Technology for Social Change series

“We need people designing technologies for society to have training and an education on the histories of marginalized people, at a minimum, and we need them working alongside people with rigorous training and preparation from the social sciences and humanities.” Safiya Umoja Noble.

With this talk series, School of Computing and Information highlights the importance of understanding how computing and information technology can be designed, implemented, and incorporated to support positive change in our communities. With the thought-provoking talks and open conversations, we welcome new ways to challenge our scholarly efforts to embrace positive changes around us. We are delighted to kick start the series with three wonderful scholars who approach this challenge from different angles.

All the talks will be organized in a hybrid format, supporting participation in-person or virtually through zoom. We hope to see many of you at these talks, in-person or virtually. If you are interested to give a talk in future series, please contact our Associate Dean for DEI (

Upcoming Talks

Friday, December 10 | Noon

"Centering Identity: Co-Design of Social Robots with Marginalized Learners"

Presented by Angela Stewart, Postdoctoral Fellow, Human Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract: Computing education experiences that center learner identities as assets to their learning have been successful at engaging marginalized learners, and increasing their achievement. However, this approach is rarely taken when designing computing education programs and accompanying technologies. In this talk, I will discuss our culturally-responsive approach to designing an informal robotics camp for girls of color. Additionally, we conducted an analysis of multimodal patterns of behavioral engagement from learners in this camp, with implications for creating more effective educational technologies. Finally, I will describe findings from a codesign study on learner attitudes on creating a robot companion, and how this can be leveraged in culturally-responsive paradigms on computing education.

Bio: Angela is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. She received a Bachelor of Software Engineering from Auburn University in 2015 and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2020. Angela's work sits at the intersection of education, artificial intelligence, and HCI. She investigates creation of educational technologies that support the agency of learners and teachers, towards the goal of creating more equitable, inclusive educational spaces.

Learn more and register

Past Talks