HCI Solutions for Mitigating Bias
When and Where:
In this course, students will:
Unconscious bias remains a pervasive and pressing social issue. New approaches to understanding and mitigating its effects, along with evaluating the effectiveness of approaches, are urgently needed.
This course aims to leverage the strengths of an interdisciplinary HCI approach, bringing together topics and tools from behavioral science, design, and computer science, for the creation of theoretically grounded technology-based interventions for addressing unconscious bias.
The goals of this course are: a) to introduce concepts, research evidence, and practical strategies for mitigating the impact of bias, with a particular focus on computer science and technology contexts; b) to understand the theory and methodology of persuasive design principles in the design of HCI interventions for social impact; and c) to apply this foundational knowledge to the development and evaluation of a team-designed mobile app, website, or digital game to help mitigate or measure the impact of biases and stereotypes. Students will gain experience in critical thinking, public speaking, project work in teams, the design and research of social interventions, and the use of rapid prototyping and iteration to design a technical project.
The course has no prerequisites, but some technical experience (programming, web design, etc.) will be expected. The class will conclude with a public demonstration of the projects developed.
In addition, project teams will give a public demo of their prototypes on the last day of class.
Attendance, Participation, and other Classroom Policies
We take this class seriously and expect you to do the same. If you want credit for the class, you must prepare for class and attend. If you have an obligation that conflicts with a scheduled class meeting, please let us know at the beginning of the semester.
It is very important that all students can feel comfortable asking questions and contributing to class discussions. To that end, please try to be respectful of and patient with others, even if you have strongly differing opinions. You also have a right to expect respectful behavior from others. If you have any suggestions about how to create a more productive and cooperative classroom environment, please contact us at any time in the semester.
As research on learning shows, unexpected noises and movement automatically divert and capture people's attention, which means you are affecting everyone’s learning experience if your cell phone, tablet, laptop, smart watch, etc. makes noise or is visually distracting during class. For this reason, you are permitted to take notes on your laptop, but you must turn the sound off so that you do not disrupt other students' learning. Please leave all other devices in your bag, turn off your cell phone, and resist the urge to text (unless it’s to tell someone about all the fascinating things you’re learning in class).
Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle this semester by eating well, exercising, avoiding drugs and alcohol, getting enough sleep and taking some time to relax. This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress.
All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. You are not alone. There are many helpful resources available on campus and an important part of the college experience is learning how to ask for help. Asking for support sooner rather than later is often helpful.
If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) is here to help: call 412-268-2922 and visit their website at http://www.cmu.edu/counseling/. Consider reaching out to a friend, faculty or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.
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