Computing has a history of perpetuating injustices, a pattern that has only seemed to grow worse over recent years. These injustices are a direct result of computing's epistemic values and practices, which suggests the need for computing to adopt alternative epistemic values and practices, including sociopolitical awareness, reflexivity, humility, and an explicit commitment to justice. These are the central values of feminism, but while scholars have developed theories about how feminist values could reshape computing, there is a need for more research into how to practically integrate feminist values into computing practice. Additionally, given that computing education reinforces and reproduces the dominant computing culture, there is a need for further research to imagine how computing education could be transformed to teach developing technologists how to integrate feminist values into this practice. I conducted a small-sample, in-depth interview-based study to understand the experiences of people who are developing into or practicing as feminist technologists. Through my research, I identified six common characteristics of feminist technologists, including a commitment to care, awareness of power structures, practice of epistemic humility, application of systems thinking, and negotiation with the tensions in integrating feminist values. I also identified two common types of experiences that help develop people into feminist technologists: experiences that foster feminist consciousness-raising and experiences that positively model feminist values. These insights suggest alternative ways of understanding the development of feminist technologists as a continuous process, where being and becoming a feminist technologist is one and the same, that requires a foundation of emotional safety.
Halide perovskites are promising materials for tandem solar cell applications due to their easily tunable bandgap through cation and halide variations. However, photo-induced halide segregation in iodide-bromide perovskite chemistries often results in iodine-rich and bromine rich domains that limits the efficiency of tandem solar cells. One approach to mitigate such segregations reported in the literature is the addition of chlorine to the usual iodide-bromide perovskite compositions. With Gaussian process regression and other computational tools, we efficiently explore the cesium-formamidinium triple halide perovskite composition space and optimize for perovskite optical property and stability at the same time.
Research Advisor: Rebecca Belisle, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physics, Wellesley College
Research Co-Advisor: Zachary del Rosario, Ph.D., Visiting Professor of Engineering, Olin College of Engineering
Academic Advisor: Mark Somerville, Ph.D, Provost, Dean of Faculty, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics, Olin College of Engineering
We see a misalignment between the engineering field’s constitutive-interests rooted in the reductionist sciences and the needs of the 21st century in the socio-political, environmental, and spiritual realms. Following Habermas’s critical theory, the knowledge-constitutive interest of the natural and reductionist sciences lie primarily in the manipulation of the physical world for the purpose of predictable and quantifiable outcomes by reducing the studied system to its smallest components. Such interests are unfit to understand and intervene in our world; a living world of dynamic complexity. We argue that a renewed science of holism will create the conditions for a critical engineering education that can mimic the properties of living systems to recreate a thriving existence for all living beings on this planet. In this thesis, we identify six loose web-nodes to draw a picture of a science for the whole:
(1) Natural phenomena such as emergence, self-organization, or autopoiesis acquaint us with the nature of nature.
(2) The study of our world brings us closer to our cosmos’s mysteries, which naturally introduces spirituality to the holistic web.
(3) Dynamically complex systems theory attempts to understand the relationships between parts of the system to make assumptions about future behavior or opportunities for intervention. Practices that are commensurate with the nature of reality are crucial for an effective engagement with living systems. Such practices include
(4) methods for a co-creation of the future and
(5) research and learning methodologies that embrace unpredictable emergence of insights and emancipate us from hidden oppressive power structures.
(6) Lastly, a holistic science includes the reductionist sciences to analyze, predict, and control non-living, simple systems. Our hope is that a holistic science will re-shape engineers’ understanding to learn and interact with our world to recreate the nature of nature in our systems: a thriving existence for all.