I am a PhD candidate in Northwestern University’s program in Technology and Social Behavior, a dual program in computer science and communication studies. My work centers on mediated information disclosure between strangers in emergent relationships. Currently, I am focusing on how limited information affects interest in wanting to get to know someone.

At Northwestern, I am a member of the Social Media Lab, led by Professor Jeremy Birnholtz.


CUES. Do system cues affect impression?

Profiles on mobile apps designed for connecting nearby others have some fields, or cues, that are updated and controlled by the system (e.g. distance, availability, mutual friends). Do these cues have an effect on impressions? How are these cues involved in impression formation as a process?

diagram of people nearby app similar to Tinder

VGI. What does where you've been say?

Millions of users generate and post content daily. What is the relationship between their offline context while posting (time, place) and their content in the media stream?

map of user generated content

LBSA. How do people meet through apps?

A growing number of apps connect nearby others for near-immediate in-person interaction, ranging from coffee to casual sex. How do users protray themselves to others in these spaces? What are in-person interactions like with someone you've just "met"?

diagram of location based real time app network

CSGC. How can we support novice designers online?

Novice civic designers face multiple challenges as they embark on tackling real world problems, including learning the design process and participating in critiques. How can a computer-supported group critique system fit into novice designer studios?

model of computer supported group critique



  • Northwestern University, PhD in Technology and Social Behavior, 2012-present
  • UW-Madison, M.A. in Ethnomusicology, 2009-2012
  • Brown University, B.A. in Ethnomusicology, 2005-2009

Papers and Presentations

  • Fitzpatrick, C., Birnholtz, J., Gergle, D. “People, Places, and Perceptions: Effects of Location Check-in Awareness on Impressions of Strangers.” Mobile HCI 2016. Florence, Italy, September 2016.

  • Fitzpatrick, C., Birnholtz, J., Brubaker, J.R. “‘I Shut the Door’: Interactions, Tensions, and Negotiations on a Location Based Social App.” ICA 2016. Fukuoka, Japan, June 2016. *best paper award

  • Fitzpatrick, C., Birnholtz, J., Brubaker, J.R. “Social and Personal Disclosure in a Location-Based Real Time Dating App.” HICSS 2015. *best paper award nomination

  • Birnholtz, J., Fitzpatrick, C., Handel, M., Brubaker, J. “Identity, Identification, and Identifiability: The Language of Self-Presentation on a Location-Based Mobile Dating App.” Mobile HCI 2014. Toronto, September 2014.

  • Easterday, M., Lewis, D., Fitzpatrick, C., Gerber, E. “Computer Supported Novice Group Critique.” DIS 2014. Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 2014.

  • Fitzpatrick, C., Hope, A., Barhumi, S., Krupnikov, Y., Easterday, M. “Perspective Taking, Political Ideologies, and Digital Games.” Proceedings in 3rd Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics. Chicago, IL, October 2013.

  • Beheshti, E., Fitzpatrick, C., Hope, A., Piper, A.M., & Horn, M.S. Circuit in Pieces: Understanding Electricity from Electrons to Light Bulbs. Proc. Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference (extended abstracts) CHI’13. Paris, France, April 2013.

  • Fitzpatrick, C. “A ‘New’ Sociability: Etiquette, Practices and Interactions with Mobile Technologies.” Midwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting. Bowling Green, OH, April 2011.

  • Fitzpatrick, C. “The Female Body, Interrogation, and War: Readings of and Reactions to Rihanna’s Russian Roulette and Hard.” Midwest Graduate Music Conference. Madison, WI, March 2011.

  • Fitzpatrick, C. “Scrobbling Identity: Impression Management and Last.fm.” Northeast Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting. New Haven, CT, April 2009.


  • Teaching Assistant, Northwestern University, Spring 2014, Fall 2015
  • Teaching Assistant, UW-Madison, Fall 2010 – Spring 2012
  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Music, Brown University, Spring 2007- Summer 2009

Awards and Honors

  • NSF GK12 Reach for the Stars Fellow, Northwestern University, 2014-2015
  • US Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow, UW-Madison, 2010-2011
  • University Fellow, UW-Madison, 2009-2010
  • Vilas Welcome Award, UW-Madison, 2009
  • Rose Rosengard Subotnik Prize, Brown University, 2009
  • Best Undergraduate Thesis, Department of Science and Technology Studies, Brown University, 2009
  • Buxtehude Premium, Brown University, 2008

Lab Mates

Madeline E Smith

Madeline Smith

Madeline is a PhD Candidate in the Technology and Social Behavior joint program in Computer Science and Communication. Her research currently focuses on relational, supportive, and deceptive aspects of social media.

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Matthew Heston

Matthew Heston

Matthew Heston is a PhD student in the Technology and Social Behavior program. He is interested in social interactions between members of groups and organizations online.

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Mike DeVito

Mike DeVito

Mike DeVito is a doctoral student in the Media, Technology, and Society program. His research centers around the cognitive effects of new media on human social identity and information flows.

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