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Group photo of Björling and students in the class, some wearing robot t-shirts and some holding robots

Mon, 04/15/2024

HCDE students explore new interactions between humans and robots

Robots are increasingly becoming a part of our daily lives at home, at work, and even in public spaces. But do people want to interact with them? Are they addressing real human needs? In a new course on Human-Robot Interaction, Dr. Elin Björling led HCDE graduate students to discover new use cases for social robots that can address modern challenges.

Kate Starbird seated during an interview on 60 minutes

Sun, 03/24/2024

HCDE Professor Kate Starbird appears on 60 Minutes

HCDE Associate Professor Kate Starbird appeared in a segment of 60 minutes that aired on March 24, 2024, about the right of free speech on social media platforms—an issue currently under discussion by the US Supreme Court.

Nadya Peek headshot

Fri, 03/01/2024

Nadya Peek receives NSF Early Career Award to support open-source digital/physical toolkit research

HCDE Assistant Professor Nadya Peek has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Award from the National Science Foundation. The five-year, over $700,000 grant will support Peek and students in her lab, Machine Agency, in revolutionizing how we approach small-scale automation across the digital/physical divide. 

SIGCHI Awards 2024 with headshots of Julie Kientz, SIGCHI Academy, and Kate Starbird, Social Impact Award

Thu, 02/29/2024

Julie Kientz & Kate Starbird receive 2024 SIGCHI Awards 

HCDE Professor and Chair Julie Kientz is joining the esteemed ranks of the SIGCHI Academy, and Associate Professor Kate Starbird receives the prestigious 2024 SIGCHI Social Impact Award. These awards celebrate their remarkable contributions to Human-Computer Interaction, recognizing their excellence in research, teaching, practice, and service. 

Melissa Ewing & Meghan Oxley's headshots

Tue, 02/27/2024

HCDE's Melissa Ewing & Meghan Oxley nominated for 2024 UW Distinguished Staff Award

Melissa Ewing and Meghan Oxley, staff in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, were nominated for the 2024 UW Distinguished Staff Award in the category of impact, recognizing them for their exemplary contributions to the department and University.

Judy Ramey

Thu, 02/22/2024

Emeritus Professor Judy Ramey debuts opera "Valparaiso"

Judy Ramey, one of HCDE’s founding faculty members and former department chair, has written a libretto for an opera titled Valparaiso, a chamber opera set in a retirement home that "explores the humor and pain, the love and loss, of four residents as they navigate the changes and challenges of advancing age." Ramey and composer Steven Luksan will debut Valparaiso at Seattle’s Horizon House in March 2024, with additional performances planned in the spring and summer.

Cabbage planted in soil

Tue, 01/23/2024

HCDE & Allen School team receive NSF grant to reimagine smart agriculture with black diasporic farming communities

HCDE and Allen School professors Sucheta Ghoshal, Daniela Rosner, and Vikram Iyer have been awarded a new $1.66 million grant from the National Science Foundation to explore community-based integration of smart technologies into black diasporic agriculture practices.
Collaborating with diasporic farming communities in the Seattle area and beyond, the researchers will study how AI impacts diasporic urban farming and how the co-development of AI-based tools shapes diasporic knowledge.

Autumn 2023 Course Showcases

Fri, 12/01/2023

Autumn 2023 Course Showcases

Each quarter, select HCDE courses host end-of-quarter events to showcase student work. These events are your opportunity to preview different HCDE classes and view the variety of topics students are exploring. View our schedule of Autumn 2023 Course Showcases here.

This image compares 16 images generated by Stable Diffusion. In the lower right quadrant, images generated to represent “a person from Papua New Guinea” show four dark-skinned people, while the other 12 images, representing people from Oceania, Australia and New Zealand show only light-skinned people.

Tue, 11/28/2023

AI image generator Stable Diffusion perpetuates racial and gendered stereotypes, study finds

UW researchers, including HCDE PhD Candidate Sourojit Ghosh, found that when prompted to create pictures of “a person,” the AI image generator over-represented light-skinned men, sexualized images of certain women of color and failed to equitably represent Indigenous peoples.

Katya Cherukumilli with leafy green trees in background

Thu, 10/12/2023

Welcoming Katya Cherukumilli to the HCDE faculty

Dr. Katya Cherukumilli, assistant professor in HCDE, brings a background in interdisciplinary research that combines methods in human-centered design, environmental engineering, and public health to advance equitable access to safe drinking water.

The Block Island Wind Farm

Mon, 10/09/2023

HCDE Research Scientist Shana Hirsch is UW lead on study of community perceptions of offshore wind energy

Dr. Shana Lee Hirsch, senior research scientist in HCDE and co-director of the Pacific Marine Energy Center, is the UW lead on a new grant to study the needs and opinions of coastal communities regarding potential offshore wind energy development.

Professor Atman presenting with her slideshow visible behind her

Thu, 09/07/2023

Good Designers do X: Professor Atman's gives keynote at Transdisciplinary Engineering conference

In a keynote presentation delivered at the International Conference on Transdisciplinary Engineering, HCDE Professor Cynthia Atman overviews her decades of research exploring how engineering students and experts engage in design, and how her findings can be useful for teaching design to engineers.

Drs. Shaw & Starbird sit across from each other at a table during the Public Health Connects presentation

Tue, 08/01/2023

Video: HCDE Professor Kate Starbird with WA Secretary of Health

HCDE Associate Professor Kate Starbird spoke with Dr. Umair A. Shah, Washington State Secretary of Health, for the Public Health Connects Speaker Series. In the 30-minute conversation, Starbird and Shah discussed the landscape of misinformation, disinformation, and rumoring on social media, and its impacts on public health. 

Jay Cunningham

Fri, 07/28/2023

PhD Student Jay Cunningham receives UW Bonderman Travel Fellowship

HCDE PhD Candidate Jay Cunningham has been named a 2023 University of Washington Bonderman Fellow. With support from this travel fellowship, Cunningham hopes to reconnect with his ancestral roots; explore vibrant cities, communities, and landscapes; and gain a deeper understanding of Black diasporic history and culture extending from West Africa to the Americas.


Four students around a table in Sieg Student Lounge. Students are writing on the whiteboard table and all looking at an ipad interface

Wed, 07/19/2023

Ways to work with HCDE students this school year

HCDE welcomes alumni and industry professionals to collaborate with current students this upcoming school year. From sponsoring class projects to sharing your experience through lectures or mentoring, find opportunities for engagement at the individual and company level here.

Headshots of three alumni

Mon, 07/17/2023 | UW Engineering

Women engineers rise

Since the 1980s, WE Rise has been dedicated to sharing the experiences of women in engineering. Open to all students, the program offers mentorship opportunities, advising and tutoring, leadership development and community building. Read how WE Rise impacted the careers of three UW alumni, including HCDE BS alumna and current PhD student Yuliana Flores.

Jay Cunningham

Mon, 07/03/2023

PhD Student Jay Cunningham named Just Tech Fellow

HCDE PhD Candidate Jay Cunningham has received a Just Tech Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) to support his work developing a Black community-led research organization that equips communities with the knowledge, tools, and support to challenge racist assumptions in AI systems and the flawed data sets behind them.

Sean Munson

Sun, 07/02/2023

UW ALACRITY Center receives renewal investment from National Institute of Mental Health

The UW’s ALACRITY center, co-directed by HCDE Professor Sean Munson, aims to create innovative strategies for behavioral treatment for mental health problems. With support from a new five-year, nearly $11 million investment from the National Institute of Mental Health, Munson and his collaborators across campus are working to address critical issues in implementing psychosocial treatment in healthcare settings accessible to underserved communities.

Close up of a doctor's hands holding a phone. The doctor is wearing a white coat and a stethoscope around their neck

Mon, 06/26/2023 | Designing Up

Developing patient-centered approaches for TB & HIV prevention and treatment management

Through a multi-year involvement with a Directed Research Group, HCDE senior Alfie Aguilar Vidrio has worked to develop innovative patient-centered approaches for tuberculosis and HIV prevention and treatment management.

Professor Julie Kientz speaks from the podium in front of nearly 1,000 attendees at the 2023 HCDE graduation ceremony

Fri, 06/23/2023

2023 Graduation & Awards Ceremony

The Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering held its 2023 Graduation & Awards Ceremony on the morning of Friday, June 9, in the Husky Union Building Ballroom. In 2023, the Department awarded 86 students Bachelor of Science degrees, 138 with Master of Science degrees, and 5 with doctoral degrees. 

screenshot of recording of graduation ceremony with Dr. Reid speaking at the podium

Fri, 06/23/2023

Graduation Address to the class of 2023 by Christopher Reid

Dr. Christopher Reid delivered the 2023 Graduation Address for the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering. Find the full text of the address is here, and view the recording on YouTube.

Jay Cunningham stands outside smiling at the camera

Thu, 06/22/2023

HCDE PhD student Jay Cunningham named Student Regent

Jay Cunningham, a PhD candidate in HCDE, has been appointed by Washington Governor Jay Inslee to serve on the University of Washington's Board of Regents. Cunningham is a researcher who works to advance public interest technology, responsible AI, and AI innovation as tools of liberation and justice for underrepresented users and marginalized communities. He is also a passionate servant leader with a lifelong interest in community building and activism.

Doctoral Research Grants text over green-filtered lightbulb image

Tue, 06/20/2023 | Designing Up

Fostering innovation

Now in its second year, the HCDE Doctoral Research Grant Program has supported 16 phd students with over $10,000 in research funding. Learn about four of the projects supported with Doctoral Research Grants and consider making a gift to support future initiatives.

Covers of the cookbook and makerzine

Thu, 06/15/2023 | Designing Up

Building community

In the 2022-2023 school year, HCDE students Ridley Jones LeDoux, Vanessa Chien Lai, Tabby Safari, Petrina Chan, and Frances Yang launched community publications around personal stories and passions.

Seattle city scape at night with I-5 in the foreground. A purple sky is behind the buildings.

Wed, 06/14/2023 | Designing Up

Coordinating response

An HCDE team led by Professor Mark Haselkorn is building the Virtual Coordination Center, a cloud-based platform for real-time data sharing and coordinated response to quickly clear roadway incidents—while preparing Seattle-area agencies for a collaborative response to “the big one.”