John Gaspar

UX Researcher & Brain Science Enthusiast
PhD, Experimental Psychology


Location

Mountain View, CA

Phone

530.219.6780

Intro

A little about me.

Over the years I've had the opportunity to work with countless talented people in both industry and academia to produce exciting, impactful research. During my time in academia I became proficient in a variety of highly specialized research techniques, including electroencephalography (EEG), eye-tracking, and cognitive-behavioral testing. Applying these techniques, my research interests were geared towards understanding how much control we have over what we pay attention to in our visual world. This work has been published in high-impact journals and has been featured in a number of prominent pop-sci publications. At Google, my focus has been on evaluating user hardware experiences (much of this work exploring the relationship between augmented reality and social acceptability). By combining qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, my work serves to inform stakeholders and motivate the design of future Google products. If you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Expertise

Stuff I'm good at.
01

Research Experience

I have collaborated with cross-functional teams that include industrial designers, product designers, mechanical engineers, product managers, interaction designers, academics, and medical doctors to convert research findings into meaningful scientific and product advancements. This has been done on both large (n > 40k) and small datasets, using a variety of both qualitative and quantitative research techniques.

02

Experimental Design

I am experienced in both qualitative and quantitative experimental design and am effective at conveying the justification for my methods to stakeholders, granting agencies, and research ethics boards. I have designed experimental paradigms using several programming languages and tools, including MATLAB (Psychtoolbox), Unity (C#), Qualtrics, Presentation, and E-Prime.

03

Statistical Analyses

I have an advanced grasp of both frequentist and Bayesian inference and have employed a wide range of parametric and nonparametric test statistics in my work. I am proficient in doing analyses in MATLAB, R, SPSS, Sawtooth Lighthouse Studio (Maxdiff/CBC), Google Data Studio, JASP, Excel, Sheets, and Prism.

04

Public Speaking and Research Dissemination

My research has appeared in top-tier journals and has been featured in several pop-sci publications. I have given 10 invited talks and guest lectures at universities and colleges throughout North America. In addition to this, I have personally presented my research 14 times and have had my research presented by collaborators an additional nine times at national and international conferences.

05

Teaching and Public Education

I have been a teaching assistant 20 times since 2009 for a variety of college and university courses and have given numerous university lectures. I have mentored undergraduate and graduate students and was a member of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Synapse Mentorship Program.

Highlighted Interviews and Media Relations

Articles on my research.

Professional Appointments

Places I've worked.
2018 – present

Google

Contracted through Adecco

UX Research Associate

Supervisor: Dan Odell

Mountain View, CA, USA

  • Worked collaboratively with cross-functional teams that include industrial designers, product designers, mechanical engineers, product managers, and interaction designers to convert research findings into meaningful guidelines, best practices, and product advancements.
  • Oversaw the design, recruiting, and data collection of fast, iterative research studies on both small and large (n > 40k) samples to address the immediate and long-term needs of stakeholders.
  • Performed analysis and interpreted findings for over 20 quantitative and qualitative studies this past year, turning raw data into narrative-driven decks with high-level insights and actionable key takeaways.
  • Introduced statistical research methodologies to management and stakeholders that are now widely employed by the Daydream UX research team.
  • Authored and published a manuscript on my very first Google study!

2016 – 2018

Center for the Mind & Brain

Postdoctoral Scholar

Supervisor: Steve Luck

Davis, CA, USA

  • Worked with the preeminent scientist in the field to produce high-impact research publications on visual attention and distraction.
  • Led the design, implementation, piloting, recruitment, running, and analysis of highly technical behavioral, EEG, and eye-tracking research studies both on undergraduate and clinical populations.
  • Oversaw the honours programme of an undergraduate student and the hiring/management of several research assistants.

2009 – 2016

Simon Fraser University

Teaching Assistant

Burnaby, BC, Canada

  • Behavioural Endocrinology (PSYC 381)
    Spring 2016 semester, Instructor: Dr. Bryan Jones
  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology (PSYC 221)
    Fall 2015, Fall 2014, and Fall 2010 semester, Instructor: Dr. Richard Wright
  • Cognitive Neuroscience (PSYC 382)
    Summer 2015, Fall 2013, and Fall 2011 semester, Instructor: Dr. John McDonald
  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology (PSYC 221)
    Spring 2015, Spring 2012, and Spring 2011 semester, Instructor: Dr. Tom Spalek
  • Introduction to Research Methods (PSYC 201W)
    Summer 2014 semester, Instructor: Dr. George Alder
  • Attention (PSYC 330)
    Spring 2014 semester, Instructor: Dr. Richard Wright
  • Memory and Mind (PSYC 325)
    Spring 2013 and Fall 2011 semester, Instructor: Dr. Mario Liotti
  • Introduction to Biological Psychology (PSYC 280)
    Summer 2012 semester, Instructor: Dr. Neil Watson
  • Introduction to Biological Psychology (PSYC 280)
    Summer 2011 semester, Instructor: Dr. Ralph Mistlberger
  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology (PSYC 221)
    Fall 2010 semester, Instructor: Dr. Richard Wright
  • Introduction to Biological Psychology (PSYC 280)
    Spring 2010 semester, Instructor: Dr. Tony Herdman
  • Brain, Mind, and Society (PSYC 109W)
    Fall 2009 semester, Instructor: Dr. Gordon Rose

Education

Places I've learned.
2012 – 2016

Simon Fraser University

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology, Cognitive and Neural Studies

Advisory committee: John McDonald, Urs Ribary, Mario Liotti

Burnaby, BC, Canada

  • Thesis: Mechanisms of attentional processing during visual search: how distraction is handled by the brain

2009 – 2012

Simon Fraser University

Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology, Cognitive and Neural Studies

Advisory committee: John McDonald, Urs Ribary

Burnaby, BC, Canada

  • Thesis: Within- versus cross-dimensional capture in fixed-feature visual search

2005 – 2009

Simon Fraser University

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Burnaby, BC, Canada
2000 – 2001

University of British Columbia

Certificate in Internet Publishing

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Publications

Papers I've published in academic journals.

Awards

Funding and kudos I've received.

2017

Vision Sciences Society 17th Annual Meeting Graphics Competition ($350)


2014-2016

Postgraduate Scholarship - Doctoral, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council ($42,000)


2014

Ph.D. Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University ($6,250)


2013

Graduate Student Research Award, Simon Fraser University ($12,500)


2013

Ph.D. Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University ($3,125)


2012

Canadian Psychological Association Certificate of Academic Excellence


2012

British Columbia Psychological Association Graduate Medal in Psychology


2012

M.A. Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University ($6,250)


2010

M.A. Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University ($6,250)


2009

Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship, Simon Fraser University ($7,000)


2008

Undergraduate Student Research Award, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council ($4,500)