Brianna Lynn Wimer named 2023 Google Ph.D. Fellow to address computing needs of vision-impaired people

Author: Karla Cruise

Brianna Wimer
Brianna Wimer, a third-year Ph.D. student, was also previously awarded the Remick Graduate Fellowship in Engineering.

Brianna Lynn Wimer, a Ph.D. student in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a 2023 Google Ph.D. Fellow. The fellowship recognizes graduate students doing exceptional and innovative research in areas relevant to computer science and related fields. [Ed. note: Wimer also holds the Remick Graduate Fellowship in Engineering, one of nine Select Fellowships awarded by the Graduate School to incoming students, and worked with the Graduate School's Office of Grants and Fellowships to write and submit her application for the Google award.]

Wimer’s research focuses on human-computer interaction and accessibility, specifically the computing needs of vision-impaired people. Her research is dedicated to developing technological solutions that ensure that people of all abilities can immerse themselves in and navigate visual data narratives.

“Data visualizations and visual narratives influence everything from global health to personal decisions,” she said. “This means that many vision-impaired individuals are left behind due to screen reader limitations.”

In addition to receiving three years of funding, fellows are matched with a research mentor who can help connect them to Google’s research network and provide feedback on their research.

Wimer is a member of the Metoyer Lab, which applies human-centered design thinking to problems at the intersection of people and machines.

“With support from this fellowship,” she said, “I can help drive a transformative movement towards a future where data accessibility is a right, not a privilege.”