Program Coordinator: Victoria Brock
Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer
Vicki Brock works on administrative and organizational duties related to the program.
Principal Investigator: Ron Eglash
Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer
Ron Eglash received his B.S. in Cybernetics, his M.S. in Systems Engineering, and his PhD in History of Consciousness, all from the University of California. A Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship enabled his field research on African ethnomathematics, which was published by Rutgers University Press as African Fractals: modern computing and indigenous design, and recently appeared as his TED talk. He is currently a Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he teaches design of educational technologies and graduate seminars in social studies of science and technology. His “Culturally Situated Design Tools” software, offering math and computing education from indigenous and vernacular arts, is available for free at www.csdt.rpi.edu.
Co-Principal Investigator Audrey Bennett
Department of Language, Literature, and Communication, Rensselaer
Audrey Grace Bennett is a tenured associate professor in the Department of Language, Literature, and Communication. She teaches courses in graphic design theory, research and practice and conducts research on collaborative and participatory design as methods for cross-cultural communication. Bennett is editor of “Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design” published by Princeton Architectural Press that chronicles historical and contemporary efforts of designers to broaden the scope of the profession of graphic design to include user research. Her current research–funded by Rensselaer, the Society for Technical Communication, and the National Science Foundation–includes the development of a theory of interactive aesthetics (IA) that democratizes the design process and places designers in virtual collaboration with lay audiences. IA facilitates the participation of remote participants in various stages of the design process through the use of new or existing communication technologies. Her papers are published in the Journal of Design Research, Visible Language, Design Issues, The Journal of Graphic Design and various international design research conference proceedings. More information about her research can be found via “BaoHouse”—a virtual design studio that she directs.
Co-Principal Investigator Jonathan Dordick
Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Rensselaer
Prof. Dordick received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Chemistry from Brandeis University and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Biochemical Engineering. In 1987, Dr. Dordick joined the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1991, to Full Professor in 1994, and served as Department Chair from 1995-1998. He was also Associate Director of the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing at the University of Iowa and held a joint position in the Department of Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy. In 1998, Prof. Dordick joined the faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering where he is also the Howard P. Isermann Professor of Biochemical Engineering. Prof. Dordick’s research interests are broadly in the areas of enzyme technology and polymer chemistry. This includes enzymatic catalysis under extreme conditions (e.g., in the presence of organic solvents and in high salt concentrations), enzymes in the synthesis and modification of polymeric materials, combinatorial biocatalysis for drug discovery and polymer synthesis, and the generation of biocatalysts and biomimetics with unique activities and selectivities. Prof. Dordick received the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1989, a University of Iowa Faculty Scholars Award, and was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers in 1996. He is highly active in the biotechnology community, serving as Chairman of the Division of Biochemical Technology of the ACS in 1992, and presently he serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards for several biotechnology companies. Dr. Dordick is a co-founder of EnzyMed, Inc. a pharmaceutical and agrochemical discovery company. Dr. Dordick has published 118 papers and is an inventor/co-inventor on 14 patents.
Senior Personnell, Mukkai Krishnamoorthy
Department of Computer Science, Rensselaer
Mukkai Krishnamoorthy is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he teaches and conducts research in theory and applications. He has published in refereed journals, conference proceedings, nationally and internationally. His current research on Networks and Software Technology explores interactive technologies that facilitate participation from remote participants. For instance, these software technologies may facilitate targeting the audience where ideas are worth pursuing. Further, analysis of these interactive usage may be carried out for deploying best strategies for faster and effective communication.
Senior Personnell, Shayla Sawyer
Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer
Dr. Shayla Sawyer received her BS in Electrical Engineering (summa cum laude) from Hampton University as a student-athlete. She then pursued her PhD in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She was awarded the Department of Homeland Security fellowship for her investigation of ultraviolet light emitting diodes and terahertz for detection of harmful biological agents. Her thesis work focused on low frequency noise characterization of deep ultraviolet light emitting diodes for input into material growth methods and determining a light source signal-to-noise ratio for sensitive systems. She continued with a post doctoral position at Rensselaer in studying degradation of deep ultraviolet LEDs. Dr. Sawyer has worked with several industries throughout her education including GE Rail, GE Healthcare, GE Research and Development and National Securities Technologies (NSTec). She also participated in leadership roles with associations on Rensselaer’s campus including the Minority Graduate Student Association, Walter Lincoln Hawkins’ conference, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Student Symposium, and the Women’s Basketball Team.