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Tuesday, October 25 2022
8:00pm - 8:30pm

Amy J. Ko - The Promise and Problems of CS for All

Amy J. Ko - The Promise and Problems of CS for All

Seminar Series: HCI Seminar Series 2022 - 2023

Speaker: Amy J. Ko

Speaker Affiliation: The Information School, University of Washington

Host: Arvind Satyanarayan

Host Affiliation: CSAIL MIT

Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Time: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Location: 32-D463 (Star)

Abstract: 
Computing has been transformational in nearly every aspect of society — except for one: education. The vast majority of youth, despite often being surrounded by computing devices, the internet, and content created with and for computers, never learn anything about computation. It is a great irony that youth learn about their bodies in biology, chemistry, and physics; their values and communities in social studies and language arts; and their creative capacity in the arts, but almost nothing about the phenomena that connects them so powerfully to friends, family, stories, play, while simultaneously amplifying so many of the harmful forces of inequity and injustice in the world. In this talk, I discuss why primary and secondary education has largely overlooked computing, why post-secondary CS education has been so stagnant, and the role of research, teaching, service, and activism in catalyzing change. Throughout, I discuss my own path from computer scientist to computing education researcher, the many kinds of research my lab has done along the way, and the essential role of criticality in creating a more just computational world.

Bio: 
Amy J. Ko is a Professor at the University of Washington Information School and an Adjunct Professor at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. She directs the Code & Cognition Lab, where she and her students study CS education, human-computer interaction, and humanity's individual and collective struggle to understand computing and harness it for creativity, equity, and justice. Her earliest work included techniques for automatically answering questions about program behavior to support debugging, program understanding, and reuse. Her later work studied interactions between developers and users, and techniques for web scale aggregation of user intent through help systems; she co-founded AnswerDash to commercialize these ideas. Her latest work investigates effective, equitable, and inclusive ways for humanity to learn computing, especially how data, algorithms, APIs, and AI can both empower and oppress. Her work spans more than 140 peer-reviewed publications, with 13 receiving best paper awards and 4 receiving most influential paper awards. She is an ACM Senior Member, a member of ACM SIGCHI, SIGCSE, and SIGSOFT, and a member of the SIGCHI Academy, for her substantial contributions to the field of human-computer interaction. She received her Ph.D. at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in 2008, and degrees in Computer Science and Psychology with Honors from Oregon State University in 2002.

This seminar will also be streaming over Zoom: https://mit.zoom.us/j/98031272365.

For more information please contact: Cynthia Rosenthal, crosenth@csail.mit.edu


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