Ellie Harmon, PhD

recovering academic & principal parent

I am based in Portland, Oregon where I enjoy reading, cycling, swimming, walking, singing, dancing, a morning coffee, and an afternoon tea.

Prior to my current role designing and managing toddler development projects, I was a faculty member at Portland State University. I taught courses in user experience and computer ethics; mentored numerous excellent student researchers; worked to make computing more broadly accessible, relevant, and welcoming; and advocated for a better university as an AAUP union leader.

I hold a PhD in Information and Computer Science from the University of California at Irvine. My dissertation argued that feelings of “constant connection” are characterisitic of contemporary life, rather than the direct result of using a phone/computer “too much.” Nonetheless, concerted efforts to “unplug” or “disconnect” often feel successful because they force us to rearrange our social/work life more holistically.

I have led both social science research and technical design and development projects for organizations including Intel, IG Metall, and the International Labour Organization. I held a postdoctoral appointment at CU Boulder in 2015-16.

I have walked the length of the United States on each coast, between Georgia and Maine on the Appalachian Trail (2008, 2000 miles) and from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail (2013, 2650 miles).

You can find my academic writings indexed on Google Scholar.