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Andrew Davidson


Associate Teaching Professor Emeritus
Human Centered Design & Engineering
University of Washington


Andrew Davidson is Associate Teaching Professor Emeritus in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) at the University of Washington. He retired from HCDE in June 2023, after teaching in the program for eleven years. Davidson has more than 25 years of experience as an educator and over 25 years of experience working in the technology industry. He is currently an affiliate faculty member in the STEM Division at Shoreline Community College.

Prior to joining HCDE, Davidson taught at Roosevelt High School in the Seattle Public School district, where he inaugurated their computer science program in 2010. He also taught interaction design in the Division of Design at the UW’s School of Art + Art History + Design. He served as director of the innovative masters program at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Ivrea, Italy from 2002–2005. From 1997–2002, he chaired the graduate Media Design Program at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Davidson earned an MSE in computer science at the University of Pennsylvania in 1982, with a concentration in computer graphics. He then ventured to Hollywood to work in the film industry, creating computer graphics special effects software at Digital Productions, Inc. He helped develop ground-breaking CGI software used in feature films and television, including the 1984 movie The Last Starfighter. Following that, Davidson joined Philips Interactive Media, which produced entertainment and educational projects for the interactive television platform Compact Disc Interactive (CD-i), including titles in collaboration with the artists Todd Rundgren and Peter Gabriel.

In HCDE, Davidson specialized in physical computing, prototyping, interaction design, user-centered design, and human-computer interaction. He taught a wide variety of courses at the undergraduate and master's levels, developing many new courses for the program, including courses centered on physical computing and prototyping. He served as the faculty director of the HCDE Bachelor's program from 2014–2018, and was chair of the College of Engineering’s Council on Education Policy from 2019–2021.

Outside of the classroom, Davidson served on many committees; was active in the DUB community; created the department’s active learning classrooms known as the Design Labs; and helped produce the department’s online graduation ceremonies during the pandemic.

The project Davidson is most proud of during his time at HCDE was founding and directing its K-12 outreach program. This program, in which HCDE students teach workshops in middle and high schools, has reached thousands of young learners across the state of Washington, introducing them to various STEM fields. It also provides meaningful service learning and mentoring opportunities for HCDE students. In retirement, Davidson continues to support this satisfying work being carried out by current faculty members.


MS, Engineering, Computer & Information Science, University of Pennsylvania
BA, Mathematics, University of Rochester