Nathan Hishon

research assistant and student

Nathan Hishon is a research assistant and PhD student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Vanderbilt University since Spring 2021.
He received his MS (2020) in Computer Science from Loyola University Chicago and BS (2016) in Computer Information Systems from Grand Valley State University.

Previously, Mr. Hishon worked as a full stack software engineer for the Chicago based real estate company @properties.


Awarded free registration and volunteer position at ACM IUI'21

Joined Vanderbilt University and the NDS lab

Graduated with an MS in Computer Science from Loyola University Chicago

Teaching Assistant Experience

Vanderbilt University
DS 5720-01: Social Network Analysis
Spring 2021
Course Description:
Explores recent research on the analysis of social networks and on models and algorithms that are used to abstract their properties and make predictions. Key topics covered in this course are: Graph models; Network centrality measurements; Computational methods of link prediction, clustering and classification on graphs, and network diffusion; Deep learning on graphs including network embedding and graph neural network models and their applications.

CS 3891-03: Special Topics - Error Analysis in Safety Critical Systems
Spring 2021
Course Description:
This case study based course will look at errors in safety critical systems, including healthcare and aviation. It will explore errors from multiple perspectives, specifically computer science and systems engineering.

Loyola University Chicago
COMP 125: Visual Information Processing
Spring 2020
Course Description:
An elementary introduction to programming using a language such as Processing. Topics include variables, formatted input/output, arrays, looping, conditional execution, subroutines, functions, computer graphics, animation. Applications to other disciplines are stressed.

COMP 150: Introduction to Computing
Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Course Description:
This course provides a broad survey introducing the many layers of the computer science discipline, emphasizing the computer’s role and limitations as a tool for describing, organizing, and manipulating information applicable to many disciplines. Topics include binary logic expressed in electronic circuitry, machine architecture, basic programming in the very accessible language Python, data organization, the potential and limitations of machines, and useful tools. This course serves as a terminal course for students who want a one-course introduction to the field, as well as a preliminary course to upper-level computer science offerings.

COMP 422: Software Development for Wireless/Mobile Devices
Fall 2019
Course Description:
This course will focus on the unique challenges, methods, tools, and technologies for developing software applications for wireless and mobile devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDA) and smart mobile phones. Topics include user interface design for the small screen, multi-channel devices, programming techniques, and memory management for devices with limited memory and processing power, data synchronization for mobile databases, and wireless network programming.

COMP 424: Client-Side Web Design
Fall 2019
Course Description:
This course studies the design, development, and publication of client-side web applications. Students will acquire an awareness of different client-side design and development methods, technologies, and techniques suitable for the development of web applications. The course has been structured to provide logical groupings of common technologies, which complement each other in the development of modern client-side applications. The student will begin by developing fundamental skills and knowledge in HTML5, CSS, JavaScript (JS), and JSON. This allows a student to then progress to the more advanced implementations of current client-side technologies including React, D3.js, and other suitable JS based libraries. We shall also consider client-side usage of tools and technologies such as Node.js, Express, and Mongoose. These technologies will be considered primarily from the client-side perspective with complimentary introductions to data stores such as Redis, MongoDB, and Firebase.

COMP 441: Human-Computer Interface Design
Spring 2020
Course Description:
This course studies the interaction between humans and computer-based systems. The course will provide students with the methods for evaluating, designing, and developing better interfaces between humans and computer-based systems. Students will acquire an awareness of different design and evaluation methods as well as practical, effective, and cost-conscience methods for improving systems and their interfaces. The course has been structured to provide logical, contiguous groupings of material relative to considerations of design and human interaction with computer-based systems. The student is exposed to design components and elements that help us develop interactions with such systems. This is complemented by a sound and clear understanding of the logic and psychological reasoning for such patterns and design choices. Examples are available throughout the course, and theory is offered alongside demonstration.

Awards and Fellowships

Vanderbilt University Engineering Graduate Fellowship 2021
Loyola University Chicago Teaching Assistant Award 2019-2020
Hacker Fellow 2016

Professional Projects

An application allowing real estate brokers to create custom sign-in forms for property listing open houses.

@properties automated sign system
@properties intranet functionality allowing real estate agents to order customized sign orders for property listings.

Research Interests

human-computer interaction, autism research, software engineering, usability engineering, inclusive design, social computing, intelligent user interfaces, natural language processing, algorithmic fairness

Research Projects

Master's Thesis:
Wayfinder Application for Autistic Occupational Assistance
Download Thesis(pdf)
Thesis Advisor:
Dr. Nicholas Hayward, Loyola University Chicago
Employment among autistic individuals is an area of noted difficulty, with an employment rate well below the general population. Several barriers attributed to autistic unemployment, including difficulties communicating with employers and social interactions with coworkers, obsessive adherence to routine, and trouble organizing and completing workplace tasks, are also attributed to challenges in maintaining employment. Several studies have concluded that long-term employment support is necessary to acquire and maintain autistic employment. The noted benefit of intensive job training, such as access to job coaches, indicates the need for further support to help autistic individuals complete workplace tasks and maintain employment, as well as employers in their support of autistic employees. Therefore, the development of client-side software that facilitates communication and clarifies workplace duties may be a more long-term, sustainable solution. The object of this research is to develop a workplace e-learning web application designed to support autistic employees and their managers. The Wayfinder application aims to accommodate not only the employee in their day-to-day task management, communication, and independence, but also the manager as they help to actively include autistic employees in their workforce. This research takes place over the course of a year including initial concept, research, and application development. Key screen captures of the prototype application are included with research driven functionality highlighted.