Sarah Fakhoury

Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at Washington State University.

Advised by Dr. Venera Arnaoudova

My research is supported by the NSF I - II and a Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship.

Office: Sloan 326

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I am currently a 4th-year Ph.D. candidate, my research is at the intersection of Cognitive Neuroscience and Software Engineering. I apply techniques from Cognitive Neuroscience to study developers’ cognitive load during software engineering tasks.

As part of my thesis research, I developed a novel multi-modal framework to demonstrate the feasibility of using eye tracking technology and an fNIRS brain imaging device to map and analyze cognitive load data at a very fine level of granularity - up to the level of source code identifiers. I am currently using this framework to quantify the cognitive impact of programming language features.

I am fascinated by how language design decisions have a direct measurable impact on the cognitive load experienced by developers on a day-to-day basis. I aspire to help inform the cognitive design of the next generation of programming languages and tools with an emphasis on direct user-centric evaluation.

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