Juliana Cherston

Research Affiliate
  • Responsive Environments

Link to personal website (Fall, 2023: still in progress).

I was awarded my PhD in August, 2022 from the Responsive Environments Group at the MIT Media Lab.  I currently remain an MIT Media Lab research affiliate. As of Sept, '23, I am also a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard-Smithsonian (jcherston@cfa.harvard.edu)

My research interest is in architecting sensor systems for fundamental scientific inquiry. I serve as a bridge between technologists and physical scientists, advancing unconventional instrumentation from concept studies to prototypes. 

The technical emphasis of my doctoral degree straddled aerospace engineering, distributed sensing, and electronic textile design - I am turning spacecraft thermal blankets into large field-of-view cosmic dust detectors using sensors that can be woven into fabrics. And I'm bringing electronic textile technology to Low Earth Orbit for the first time! Check out our first place award at Tech Briefs Create the Future (fall, '22) and feature article in IEEE Spectrum Magazine(fall, '21). 

I am also interested in human sensory augmentation. For example, my Master's thesis at the Media Lab (2014-2016) included Quantizer, a platform that enabled artists to map real-time physics data from the ATLAS detector at CERN to musical streams for public listening. For a number of months, it became possible to hear artistically rendered proton and heavy ion collisions in real-time. This project was featured in Nature Physics Books/ArtPopular ScienceEngadget, and Smithsonian Mag.

Previously, I earned a B.A. in physics at Harvard University with a minor in computer science (2009-2013). I have also completed internships in physics (the ATLAS experiment at CERN), aerospace engineering (Made in SpaceMIT Aero/Astro) and design/innovation (IDEO CoLabMicrosoft).