Research

Daniela Rosner

Spring 2018

Designing a Radical Module for Engineering Education

Co-directed by Nadya Peek and Daniela Rosner

This project uses a collaborative design workshop to introduce students to absent histories of engineering. We will develop a toolkit for middle and high school classrooms that introduces the story of early 1960s core memory weavers.

The Making Core Memory project is a design inquiry into the invisible work that went into assembling core memory, an early form of computer information storage initially woven by hand. Throughout the first two decades of the Cold War, magnetic-core memory was the principal mechanism with which computers stored and retrieved information. The computers for the Apollo mission stored information in core memory ropes—threaded wires, passed through or around magnetized metal rings. NASA engineers nicknamed this hardware “LOL memory” for the “little old ladies” who carefully wove wires around the electro-magnetic ferrite cores by hand. 

The kits we will develop comprise a simple metal matrix, beads and conductive threads (in place of ferrite core and wire) and simulate the collaborative weaving of one of the world's first portable computers. By introducing students to the kits and the story of the core memory weavers, a group we believe comprised many women of color, we help rewrite engineering histories to highlight key computational know-how contributed by groups underrepresented within engineering fields today. 

Required Availability

  • Register for 2 to 3 credits for spring quarter. Indicate availability for additional quarters (not required).
  • Meet for 2 hours each week.
  • Work 4 to 6 hours each week outside of meetings.

Required Experience

Participants in this DRG must have at least one of the following skills and experiences:

  1. Outreach coordination
    • Experience interviewing and using qualitative research methods such as fieldwork observation
  2. Visual and interaction design
    • Experience with design and branding, Adobe Illustrator or the like, web development
  3. Maker mindset
    • Familiar with the UW CoMotion makerspace and digital prototyping tools 

How to Apply

Space is limited. Please email organizer Daniela Rosner (dkrosner@uw.edu) and Samantha Shorey (sshorey@uw.edu) with the following information indicating eligibility. We will request an interview with qualified applicants. In your introductory email, please include the following:

  • Confirmation that you meet the availability requirements.
  • A few paragraphs describing your experience relevant to the required experiences outlined above.
  • Brief sample: a 2-paragraph writing sample (outreach), a link to a website or image of a style guide (interaction design), or a few images of a prototype (maker mindset)

 

Spring 2018

Reimagining Design through a Disability Studies Lens

From Inclusive Design to Ability-Based Design, industry professionals and academics alike have published design strategies to orient technology designers and researchers to the unique and underrepresented needs of people with disabilities. In this Directed Research Group, we will closely read some of these strategies in parallel with disability studies scholarship. we will engage in activities to understand, critique, and find opportunities for the disciplines of design and disability studies to inform each other. As our thinking evolves, we will synthesize a series of activities with which we can take to communities of designers, people with disabilities, and disabled designers to expand possibilities for this intersection in the field. In other words, our activities will seek to engage community members to answer questions like the following. How can disability studies augment current design and research practice? And, how can design be available to disabled people in the community who have interests including being makers or using design for activism?

Required Availability

  • Register for 2 to 3 credits for spring quarter. Indicate availability for additional quarters (not required).
  • Meet for 2 hours each week.
  • Work 4 to 6 hours each week outside of meetings.

Required Experience

Participants in this DRG must have a combination of the following skills and experiences.

  • Design: Working knowledge of HCD design and research methods. This could include a combination of experience building paper, software, and hardware prototypes, and using qualitative research methods like interviewing and field observations.
  • Disability Studies coursework and/or knowledge of disability. Instructions for how to share this experience below.
  • Facilitation: experience planning and executing workshop-like events with groups of up to 20 people.

How to Apply

Space is extremely limited. Please email organizer Cynthia Bennett at bennec3@uw.edu with the following information indicating eligibility. We will request an interview with qualified applicants. In your introductory email, please include the following:

  • Confirmation that you meet the availability requirements.
  • A few paragraphs describing your experience relevant to the required experiences outlined above.
  • A summary of your knowledge around disability. Some guiding questions might include: What is your understanding of the meaning of disability? What do you know about disability-related activism and disability studies scholarship? How do you perceive the relationship between disability and technology?
  • Attached resume and/or link to your web presence.

 


Daniela Rosner's Directed Research Group archive: