Melissa Bica's CV - PDF

(Updated Sep. 2018)


2014 - present

University of Colorado Boulder Ph.D. Candidate, Computer Science

  • Advisor: Leysia Palen
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellow
  • Research interests: human-centered computing, social computing, crisis informatics

2014 - 2017

University of Colorado Boulder M.S., Computer Science

2010 - 2014

Santa Clara University B.S., Computer Science and Engineering

  • Graduated cum laude

Fall 2012

University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Study abroad, School of Informatics


Julie L. Demuth, Rebecca E. Morss, Leysia Palen, Kenneth M. Anderson, Jennings Anderson, Marina Kogan, Kevin Stowe, Melissa Bica, Heather Lazrus, Olga Wilhelmi, and Jen Henderson. (2018). "Sometimes da #beachlife ain't always da wave": Understanding People’s Evolving Hurricane Risk Communication, Risk Assessments, and Responses Using Twitter Narratives. Weather, Climate, and Society, 10(3), 537-560. (PDF, DOI)

Rebecca E. Morss, Julie L. Demuth, Heather Lazrus, Leysia Palen, C. Michael Barton, Christopher A. Davis, Chris Snyder, Olga V. Wilhelmi, Kenneth M. Anderson, David A. Ahijevych, Jennings Anderson, Melissa Bica, Kathryn R. Fossell, Jennifer Henderson, Marina Kogan, Kevin Stowe, and Joshua Watts. (2017). Hazardous Weather Prediction and Communication in the Modern Information Environment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 98(12). (PDF, DOI)

Melissa Bica, Leysia Palen, and Chris Bopp. (2017). Visual Representations of Disaster. Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW ‘17). (PDF, DOI)

Jennings Anderson, Marina Kogan, Melissa Bica, Leysia Palen, Kenneth M. Anderson, Kevin Stowe, Rebecca Morss, Julie Demuth, Heather Lazrus, Olga Wilhelmi, and Jen Henderson. (2016). Far Far Away in Far Rockaway: Responses to Risks and Impacts during Hurricane Sandy through First-Person Social Media Narratives. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM ‘16). (PDF)

Kyoung-Sook Kim, Melissa Bica, Isao Kojima, and Hirotaka Ogawa. (2015). RendezView: Look at Meanings of an Encounter Region over Local Social Flocks. Proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on GeoStreaming. (PDF, DOI)

Posters & Workshop Papers

Melissa Bica. (2018). Sensemaking Around Visual Hurricane Risk Messaging. Workshop on Sensemaking in a Senseless World at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ‘18). [Workshop Paper]

Melissa Bica. (2017). Visual Representations of Disaster: Analysis of Disaster-Related Online Imagery. CRA-W Grad Cohort Workshop. [Poster]

Melissa Bica and Jennings Anderson. (2016). “You Are What You Tweet!” The Ethics of (Re) Publishing Public Data as Crafted Narratives. Workshop on Ethical Encounters in HCI Research at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ‘16). [Workshop Paper]

Melissa Bica and Kyoung-Sook Kim. (2015). RendezView: An Interactive Visual Mining Tool for Discerning Flock Relationships in Social Media Data. International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC ‘15). [Poster + Extended Abstract]

Press Coverage

“Twitter could be confusing people who need crucial hurricane information.” Ashley Michels. KDVR FOX31 Denver. September 11, 2018.

“Graduate Makes Waves in Data Mining.” Jenni Sigl. The Santa Clara. January 7, 2016.

“Mining social media to manage crises.” Sam Stalion. Science Node. December 2, 2015.

Professional & Research Experience

Summer 2018

Oath Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA

User Experience Research Intern, Yahoo Mail

Summer 2017

Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA, USA

Research Intern, Business AI Design & Ethics group

Summer 2015

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Japan


  • Implemented an interactive data visualization interface in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, called RendezView, for structuring geo-referenced social media data.

Feb. – Dec. 2013

Santa Clara University Center for Science, Technology, & Society and Anudip, Kolkata, India

Global Social Benefit Fellow

  • Conducted research for social enterprises Anudip and iMerit as part of this 9 month, academic action research fellowship including seven weeks of field work in Kolkata, India.
  • Developed curriculum and instructed women in HTML/CSS in a semi-rural iMerit center in Metiabruz.

Summer 2012

Qualcomm Incorporated, San Diego, CA, USA

Interim Engineering Intern

  • Developed automated Android system and graphics performance benchmark tests in Perl and Java.
  • Improved efficiency by reducing time needed to perform tests and analyze results.

Teaching Experience

University of Colorado Boulder

Oct. 2015

Guest Lecturer for CSCI 4830: HCC Big Data Computing

Aug. 2014 – May 2015

Teaching Assistant for CSCI 1300: Introduction to Programming

Santa Clara University

May 23, 2018

Guest Lecturer for COEN 100: Undergraduate Research Seminar


Programming Languages & Tools

  • Python, HTML/CSS/JS, R, MATLAB, MongoDB, Jupyter Notebook, Tableau, QGIS


  • Quantitative/qualitative data analysis, visual content analysis, surveys, interviews, ethnographic observation, think-alouds, cognitive walkthroughs, personas/user stories


June 2016

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Apr. 2015

Open Science Data Cloud Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) Fellowship

Oct. 2014

Graduate Student Research Community Development Award

AY 2014 – 2015

Dean’s Fellowship (CU Boulder)

AY 2013 – 2014

Dean’s List (Santa Clara University)

May 2014

Senior Design Presentation Session Award (Santa Clara University)

Apr. 2014

IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference Scholarship

Apr. 2014

Upsilon Pi Epsilon Computing and Information Honor Society

Nov. 2013

Willem P. Roelandts and Maria Constantino-Roelandts Grant

Oct. 2013

Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

July 2013

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Scholarship

Feb. 2013

Global Social Benefit Fellowship

May 2012

Cisco-SCU Engineering Fellowship

Apr. 2011

Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Scholarship



  • ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)
  • ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW)
  • International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
  • ACM Transactions on Information Systems
  • Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management
  • Weather, Climate and Society


  • Mentored 8 undergraduate researchers for the Discovery Learning Apprenticeship (Spring 2016)

Student Volunteering

  • CHI 2016–2018
  • International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis (SC15)

Professional Membership

ACM, ACM-W, ACM Special Interest Group Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI), Colorado Virtual Operations Support Team (COVOST)