Articles & Media

Class Projects

Quick Links: Talks and Interviews | Engineering for Grace | Gaming for the Greater Good

Designing for Our Own

In 2016, my class developed technology to help Brad Ebenhoeh, a 30-year-old sophomore in aerospace engineering, return to school. At age 19, Brad suffered a brain hemorrhage that paralyzed the right side of his body, limited his vision, confined him to a wheelchair and forced him to leave the University for a decade. The College of Engineering published this article on our efforts in this area.

Technology for the Blind

In 2016, my EECS 495 Accessible Software Systems Design class focused on developing assistive technology for India West, a visually impaired 17-year-old. Students listened to West’s experiences and came up with their own solutions to some of her day-to-day difficulties.

Below is a video produced by U-M College of Engineering Communications and Marketing team:

A WDIV news report with Andrew Humphrey:

Tactile, Interactive Structures

In 2015, I collaborated with Prof. Sean Ahlquist in the Taubman Colletge of Architecture and Urban Planning on a project where our students created highly customized flexible textile structures that would change state when pressed upon. The pieces were created as sensory tools for children on the autistic spectrum who have issues with sensory processing.

The interactive fabric structures were demonstrated by students at the 2016 South by Southwest show in Austin, TX. These two videos show the booth setup and provide an overview of all projects shown at the display.

Booth setup at SxSW 2016:

Overview of All UM Projects at SxSW2016:

Working with Watson to Address Social Needs

In Fall 2014, my EECS 495 Accessible Software Systems Design class had the opportunity to tap into IBM’s Watson technology to develop applications that address social needs. Watson is IBM’s powerful artificial intelligence system that designed to process language more like a human than a machine, and to interact with people in ways that seem more natural than other systems. IBM partnered with just seven leading CS institutions for this project; here are some early articles about this opportunity:

May 2014: U-M University Record: Engineering Students to use IBM’s Watson Technology in Class

May 2014: NPR: IBM Partners With Universities On Watson Projects

Engineering for Grace

Beginning in Fall 2013 through Fall 2014, my EECS 495 Accessible Software Systems Design classes focused on developing assistive technologies for a young woman named Grace who has cerebral palsy. The College of Engineering published these articles on our efforts in this area:

May 2014: Computer Science with Soul (includes video)

Dec 2013: Software Class Demos Projects to Help One Teen Communicate

Sept 2013: Software Class Aims to Help One Teen Communicate

In addition, the Big 10 Network visited during our December 2013 Final Projects Showcase for the class and made a long and short video, both of which aired in early 2014.

Long version – Graceful Engineering:

Short version – It’s About Context:

Gaming for the Greater Good

In 2012, the College of Engineering published this Digital Multimedia Experience Gallery, which nicely illustrates my approach to project-based engineering education for the greater good.

Hacking Autism

This video is on the projects my Fall 2012EECS 495 Accessible Software Systems Design did using Microsoft Kinect technology to develop games with therapeutic value for children with autism.

ASK Messaging

In 2010, students in my EECS 495 Accessible Software Systems Design class developed assistive technology projects for patients at Mott Children’s Hospital. One project that came out of this class was ASK Messaging, an iPad app intended to allow people with cerebral palsy to communicate via email. The College of Engineering posted the blog post on the project:

Nov. 2010: Michigan Engineering Students Develop Mobile Communications Technology for Cerebral Palsy Patients

Talks and Interviews

James T. Neubacher Award Ceremony Lecture

In 2018, I was honored with the James T. Neubacher Award. This video includes that talk I gave at the awards ceremony.

Bob and Betty Beyster Building Stewardship Video

This 2018 video highlights the Bob and Betty Beyster Building as an enabling space for the work we do. There is a segment on the work my class has done in creating assistive technologies.

Lessons from the Incredibles

This is my talk on assistive technology from the Interaction Design Association in 2018.

TEDxUofM – Untapped Resonance

This is the talk that I gave at U-M’s TED event in April 2013.

Michigan Radio, U-M Public Radio
Stateside Interview, April 2013

These Aren’t Your Normal Video Games: This article and audio file highlight my efforts in Gaming for the Greater Good.