Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Computer Science & Engineering Diversity & Inclusion Committee Speaker Series

April 21 @ 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm EDT

Computer Science & Engineering Diversity & Inclusion Committee Speaker Series

Title: Designing to Empower Marginalized Communities through Social Technology

Speaker: Alexandra To, Assistant Professor at Northeastern University

Date: Wednesday, April 21, 12:15 – 1:15pm

Link: https://uconn-cmr.webex.com/uconn-cmr/j.php?MTID=me9855ceb303fe19a0d02c56520ca93d8


Technology frequently marginalizes people from underrepresented and vulnerable groups; more and more, we’re learning how social media platforms, AI systems, machine learning algorithms, video games, etc., can enact, amplify, or perpetuate discrimination. In this talk, I will share some work on Critical Race Theory as a groundwork for discussing marginalization. I will then briefly share two projects to exemplify the methods I use for gathering personal narratives of marginalization and for developing and evaluating empowering games and social technologies. The CARE (coping after racist experiences) project uses interactive narrative to study how
people experience, cope with, and seek support for interpersonal racism such as racist microaggressions and the SCIPR (sensing curiosity in play and responding) project focuses on creating tabletop games for empowering underrepresented students in STEM. I will end by proposing several promising avenues for future work that extends my work adapting critical race theory to HCI and games research.


Alexandra To is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University jointly appointed in the Art + Design (Games) department and the Khoury College of Computer Science. Her core research interests are in designing social technologies to empower people in vulnerable and marginalized contexts using qualitative methods to gather stories and participatory methods to design for the future. Her most recent research focuses on designing social technologies to empower support-seeking and coping with interpersonal racism. Alexandra is an activist, a critical race scholar, and award-winning game designer. She previously received her Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. and M.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. She has won multiple ACM Best Paper Awards and
published work at CHI, CHI Play, DiGRA, FDG, UIST, CSCW, and DIS. 



April 21
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm EDT

Connect With Us