Group Members

Group Leader

Mauro Cherubini

I am a Professor of Information Systems at HEC, University of Lausanne. Prior to joining HEC in 2016, I spent eight years in the industry. My last industry work was with Google in Zurich, Switzerland. Previously, I worked at Telefonica Research with Nuria Oliver and Rodrigo de Oliveira, in Barcelona, Spain. I received my PhD in Computer Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland in June 2008, where I worked for the CRAFT laboratory, under the supervision of Pierre Dillenbourg. At EPFL, I conducted research on collaborative annotations of maps and remote gesturing.

Previously, I worked for two and a half years as a research assistant at the Media Lab Europe (MLE), in Ireland, under the supervision of Carol Strohecker. During this time, I had several study visits at the MIT Media Lab in Boston. I obtained a Master of Arts by Research from St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University, in 2004. My master thesis documented the work I conducted at MLE on Microworlds for Ecology Explorations.

In my former life, I founded a Non-Governmental Organization to sustain elderly and autistic children in the region south of Rome, Italy.

My primary research interests are at the intersection of human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) and human learning. I seek to design systems that enable people to be better connected and in more flexible and dynamic ways. I am particularly interested in how to empower people through new technology and in giving them the opportunity to better participate in collective initiatives. I am also interested in persuasive computing applications that can improve the users’ experience of their daily activities, and propel positive changes in people’s behaviour.


PhD Students

Gabriela Villalobos-Zúñiga

I create persuasive tech. My goal is to understand what motivates individuals to chase their objectives. Particularly, I support people to improve or change their behavior with temporary technology support. Health, Physical Activity, and Wellbeing are my focus fields. My research lies in the intersection between behavior change, human-computer interaction, psychology and software development.

I enjoy creating software, sharing knowledge and training and leading people. These activities were my routine while working back in Costa Rica -my fascinating home country-.

In my PhD research, I study human motivation. Particularly, the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (based on Self-Determination Theory) on physical activity. I do this through long-term mobile technological interventions.

When not wearing my researcher hat, I travel to new cities to enjoy concerts of my favorite music bands. I also love cooking and recently got immersed in the yoga world.

Contact: gabriela[dot]villalobos[at]unil[dot]ch

For more information visit my personal website:

Lucas Siqueira Rodrigues

After obtaining my master’s in Human-Computer Interaction at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Paris-Sud, I decided to pursue a PhD in Persuasive Computing. I am currently exploring technological interventions on human motivation and job-seeking procrastination. My goal is to help professionals to overcome the challenges of unemployment through digital implementations of cognitive psychology and behavioral economic theories.

My industry background is mostly in front-end development. I started my career in Brazil, programming information systems for Embratel and Caixa Econômica Federal, and later I worked for Insurello in Stockholm. I also worked as a consultant for the Embassies of Brazil in Washington D.C. and Helsinki. My first research experience was at University of Maryland’s eLab, and more recently I concluded my master’s thesis at the Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique at Sorbonne Université.

I am excited about applying HCI methods to promote positive changes in human behavior, and I’m looking forward to the interesting findings that will come out of this challenge.

Master Students

Luca Reut

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics and management at HEC Lausanne, I chose to study their information systems MA. Their Interaction Design course allowed me to discover a field combining business analysis, prototyping and visual design development: the User Experience.

With the will to continue in this interdisciplinary direction, I had the opportunity to develop my skills in user research through my master thesis which aims to understand more people who do not use interactive services.

I am also passionate about photography. It’s a way to express myself through a medium that is both creative and technical.