Melva T. James

Imagine. Create. Evaluate. Understand.

About Me

Hello, world!


My name is Melva James, and I am a Ph.D. student in Clemson University’s School of Computing. Home base is the MorphLab, led by my advisor, Dr. Shaundra Bryant Daily.

Research Interests

My personal research interests include: personal analytics (a la The Quantified Self), mobile computing, information visualization, scientific modeling and simulation, educational software design, and the design of interactive systems that promote positive behavioral change.

My dissertation work entails the development of a mobile application, targeted to young adults, that will help them reflect on, and potentially change, their food consumption patterns based on data such as portion size.

Why I Do What I Do


I have always believed in the power of technology to improve the human condition. This belief has only intensified with time and personal experience.

The most important of these experiences has been the loss of my parents to preventable disease.

Why I Do What I Do (cont.)

My mother, at age 54, succumbed to breast cancer in 2007. Obesity likely played a role in the failure to detect her tumor at the earliest stages. My father, a mere five years later, died of complications from advanced Type II diabetes. He was 59.

Given our family history, many would say that chronic illness and early death are all but certain futures for my siblings and myself, but I believe our lives can be different.

I believe I can help.

Download my CV here.

Scroll down to see related HTML pages.

Clemson University (2010-present)

Ph.D. Human-Centered Computing
(Dec 2015, anticipated)

Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (2002-2009)

S.M. Chemistry
September 2008

University of Mississippi (1997-2001)

B.S. Chemistry
December 2001

Skills (1/3)-General

Areas of particular strength include: critical thinking, complex problem solving, quantitative data analysis, and communication.

Data Analysis, Technical Writing
15 years experience
Desktop Productivity (MS Office, OpenOffice)
15 years experience
Text Editing (TextWranger, Vim, LaTeX)
5-8 years experience
Graphics Editing (Inkscape)
3 years experience
Skills (2/3)-Programming Languages
2.5 years experience
ActionScript, HTML/CSS, Python
2 years experience
Objective C, PHP, SQL
1.5 years experience
1 years experience

Operating systems: UNIX variants, Apple OS X, Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows

Skills (3/3)-Chemistry and Biophysics
Spectroscopy (absorption, fluorescence, IR, NMR)
12 years experience
Chromatography (ion-exchange, size-exclusion)
10 years experience
Cell culture (bacterial, mammalian)
10 years experience
Microscopy (two-photon fluorescence, confocal)
8 years experience
Electrophysiology (patch-clamp)
4 years experience
Publications and Posters (1/4)

James, M. T. & Daily, S. B. (2014, February). Design of a Mobile Application to Support Food Consumption Monitoring and Decision Making. 2014 meeting of the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing, Seattle, WA [accepted].


Daily, S. B., James, M. T., Roy, T. & Darnell, S. (2013). EngageMe: designing a visualization tool utilizing physiological feedback to support instruction. Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning [accepted].

Publications and Posters (2/4)

Ekandem, J., Davis, A., Alvarez, I., James, M. T., & Gilbert, J. E. (2013). Response to letter by Padulo and Ardigò. Ergonomics [accepted].

Daily, S. B., Meyers, D., Darnell, S., Roy, T., & James, M. T. (2013). Understanding Privacy and Trust Issues in a Classroom Affective Computing System Deployment. In Distributed, Ambient, and Pervasive Interactions. (pp. 414-423). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

James, M. T. (2013, April). Picture-Perfect Plate: A Culturally Relevant Mobile Health App. Poster presented at the 2013 meeting of the CRA-W Grad Cohort, Boston, MA.

Publications and Posters (3/4)

Darnell, S. S., Alnizami, H., Andujar, M., Ekandem, J., Alvarez, I., Jackson, F., James, M., Mack, N., & Gilbert, J. (2013). Human Computer Interfaces for Speech Applications. In A. Tucker (Ed.), Computer Science Handbook (3rd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: Chapman & Hall/CRC. [in review].


Ekandem, J., Davis, A., Alvarez, I., James, M. T., & Gilbert, J. E. (2012). Evaluating the ergonomics of BCI devices for research and experimentation. Ergonomics, 55(5) 592-598.

Publications and Posters (4/4)

Andujar, M., Ekandem, J., Alvarez, I., James, M., & Gilbert, J. (2011, October). Are educational video games all they’re cracked up to be?: A physiological approach for measuring engagement in educational video games vs. conventional learning techniques. In Proceedings of E-Learn 2011, (pp. 539-544). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Gosha, K., James, M., Janifer, A., & Gilbert, J. (2011, October). The development of the online graduate student panel experience for african american STEM graduate students. In Proceedings of E-Learn 2011, (pp. 151-157). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Awards (1/4)
Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE)

3rd place, XSEDE13 Student Programming Competition, San Diego, CA (July 2013)

XSEDE Scholar (April 2013–present)

National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM)

GEM Fellow, Adobe Foundation (Spring 2013–present)

Awards (2/4)
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC)

Google Scholar, Portland, OR (November 2011)

ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing

Intel Scholar, San Francisco, CA (April 2011)

Clemson University

R. C. Edwards Scholar (August 2010–May 2011)

Awards (3/4)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Ruth L. Kirchstein Predoctoral Fellow (August 2004–February 2008)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT Provost Fellow (August 2002–June 2003)

University of Mississippi

Phi Beta Kappa (December 2001-present)

Awards (4/4)

McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College (August 1997-December 2001)

The State of Mississippi

Mississippi Eminent Scholar (August 1997-December 2001)


A pdf version of my CV can be downloaded here.

Picture Perfect Plate (1/2)
Picture Perfect Plate (2/2)

Picture-Perfect Plate is a mobile health application intended to affect long-term behaviors by increasing individuals’ awareness of food consumption habits.

Within the app, users can take images of meals, select food items from the USDA SR25 database, and view the difference between the recommended serving sizes for each food item and one’s currently selected portions.

SKILLS: Storyboarding (XCode), Programming (Objective-C, MySQL), Graphics Editing (Inkscape)


EngageME (1/2)
EngageME (2/2)

EngageME is a visualization tool whose purpose is to assist instructors’ efforts to understanding student engagement. The application enhances traditional observation methods by utilizing electrodermal activity, a physiological measure, as a primary indicator.

SKILLS: Needs assessment (focus groups), Low-fi prototyping, Wireframing, Front-end development (ActionScript/Adobe Flash Builder API)


Glucose Buddy Usability Evaluation

Glucose Buddy is a commercially available mHealth app targeted to diabetics. The usability of this application was evaluated by a 4-member team for Dr. Richard Pak’s Spring 2013 course in Usability Evaluation (PSYCH 840).

SKILLS: Persona creation, Interviewing, Task analysis, Cognitive walkthroughs, Heuristic evaluation, Prototyping, Likert-scale survey analysis.


Get In Touch

Melva T. James
Clemson University
School of Computing
100 McAdams Hall
Clemson, SC 29634 USA
+1 617 858 6964