Embedded Designs in HCI for Mitigating Unconscious Bias

Course Number: 
05-497
Semester and Units: 
Spring: 6 units
Course Description: 

Unconscious bias remains a pervasive and pressing social issue. New approaches to understanding and mitigating its effects, along with evaluating the effectiveness of approaches, are urgently needed.  

This course aims to leverage the strengths of an interdisciplinary HCI approach, bringing together topics and tools from behavioral science, design, and computer science, for the creation of theoretically grounded technology-based interventions for addressing unconscious bias.

The goals of this course are: a) to introduce students to concepts, research evidence, and practical strategies for mitigating the impact of bias, with a particular focus on computer science and technology contexts; b) to understand the theory and methodology of persuasive design principles in the design of HCI interventions for social impact; and c) to apply this foundational knowledge to the development and evaluation of a team-designed mobile app, website, or digital game to help mitigate or measure the impact of biases and stereotypes. Students will gain experience in critical thinking, public speaking, project work in teams, the design and research of social interventions, and the use of rapid prototyping and iteration to design a technical project.

The course has no prerequisites, but some technical experience (programming, web design, etc.) will be expected. The class will conclude with a public demonstration of the projects developed.

Other instructors: 
Carol Frieze
Instructors: 
Geoff Kaufman