Opportunity: Fall Directed Research Group- Troubled Worlds: Rethinking Computing in the Age of Climate Change

Join an experimental and multi-disciplinary Directed Research Group, led by Prof. Daniela Rosner (HCDE) and Prof. Megan Finn (iSchool):

https://www.hcde.washington.edu/research/rosner#troubled-words-au18

Troubled Worlds: Rethinking Computing in the Age of Climate Change

This yearlong, weekly, reading and research group seeks to understand the role of computing tools and infrastructures in climate change along three central axes. First, we consider environmental histories of the internet and the impact of the development of information technologies on the environment. Second, we examine the environmental cost of computing within late capitalist economies with a particular focus on eWaste and air pollution. In particular, we ask: where does the material substrate of computing systems (e.g., handheld devices, the internet) come from and go to? In addressing this question, we also necessarily consider how the environmental impact of computing is distributed across local and global scales. Third, we evaluate policy and governance frameworks and radical interventions to mitigate computing’s impact on climate. To help us examine different approaches, we plan to draw on campus experts in climate change.

Brief Schedule

Fall quarter will be devoted to reading broadly and understanding existing ongoing work in this area.

Winter quarter will be dedicated to digging deeper into topics of interest to research group members and formulating research projects.

Spring quarter will focus on executing the research projects.

Required Experience

We’ve aimed the group’s content at doctoral level students, but we are happy to consider applications from undergraduate and masters students who have taken research methods classes and/or feel comfortable reading peer-reviewed academic research.

Required Availability

Register for 1 to 2 credits for fall quarter. Indicate availability for additional quarters (not required).

Meet for 2 hours each week.

Work 4 to 6 hours each week outside of meetings.

How to Apply

Space is limited. We encourage students to apply to this research group with the expectation of continuing across the year. Please email organizer Professor Megan Finn (megfinn) and Professor Daniela Rosner (dkrosner) with the following information indicating eligibility.In your introductory email, please include the following:

Confirmation that you meet the availability requirements.

A few paragraphs describing your experience relevant to the required experiences outlined above.

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