i will be playing this bright pink beauty at a concert with some 4 year olds next month. pretty excited for our sultry, country version of old macdonald.
‘Come Softly to Me’ by The Fleetwoods is my new jam.
spring flowers, collected last week in chicago
pen, grass & dandelion stains
Last month I moved to Chicago from Seattle to start a joint PhD in Computer Science & Communication Studies at Northwestern University. The move was bittersweet—I will really miss the University of Washington (UW) and its truly wonderful community of researchers and people. I can honestly not say enough good things about my time there, but I will save those reflections for a future post!
One of the coolest things I was able to participate in at UW came at the very end: World Lab. World Lab—led by Professors James Landay (UW) and Yuanchun Shi (Tsinghua University)—is a brand-new research and education institute jointly sited in both the U.S. and China. World Lab’s prime directive is to tackle pressing social, health, and environmental problems with a balanced approach to technology design and an emphasis on collaboration between Chinese and U.S. students and researchers.
This Summer I was able to participate in World Lab’s first-ever summer exchange program, in which 10 students from Beijing came to Seattle to work with UW students on technology design projects. Projects included a wearable bracelet to promote micro-exercise, an art therapy app for kids, a web service to promote the use of recycled objects in large-scale public art projects, and a classroom tool to help students find primary source historical content from different geographic or political perspectives. My team worked on an educational game called Hero, designed to help parents and students find and take advantage of learning opportunities out in the world. Our two-month program ended with a trip to Beijing to present our work at both Tsinghua University, and at Yuanfen Flow—a media and technology incubation space in the 798 Art district of Beijing.
World Lab was a great experience for me. In addition to the benefits of working in a new domain (educational technology) and learning novel techniques for design and prototyping, I left with new friendships, a more nuanced lens on politics (particularly in terms of U.S.-China relations), and a sincere belief in the possibility and promise of collaboration between U.S. and Chinese researchers and designers.
Randy Huynh, one of the UW students, made an awesome video that showcases some of our hard work (and hijinks) in Beijing:
Can’t wait to see how World Lab develops in the future—I am a proud alum!
Nice article about Hackademia in UW Today! This project has been one of the highlights of my time at UW.