017 I have left the Computer Science department, and am now completing my residency in Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. Former students and colleagues, and those interested in contacting me about my past and ongoing research projects, can still get in touch with me via my email.

about me

I am a former Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. I also worked as a Science Teaching and Learning Fellow with the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative, where I collaborated with faculty colleagues on a range of course improvement and curriculum development projects, and conducted research into the science of teaching and learning.

I most recently completed my M.D. at UBC in 2021. I completed my M.Sc in Computer Science, specializing in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), at UBC in 2018. I am an alumni of the Infovis Group and the IMAGER Lab for Graphics, Visualization and HCI. I completed my thesis under the co-supervision of Dr. Joanna McGrenere and Dr. Tamara Munzner. I also have a B.A. in Computer Science, with a minor in Visual Art.


(2016 W2) CPSC 301 - Computing in the Life Sciences

(2016 W1) CPSC 430 - Computers and Society

(2015 W2) CPSC 444 - Advanced Methods for Human Computer Interaction

(2015 W1) CPSC 430 - Computers and Society

(2014 W1) CPSC 344/544 - Introduction to HCI methods

(2013 W2) CPSC 344 - Introduction to HCI methods. Co-taught with Karon MacLean


Liang, K.E., Dawson, J.Q., Stoian, M.D., Clark, D.G., Wynes, S., Donner, S.D (2021). A carbon footprint study of the Canadian medical residency interview tour. Medical Teacher, 43(11), 1302-1308.

Dawson, J.Q., Ching, G., and Huynh, H. (2021). Lessons in implementing virtual case-based learning Medical Education, 55(5), 662.

Liu, Z., Itoh, T., Dawson, J.Q., and Munzner, T. (2020). The Sprawlter Graph Readability Metric: Combining Sprawl and Area-Aware Clutter. In IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 26(6), 2180-2191 In Press.

Dawson, J.Q., Davies, J.M., Ingledew, P.A. (2020). Quality of Online Information Regarding Cervical Cancer. Cureus, 12(8).

Allen, M., Wolfman, S.A., Dawson, J.Q., and Valair, A. (2018). Inclusive curricular improvement: experiences adapting a strength-based evaluation approach. In Proc. RESPECT 2019.

Allen, M., Berg, C., Dawson, J.Q., and Leveridge, N. (2018). Insights from the Application of Universal Design Principles to Support English Language Learners. In Proc. WCCCE 2018.

Dawson, J.Q., Allen, M., Campbell, A., and Valair, A. (2018). Designing an introductory programming course to improve non-majors' experiences. In Proc. SIGCSE 2018, pg 26-31.

Dawson, J.Q., Munzner, T. and McGrenere, J. (2014). A search-set model of path tracing in graphs. Journal of Information Visualization
[project page] [pre-print pdf][sage online]

Dawson, J.Q., Schneider, O.S., Ferstay, J., Toker, D., Link, J., Haddad, S., and MacLean, K. (2013). It's Alive! Exploring the Design Space of a Gesturing Phone. In Proc. Graphics Interface (GI 2013).
[pdf] [demo]

Dawson, J.Q., McGrenere, J., Munzner, T., Moffat, K., and Findlater, L. (2011). Ephemeral Paths: Gradual Fade-In as a Visual Cue for Subgraph Highlighting. Technical Report TR-2011-10, UBC Dept. of Computer Science, Vancouver, 2011.
[pdf] [ubc cs]

Findlater, L., Moffatt, K., McGrenere, J., and Dawson, J.Q. (2009). Ephemeral adaptation: The use of gradual onset to improve menu selection performance. Proc. SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2009), 1655-1664. (Best Paper)
[pdf] [acm]

Shoemaker, G., Findlater, L., Dawson, J.Q., and Booth, K.S. (2009). Mid-air text input techniques for very large wall displays. Proc. Graphics Interface (GI 2009), 231-238.
[pdf] [acm]


Dawson, J.Q. (2013). A Search Set Model of Path Tracing in Graphs. M.Sc. Thesis, Dept. of Computer Science, University of British Columbia, October 2013.
[pdf] [project]

un-distinguished lectures

The Un-Distinguished Lecture Series (UDLS) is a series of free, casual lectures on a variety of topics by students, staff and faculty in the department.

Homemade Liqueur and Infusions: The Basics. 1 March 2013.

Urban Gardening 101: Grad Students Edition. 26 June 2012.