October 7, 2020
HCDE Professor & Chair Julie Kientz
Welcome to a new academic year in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering!
Although this year looks a lot different than usual, this is still an exciting time in the Department as we virtually welcome both returning students and those just beginning their HCDE programs. This year we are also welcoming two new full-time faculty members: Assistant Teaching Professor Sarah Coppola, who brings a background in human factors engineering, and Assistant Professor Sucheta Ghoshal, whose research focuses on how grassroots social movements use technology. With each individual who joins HCDE our community becomes richer and our ability to influence the design of tomorrow’s systems and technologies grows.
Amidst all of the events of the world, the importance of human-centered design and engineering is ever more apparent as we spend much of our lives these days being connected via technology, some of which is well-designed and some of which is not. The world is rapidly changing, and the importance of technology that deeply considers the impact on people is greatly magnified. HCDE’s guiding principles of respect for people, equity, thoughtful impact, and interdisciplinary exploration will be key to helping us continue our impact on our students' education and on our field at large.
Conducting HCDE operations remotely has created new opportunities for all of us to come together—no matter where you are in the world. Here are a few opportunities for our alumni and friends to get involved with the Department this year:
- Attend an HCDE event
Later this month, join HCDE Professor Cecilia Aragon, author of Flying Free: My Victory Over Fear to Become the First Latina Pilot on the US Aerobatic Team, for a discussion about overcoming fears and self-doubt as it relates to engineering.
- Sponsor a student capstone project
Capstone projects are student-run, large-scale projects to address a real-world issue using human-centered design and engineering.
- Sponsor a usability studies project
If you have a project that could benefit from a usability study analysis by HCDE graduate students, we welcome proposals from both industry and academic partners.
- Join HCDE's Corporate Affiliates Program
Membership in HCDE's Corporate Affiliates Program is the best way to work directly with students and faculty in the Department.
- Support HCDE students facing financial hardship
We set up a new fund to deliver small, unrestricted grants to help students in need offset emergency expenses.
Through this challenging time, I want to assure you that HCDE is focused on bringing the same valuable educational experience to all of our students, and supporting our staff, faculty, and network of instructors in their health and wellbeing. Thank you all for your support of HCDE, and I wish you and yours a safe and healthy year.
Julie A. Kientz
Professor & Chair
Human Centered Design & Engineering