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Carla Leitão

Senior Researcher

Semiotic Engineering Research Group, SERG

Department of Informatics, PUC-Rio
Department of Psychology, PUC-Rio

Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 225, RDC, Sala 528

Rio de Janeiro, RJ – Brasil
Tel: +55 21 3527-1622

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Short Bio

Carla Leitão graduated as a Psychologist at UERJ (1988), and obtained a M.A (1996) and a Ph.D. (2003) in Psychology at PUC-Rio.  Her Ph.D. research was on the subjective impacts generated on individuals by the diffusion of ICTs.  In the early 2000’s she has been drawn to Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) motivated by the interdisciplinary research on social and psychological aspects of computational artifacts explored by Semiotic Engineering. She was also especially interested in how qualitative methods could be used outside human and social sciences. Carla is currently  Adjunct Lecturer (Professora Agregada) of the Department of Psychology at PUC-Rio ».

Since 2003 Carla is a senior research of SERG (Semiotic Engineering Research Group) where she does scientific research in HCI and Semiotic Engineering, and co-supervises MA and Ph.D. students. She worked in several research projects conducted by SERG, e.g. International Children Digital Library - ICDL Brasil, with University of Maryland and  ICDL Foundation, and  Scalable Game Design Brasil – SGD-Br, with University of Colorado at Boulder. Since 2017 she has joined  a research group at IBM Research Brazil to study semiotics and signification in Deep Learning models and applications.

She is co-author of two international books on HCI and Semiotic Engineering:  Semiotic engineering methods for scientific research in HCI (Morgan & Claypool, 2009), with Clarisse S. de Souza, and A Journey through cultures:  Metaphors for guiding the design of cross-cultural interactive systems (Springer, 2013), with Luciana Salgado and Clarisse s. de Souza.

She is an active member of Brazilian HCI community. In 2014, she was program co-chair of IHC 2014, and from 2014 to 2016 was a representative member of Brazilian HCI Committee of the Brazilian Computer Society (CEIHC – SBC). Since 2006, she also coordinates institutional processes of evaluation and accreditation at PUC-Rio.


Current research interests

  • HCI theory and methodology
  • Semiotic Engineering theory and methods
  • Cultural and social aspects of human-computer interaction (HCI) and of computer mediated communication (CMC)
  • Subjective and Psychological aspects of human-computer interaction (HCI) and of computer mediated communication (CMC)
  • Semiotics and Signification in Deep Learning Technologies



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