STS Prof Ron Eglash & Team Awarded $2.5 million NSF Grant

STS Prof Ron Eglash & Team Awarded $2.5 million NSF Grant

Date posted: 2016-10-25 13:28:40

The School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) is pleased to announce the award of a $2.5 million grant from The National Science Foundation to a team of researchers from HASS and Computer Science, led by Ron EglashProfessor of Science & Technology Studies (STS); Sibel Adali, Professor of Computer Science; Shayla Sawyer, Associate Professor of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering; Audrey Bennett, Professor of Communication & Media; and Mukkai Krishnamoorthy, Associate Professor of Computer Science. 

The project, entitled "Integration of Computational Thinking and Science Using Culturally-Based Topics," seeks "new and innovative avenues to empower ... learners with science and computation as one integral unit. Prior work on Culturally Situated Design Tools (CSDTs) showed statistically significant improvement for under-represented students. The original focus was on simulations of cultural arts and helping students discover 'heritage algorithms' for new virtual designs." In this project, which will involve some 500 Albany-area high school students over the coming year, the investigators will seek to expand CSDTs to include computational activities into Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and other social motivations such as civic engagement and environmental concepts. The students will learn how to program and apply their ideas to computational aspects of culturally relevant science tasks. 

In his teaching, Eglash challenges students to find ways to bridge the gap between the Humanities and Sciences, particularly in bringing research in science and technology to bear on social problems such as poverty, inequality and sustainability.

For more information, please see the grant award abstract at the National Science Foundation website.