WINTER 2022. CPSC 601.xx: Technology Design for Diversity and Inclusion.

Graduate Program, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Calgary.

In this research-based design course, students will learn to apply the lens of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) to technology design and analysis. While diversity refers to differences along dimensions such as race, gender or cultural background, inclusion is the practice of ensuring that the technologies we develop equally value and respect the contributions of diverse individuals and offer equal support. At present however, the majority of technologies are designed by and for people from W.I.E.R.D. (Western, Industrialized, Educated, Rich, Democratic) countries. Because technology is not value-neutral, subconscious values of designers are implicitly embedded into the tools we develop. When designer values conflict with user values, technologies can further exclude and disadvantage marginalized populations.

The course will be split into three components, with emphasis on the latter: 1) data, 2) algorithms, and 3) interaction. Students may investigate one or more dimensions of diversity, including race, gender, national culture, language, or accessibility. Possible stakeholders may include indigenous persons, new immigrants or displaced persons, LGBTQ persons, individuals from diverse cultural or language backgrounds, or individuals who experience accessibility challenges.

Instructor: Dr. Helen Ai He.

FALL 2021 (Synchronous Online). CPSC 583: Introduction to Information Visualization.

Dept. of Computer Science, University of Calgary. Instructor: Dr. Helen Ai He

Course Outcomes:

•Students should be comfortable brainstorming, sketching, and prototyping novel visualization designs.

•Students should be able to describe the effectiveness, expressiveness, and distinguishing properties of a range of different visual encodings (including position, length, area, hue, value, motion, etc.)

•Students should be able to explain the differences and challenges of how nominal, ordinal, and quantitative data can be communicated.

•Students should be able to interpret, critique, and deconstruct visualizations created by others.

•Students should be able to build interactive visualizations.

•Students should be aware of a variety of specific domain areas in the information visualization research field, such as the ethics of visualization, physical visualization, casual/personal visualization, and narrative visualization. 

FALL 2020 (Online). CSCI 1105: Introduction to Programming.

Undergraduate Program, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University.

Instructor: Dr. Helen Ai He (Section 1) and Juliano Franz (Section 2). ~300 students in both sections.

Mid-term student evaluations: 4.77/5.0 (CS faculty mean: 4.05/5.0)

WINTER 2020. CSCI 1105: Introduction to Programming.

Undergraduate Program, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University.

Instructor: Dr. Helen Ai He. 110 students.

The format of this class primarily included live coding / problem-solving examples in Python, and hand-tracing code on the whiteboard. Students were expected to purchase and read the textbook, so that in class, we focused primarily on experiential, interactive learning. Students also had the option to do “mindset exercises” for 1% bonus, which emphasized a learning mindset for how to handle stress, challenges and failure. Student evaluations: 4.46/5.0 (CS faculty mean: 4.07/5.0).