[Oct '23: I've finished layout and beginning to port content to this portfolio site. In the mean time, you can reach me with any specific inquiries at jcherston@cfa.harvard.edu]

My research interest is in architecting sensor systems for fundamental scientific inquiry. To this end, I bridge new and often unconventional technology into the physical sciences.

As of Sept, '23, I am a Brinson Prize Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. I recently completed a PhD ('22) in the Responsive Environments Group at the MIT Media Lab. The technical emphasis of my doctoral work straddled astrophysics, distributed sensing, and electronic textile design - I am turning spacecraft thermal blankets into cosmic dust detectors using sensors that can be woven into fabrics. And I've led a team to bring electronic textile techonology 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 (Dec, '21).

I am also interested in using technology to bring alive the world's most incredible scientific sites. 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. Read more about our work in Nature Physics Books/Art, Popular Science, Engadget, 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 Space, MIT Aero/Astro) and design/innovation (IDEO CoLab, Microsoft).

In an artistic context, my work has been shown at the Montreux Jazz Fest (2015), The MIT Museum (2017), and Ars Electronica (2018).

For early work, see my 2010-2015 timeframe portfolio here.