Events

Cynthia Atman

2015 Seminar Series

Does the Globe Get a Say?: Research & Teaching Insights on Designing in Context

What does design look like? How do designers spend their time scoping out a problem, discovering user needs, developing alternative solutions and communicating about design decisions? How do students understand and apply issues of context when they are solving design problems? How can we take the insights from the answers to these questions to inform design teaching and learning? In this talk Cynthia Atman will offer some answers to these questions using findings from two decades of research on designing in context.

2013 Seminar Series

Seeing and Hearing Design: Using Representations of the Design Process to Teach Design

What does design look like? How do designers spend their time scoping out a problem, discovering user needs, developing alternative solutions and communicating about design decisions? Does amount of prior experience make a difference in how designers choose to spend time in these aspects of the design process? These are questions that have motivated the design process research program at the University of Washington’s Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching (CELT). More recently, CELT researchers are exploring the potential value of alternative representations of design processes, including hybrid visual and auditory representations called "design soundtracks." These soundtracks represent a new way for researchers, instructors, and students to use their sense of hearing to experience and understand engineering design processes in detail and with a more direct sense of the progression of time. In this talk, Professor Atman will present a variety of design process representations, including soundtracks representing the design processes of students and practicing professionals as captured by CELT in laboratory studies. Audience members will be invited to discuss how representations like these might be used to further research on design, facilitate learning design, and, ultimately, improve the practice of engineering design.

About Cynthia J. Atman

Cynthia J. Atman is a Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, founding Director of the Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching (CELT), and the inaugural holder of the Mitchell T. & Lella Blanche Bowie Endowed Chair at the University of Washington. She also directed the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE), an NSF-funded, $12 million center that was active until 2010. Atman earned her PhD in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University and joined the University of Washington in 1998 after seven years on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research in engineering education focuses on engineering design learning with a particular emphasis on issues of design context. She is a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), was the 2002 recipient of the ASEE Chester F. Carlson Award for Innovation in Engineering Education, and received the 2009 David B. Thorud Leadership Award from the University of Washington.