Anna Offenwanger

Ph.D. Student | Software Engineer | Designing for People in Equity

About Me 

I am a  passionate advocate for equity and diversity, a software engineer, and as of October 2021, a Ph.D. student investigating creativity in visualization. 

I am currently in the process of etching out a corner for myself in academia, and intend to take the connections I form back to industry, to create a better flow between knowledge creation and knowledge utilization. 

I get very excited about personal data, Virtual reality and 3D fabrication,  and am in the process of determining if these three things can be pasted together in a Ph.D. 

Selected Projects


WebXR is a web spec that will make it possible to distribute VR applications on the internet. For one year I was working on the backend systems that made this spec usable in Chrome, making VR development easily accessible to developers. 

Simple Demo:


Winner of a Best Paper Award at VIS'23, TimeSplines is an application that supports authoring idiosyncratic timelines.


Designed a Machine Learning gender data annotation application to identify portions of publications likely to contain gender data for extraction.  This work was done as part of my Master's thesis research, see link in Academics section for full thesis


Can robots paint? (spoiler alert, ours didn’t) Using a 6ft industrial Kawasaki Robot Arm, we built a system that allowed the arm to manipulate a brush in order to paint expressively. We aimed to explore the definition of ‘an artist’ in a AI and machine driven world. 

Global Learning XPRIZE

Competed in the Global Learning XPRIZE as part of Team Eureka Labs. Designed, and developed learning software.  


Maker Projects

3D printing and other Maker tools blur the line between physical and digital objects. Exploring the capacities and limitations of various makerspace tools, I have developed a variety of items, from badge holders to Nazgul Gauntlets, combining 3D printing and textile arts. 



Oct 2021 - Present

Ph.D. in Computer Science

Université Paris-Saclay

Research Area: Creative and Subjectivity in Visualization, Sketch Based Interfaces

Publication (Best Paper Award): Anna Offenwanger, Matthew Brehmer, Fanny Chevalier, Theophanis Tsandilas. 2023. TimeSplines: Sketch-Based Authoring of Flexible and Idiosyncratic Timelines. In IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (VIS’23), Oct 22-27, 2023, Melbourne, Australia.

Sep 2018 - May 2021

M.Sc. in Computer Science

University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Thesis: Diagnosing Bias in the Gender Representation of HCI Research Participants : How it Happens and Where We Are (PDF)

Publication: Anna Offenwanger, Alan Milligan, Minsuk Chang, Julia Bullard, and Dongwook Yoon. 2021. Diagnosing Bias in the Gender Representation of HCI Research Participants: How it Happens and Where We Are. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’21), May 8–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 18 pages.

TA'ed Courses:

Sep 2011 - Jun 2016

B.A. Honours in Computer Science, Minor in Math and Statistics

University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Thesis: Generative Neural Networks (PDF)

Publication: Anna Offenwanger and Yves Lucet. 2014. ConEE: An Exhaustive Testing Tool to Support Learning Concurrent Programming Synchronization Challenges. In Proceedings of the Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education (WCCCE '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, , Article 11 , 6 pages. DOI=

TA'ed Courses:

Work Experience

Aug  2017 - Aug 2018

Google Software Engineer, Developer on the Chrome WebXR project

The project, along with the Immersive Web Working Group. aimed to develop a web spec for immersive devices on the web. 

Specific involvement: Developed a test suite for various WebXR features, and worked on using smartphone gyroscopes for magic window style immersion. Javascript and C++ development.

Sep 2016 - Aug 2017

Google Software Engineering Residency Program

As part of the Engineering residency program, did two five month projects on different teams.

Oct 2016 - Mar 2017

Designed and built a visualization application to streamline inspection of user demographics data. Developed project outline, created design documents, applied review feedback, prioritized tasks. Application built in AngularJS.

Mar 2017 - Aug 2017

Added a feature to allow casting of local files to remote playback devices through Chrome. Programed in C++

Also added the number of bookmarks to be opened to the Chrome  bookmarks bar right-click menu.