“HCI is currently optimized for short-term metrics, such as clicks and daily active users,” said Lydia Chilton, an assistant professor of computer science who is part of the project team. “Our students want to create long-term value. They’re looking to produce technologies that respect the histories and cultures of the communities they are addressing with design.”
Chilton is collaborating with Mark Hansen, Columbia’s David and Helen Gurley Brown Professor of Journalism and Innovation and head of the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at the School of Journalism, as well as Laura Kurgan, a professor at the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation and director of the Center for Spatial Research.
Together, the group will run a summer workshop that will serve as a development engine for new processes and curricula. Working with diverse communities in New York City, they will create case studies for building technologies that support long-term community goals in the public interest, with an eye toward ultimately inviting participation from other PITUN universities and creating strategies applicable to diverse areas with unique local challenges.
PITUN, which was convened earlier this year by the Ford Foundation, New America, and the Hewlett Foundation, is a partnership of 21 colleges and universities dedicated to building the nascent field of public interest technology, as well as growing a new generation of civic-minded technologists and digitally fluent policy leaders. The “Network Challenge” is funded through the generous support of the Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Mastercard Impact Fund, Siegel Family Endowment, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and Raikes Foundation.
This announcement was originally published by Columbia's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.