Kara A. Behnke

me 2 2013

Kara A. Behnke (Boulder High School and Monarch High School) is a doctoral student in the Alliance for Technology, Learning & Society (ATLAS) Ph.D. program for Technology, Media & Society. Behnke is an avid gamer whose research focuses on how Gameful Design facilitates the acquisition of purposeful knowledge for Engineering and Computer Science students and enables them to become better innovators, collaborators, and creative designers. Behnke utilizes a variety of gaming platforms to support creative learning environments for CS and Engineering students including Second Life, Xbox360 game development, mobile App development, Unity 3D, and commercial games like Minecraft. She is also the partner of a start-up gamification company, Event-Qwest, and also offers consulting services for game-based education, gamification, and gameful design. Behnke is currently working with eCSite and the School of Engineering to evaluate how “playful design” can engage CS and Engineering students in creative problem solving, modeling and communication.

Richelle Cripe


Richelle Cripe is a PhD student in Technology, Media & Society in the Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society (ATLAS) Institute. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art & Art History and has studied a wide range of subjects at the collegiate level, including architecture, music, dance and computer science. Her research sits at the intersection of information science, human-centered design and cognitive science. She is primarily interested in the ways that people process phenomena individually, and how new connections or ways of seeing can materialize when those processes are intentionally exposed. She intends to develop her findings by creating and evaluating tools for individuals and groups to create, link, explore and interpret dynamic representations of experiential and material phenomena.


Jeffrey (“Jiffer”) Harriman


Jiffer Harriman is a PhD student at CU’s ATLAS Institute where he is studying the intersection of technology and the arts.  With his advisor Michael Theodore (College of Music) he is exploring new ways technology can be used for artistic expression as well as the way the arts can inform technology design. He is currently developing a toolkit to lower the barrier to working with electronics for the creation of new interfaces for musical expression.  The toolkit allows easy connection of sensors for the creation of custom interfaces using buttons and knobs as well as light and proximity sensors.  He will be studying the affordances of this toolkit as a creativity support tool as well as a new paradigm for teaching electronics and programming.

Marina Kogan


Marina Kogan (Boulder High School) is a second year PhD student in Computer Science. She also has a Master’s degree in Sociology. Marina works with Dr. Leysia Palen in the Human Centered Computing group and with Dr. Aaron Clauset in Numerical and Scientific Calculation. Her interests are in the realm of computational social science, with the focus on complex systems, self-organization, and emergence. Marina is interested in how our decisions on the individual level “add up,” interact, and eventually scale up to the large-scale social trends. She is interested in using probabilistic modeling and machine learning to answer those questions.


Megan Kinney


Megan Kinney has more than 10 years of experience in connecting traditionally underserved groups to useful technologies, as a librarian. During that time, she helped refugee youth use GIS mapping to improve their neighborhoods, recent immigrants learn how to send an email, Denver citizens how to apply for the public housing lottery online, community college students to embrace the importance of solid research and critical thinking skills. Her PhD work focuses on prisoners and the digital literacy skills they need to succeed outside of prison and prevent recidivism. In particular, she’d like to make the connection between computational thinking and the problem solving skills needed to be resilient and avoid returning to prison. To that end, Megan is working at Gilliam Youth Services Center in Denver, to empower the faculty to use more technology in their own work and to bring computational thinking to their classrooms through innovative lesson plans. The ultimate goal being to lower the rate at which incarcerated youth go on “graduate” to the adult corrections system, in part, as a result of their ability to problem solve, decompose complex issues, and think algorithmically, skills that are taught by computational thinking, and can be used for success across the lifespan.

Brittany Kos


Brittany Kos (Trail Ridge Middle School) is a first year PhD student in the Alliance for Technology, Learning & Society (ATLAS) Ph.D. program for Technology, Media & Society.  She is studying teaching and learning models that focus on integrating computing into multidisciplinary and non-technical classrooms.  Her other interests include Human Computer Interaction and online teaching methods.

Hilarie Nickerson

Hilarie Nickerson

Hilarie Nickerson (Fairview High School) holds masters degrees in computer science (Georgia Institute of Technology) and industrial design (North Carolina State University). She is pursuing a joint Ph.D. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science, exploring how children and adults can reason, understand, and learn through interactive and dynamic computer-facilitated experiences. Areas of particular interest  include agent-environment interaction and learning in informal environments such as museums. Under the supervision of Dr. Alex Repenning (and his co-PIs from Education), Hilarie has been working on the Scalable Game Design project, which investigates methods for enhancing children’s computational thinking skills and increasing their motivation to pursue opportunities in STEM fields.

Donny Warbritton

Donny Warbritton (Casey Middle School) is a PhD candidate in Computer Science. He studies applied systems security with an emphasis in mobile devices. While some of his past work has been on privacy and anonymity in mobile phones, his current focus is on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). He’s interested in how subversion in UAVs takes place and how it can be detected and prevented. In addition, Donny spent his summer as a software development intern at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington where he worked with the Active Directory team.

Rowan Wing

Rowan Wing
Rowan Wing (Silver Creek High School)
is PhD student in the department of Computer Science and the Institute of Cognitive Science and is a member of the Mozer Lab and Correll Lab. He has a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College and a MA in Education from the University of Colorado. His research interests include machine learning, cognitive modeling, and complex adaptive systems. In particular, Rowan is interested in how advances in machine learning and data mining can benefit and inform current educational practices in PreK-12 and post-secondary education.

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