Jackie Cameron is a first-year PhD student in the ATLAS Institute (Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society). Motivated by her time as a plant ecology researcher and middle school teacher, she joined ATLAS with the goal of exploring novel uses of technology to engage students in democratic and creative practices. Her work will aim to create open-ended activities that promote meaningful community participation and computational/design-based thinking. With her advisor, Tom Yeh (Computer Science), Jackie will be looking at the use of mobile apps & interactive tabletops (NatureNet) for environmental citizen science projects and at how emerging technologies (e.g. 3D printing, makey makey circuit board, arduino) can be used to empower blind students in computer science fields. As part of eCSite, Jackie hopes to encourage students to reflect upon their educational practices and see themselves as meaningful contributors to research.
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.
Zack, having worked as a designer and digital fabricator with artists, designers, architects and engineers is investigating how “maker space” technologies apply to hands-on education particularly with open-source hardware and software. Under these conditions, he is examining how underserved communities can leverage 21st century technologies to educate and empower young people through local action.
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 Ann Kos
Brittany Kos (Trail Ridge Middle School) second-year PhD student in the Alliance for Technology, Learning, & Society (ATLAS) PhD program for Technology, Media, & Society at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is a Colorado native and University of Colorado alumni with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Computer Science, and a minor in Technology, Arts, and Media. Brittany is working in an 8th Grade classroom at Trail Ridge Middle School in Longmont, CO. She uses my background in Computer Science to teach the students how computation can relate to their science activities. She has also worked on projects to teach students data visualization, human-centered computing, and research skills through the use of Infographics.
Ryan Langendorf is a third year PhD student in both the Environmental Studies and Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology programs at the University of Colorado, Boulder as a member of Dr. Doak’s lab. His research attempts to better understand the role an ecological system’s structure plays in its functioning. Structural attributes of systems have been well characterized, such as connectedness or nestedness, but efforts at tying these into a bigger picture that includes characteristics like resilience and productivity are still in their infancy. So he ask questions like “How does the structure of a food web impact its stability?” and “What structures of competitive interactions best support restoration efforts?” and even “What are the tradeoffs between structure, composition, and abiotic influences in community dynamics?” In so doing, his work spans theoretical (Dr. Goldberg in Computer Science) and empirical (Dr. Collinge in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) collaborations, with the aim of making structural characterizations and analyses of ecological systems more mechanistic, and hopefully more useful.