• Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 2012-present
    Ph.D. candidate in Technology and Social Behavior
  • Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2007-2010
    Master of Journalism
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1998-2002
    B.Sc. in Physics, with a concentration in Science Writing,
    Minor in Creative Writing

Awards and Honors

  • Cognitive Science Graduate Fellowship, 2014-2015
  • CIHR Health Research Communications Award, 2008-2009
  • Ryerson Graduate Award, 2007-2008
  • Todd Anderson Experimental Studies Group Teaching Award, 2002
  • Peter and Sharon Fiekowsky ESG Community Award, 2001

Research Interests

  • Online public discourse as peer production of public goods.
  • Leveraging technology to enable more productive public discourse.
  • Improving the flow and expression of information in the public sphere.
  • Developing experimental prototypes to streamline the journalistic process and empower readers.

Refereed Publications and Conference Presentations

  • Gomez-Zara, D., M. L. Boon, and L. Birnbaum “Who is the Hero, the Villain, and the Victim? Detection of Roles in News Articles using Natural Language Techniques” IUI 2018 (forthcoming).
  • Boon, M. L. “It's all news to me: The remix.” Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (2018).
  • Boon, M. L. “Augmenting Media Literacy with Automatic Characterization of News along Pragmatic Dimensions” Companion of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (2017). Doctoral Colloquium.
  • Birnbaum, L., M. L. Boon, S. Bradley, and J. Wilson. “Putting news in context, automatically.” Computation+Journalism Symposium 2015 (October 2-3, 2015). Paper, non-archival.
  • Birnbaum, L., M. L. Boon, S. Bradley, and J. Wilson. “The News Context Project.” IUI Companion 2015: 5-8.
  • Boon, M. L. and L. Birnbaum. “Automatic detection of themes used as narrative frames in news articles. [Work in Progress].” Computation+Journalism Symposium 2014 (October 24-25, 2014). Demo, non-archival.
  • Boon, M. L. “Information Density, Heaps’ Law, and Perception of Factiness in News.” Proceedings of the ACL 2014 Workshop on Language Technologies and Computational Social Science (2014): 33–37.

Unrefereed Presentations, Posters, and Panels

  • Birnbaum, L., M. L. Boon, S. Bradley, and J. Wilson. “A Preview of the News Context Project.” 2015 International Conference on Collaboration Technologies and Systems.
  • Boon, M. L. “The Essence of Online Science Journalism.” Canadian Science Writers' Association’s Annual Conference. (June 5-8, 2010).
  • Boon, M. L. “Communicating Virtual Science.” SuperComputing 2009. (November 14- 20, 2009). Invited panelist.

Teaching Experience

  • Teaching Assistant: An Intro to Computer Science for Everyone, Fall 2014
    Responsible for several lectures, one out-of-class tutorial, office hours, formalized design of assignments, development of grading rubrics, and grading.
  • Teaching Assistant: Introduction to Semantic Information Processing, Winter 2014, 2015
    Responsible for several lectures, one out-of-class tutorial, office hours, formalized design of assignments, development of grading rubrics, and grading.
  • High School Teacher: Hebrew Academy of San Francisco, January-November 2004
    Taught algebra, physics, and chemistry. Responsible for curriculum design, lesson plans, test and homework design, and grading.
  • Undergraduate Instructor and Mentor: Experimental Study Group, MIT, 1999-2002
    Teaching assistant and later instructor for freshman physics classes. Designed and co-taught a creative writing seminar. Provided tutoring at weekly study sessions. Mentored first and second year students.

Work Experience

  • Online Editor, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, July 2009-June 2012.
    Worked as part of an international collaboration to produce a weekly online publication about scientific computing. Duties included content curation, editing, writing, reporting, and promoting the publication. Served as editorial project lead for a website redesign and migration to a Drupal-based system. Beginning in July 2011, also serving as head of communications for the Open Science Grid. Responsible for both internal and external communications.
  • Freelance Writer and Editor, June 2002-July 2009.
    Research, writing, and editing for magazines, websites, blogs, and books, including Discover, Technology Review, Gizmodo, Digital Hub, The Toronto Star, and
  • Editorial Intern, BBC Focus Magazine, April-May 2008
    Researching and writing content for the website, magazine, and podcast.
  • Online Editor, Canadian Office Products Association, 2005-2007.
    Researched, wrote, edited, and oversaw editorial direction including story conception and execution for weekly newsletter.
  • Editorial Products Intern, WIRED Magazine, July-December 2003.
    Filtered slushpile of press releases and freelance pitches. Conceived, pitched, and wrote stories. Found, requested, tested, and reviewed products for the weekly Gadget Lab e-newsletter. Interacted with public relations and marketing professionals on a daily basis.
  • Editorial Intern, Palo Alto Weekly, March-May 2003.
    Wrote obituaries, police log, building permits, and one or more article weekly.
  • Communications Intern, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, June-October 2002 Science writing at a wide range of reading levels for a variety of publications about SLAC events and research.
  • Editorial Intern, Technology Review, February-June 2002
    Research, writing, and fact-checking about technology and community events.