Assistive Technology for Opening Minds, Hands, and Hearts

l-r: Jaya Narain, Anna Musser, Julie Greenberg, Kyle Keane, Pramoda Karnati
April 16, 2019 3:00pm
MIT Campus
MIT Community

Tues. April 16, join us for a panel discussion with MIT educators and students speaking on three activities that engage students in hands-on, real world problem-solving where students collaborate directly with people who have disabilities on engineering and design projects. This panel discussion will be immediately followed by a reception featuring an AT Exploratorium and ATIC showcase.

xTalk panel
Two instructors from MIT subjects (6.811/2.78/HST.420 and 3.008) will speak as well as a student leader of an annual student-run hackathon (ATHack), and a current MIT student who completed both subjects and participated in the hackathon.

Each of these activities are dedicated to teaching students to work directly with people who have disabilities to identify projects that are born from real world desires and involve rigorous accountability to co-designers with the expertise of lived-experience. ATHack (MIT News article) and 6.811/2.78/HST.420 Principles and Practices of Assistive Technology (MIT News article) take place in Cambridge with local residents and have an emphasis on mechanical and software innovations. 3.008 Humanistic Co-design of Assistive Technology in the Developing World (MIT News article) takes place in various cities throughout India, with help and support from MIT-India, and emphasizes human-material interactions and design. The work of all three activities is done with reverence for the legacy of Prof. Seth Teller.

Panel members
Dr. Julie Greenberg is Senior Lecturer and Director of Education for IMES/HST, where she teaches Biomedical Signal & Image Processing and Principles and Practice of Assistive Technology. She has been at MIT since 1987 in a variety of capacities including graduate student, researcher, academic advisor, instructor, and administrator. 

Dr. Kyle Keane is Lecturer and Research Scientist in Materials Science and Engineering. He recently worked with MIT-India to run the inaugural offering of 3.008 Humanistic Co-design of Assistive Technologies in the Developing World. Dr. Keane supervises many UROPs working on various projects in computational materials science and human-material interactions.

Anna Musser designs and evaluates experiments to test the effectiveness of educational technologies and interventions at MIT. A former special education teacher, Anna also co-taught 3.008. Anna also contributes to psychological research at Harvard’s Langer Mindfulness Institute.

Jaya Narain is a PhD Candidate in Mechanical Engineering who co-founded  ATHack (MIT's Assistive Hackathon) in 2014 when she was an undergraduate junior, and co-directed the hackathon since. Jaya's doctoral research in the Fluid Interfaces group in the Media Lab focuses on developing assistive technologies for communication.

Pramoda Karnati is a Junior in EECS/Biomedical Engineering, interested in the intersection of computer science and human-related problems. She has taken both PPAT and 3.008 and is passionate about building assistive technology at MIT.

Read MIT student Sophia Fang's reflections on this xTalk.