This workshop is for art teachers at local high schools that serve underrepresented students in STEM. The workshop will teach fundamental computational thinking concepts through culturally responsive STEM  (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education (C-STEM Education). C-STEM Education provides students with the knowledge and skills for 21st century problem-solving. You are invited to attend this free, Google and National Science Foundation sponsored, four-day workshop on culturally responsive STEM education. You will learn to use cutting-edge educational technologies; develop culturally responsive STEM lessons for your classrooms; and collaborate with computer scientists, engineers, and other researchers to plan support for lesson implementation. All participants will be financially compensated for their time.

The Seeing Algorithms workshop trains teachers and then their respective students, particularly those that are underrepresented in STEM, to see algorithms from a cultural perspective by having them simulate cultural art using the visual, drag-and-drop, programming language of the award-winning Culturally-Situated Design Tools (CSDT) at CSDTs facilitate the simulation of a wide variety of cultural arts on the computer screen, from cornrow hairstyles and breakdance to kente cloth and drum patterns using concepts shared between computer science, mathematics, and art. 

The workshop will comprise:

  1. Part 1: A professional development workshop for teachers July 17-20 from 8:30 AM to 3 PM. Teachers will use a CSDT to simulate what they see reflected in a photograph of a cultural art form. Then, they will use the CSDT creatively to design a freestyle pattern. Finally, they take this cultural art and computing fusion a step further by developing lesson plans for a two-week activity that would engage their high school students in physically crafting their virtual designs in the real world, using hands-on, art and design media.
  2. Part 2: One two-week session in the teacher’s high school classroom where the teacher implements the C-STEM educational activity in their classes.

Registration is on a first come first served basis. Register here. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions: 518.276.8129 or via email at


Workshop Leader Audrey Bennett is a Professor in the Department of Communication and Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She has an M.F.A. in graphic design from Yale University’s School of Art and a B.A. in studio art from Dartmouth College. She penned the 2012 monograph titled “Engendering Interaction with Images” published by Intellect, UK and distributed in the US by Chicago University Press. Prof. Bennett is also the editor of “Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design” published by Princeton Architectural Press and co-Editor of ICOGRADA’s Design Education Manifesto 2011. She has won numerous awards for her graphic art including a College Art Association Professional Development Fellowship. Prof. Bennett is on the Peer-Review Panel for Iridescent, the Icograda Journal of Design Research. She is the founder of GLIDE, a biennial virtual conference; and director of, a virtual design studio for user-centered research on global images. Prof. Bennett’s research is funded by Google, The Coalition to Diversify Computing; The Society for Technical Communication; National Science Foundation; and AIGA, the professional association for design. Prof. Bennett studies cross-cultural and transdisciplinary communication with images that aim to effect social change.


Workshop Leader and Founder Ron Eglash is a Professor in the Department of Science and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – and Audrey Bennett’s biggest fan. He received his B.S. in Cybernetics, his M.S. in Systems Engineering, and his PhD in History of Consciousness, all from the University of California. A Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship enabled his field research on African ethnomathematics, which was published by Rutgers University Press as African Fractals: modern computing and indigenous design, and recently appeared as his TED talk. He is currently a Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he teaches design of educational technologies and graduate seminars in social studies of science and technology. He also has a joint appointment in the Department of Computer Science. His “Culturally Situated Design Tools” software, offering math and computing education from indigenous and vernacular arts, is available for free at


Workshop Leader Mukkai Krishnamoorthy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he teaches and conducts research in theory and applications. He has published in refereed journals, conference proceedings, nationally and internationally. His current research on Networks and Software Technology explores interactive technologies that facilitate participation from remote participants. For instance, these software technologies may facilitate targeting the audience where ideas are worth pursuing. Further, analysis of this interactive usage may be carried out for deploying best strategies for faster and effective communication.


Workshop Leader Bill Babbitt is a Science & Technology Studies Program Coordinator at RPI. His research interests focus on inquiry learning in the STEM disciplines and how computer science, especially computer games can increase interest in and retention of basic concepts in STEM-related courses. He’s an Edyth Mae Sliffe award winner, 2008 Middle School, of the Mathematical Association of America. He has a B.S.B.A. in Finance from Xavier University (1988) in Cincinnati, Ohio and a B.S. with a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science from Empire State College (2010) in Saratoga, New York. He is a co-advisor for Albany Area Math Circle and our weekly math circle meetings are a highlight of my week during the school year. He coaches a home school MATHCOUNTS team with the assistance of some amazing High School students here in the Capital District. He is an assistant coach for the Upstate New York ARML team. He has science-related hobbies such as organic gardening, reading science magazines, and browsing on He is very interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in underserved populations.

Workshop Leader Michael Lachney is a post-doc in the Science and Technology Studies department at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has a background in media literacy education and culturally responsive computing. Michael’s research focuses on the design and implementation of culturally responsive technologies that help to strengthen school-community relationships. Currently, he is exploring these relationships in the context of high school computing and cosmetology programs to find pathways for broadening the participation of African American girls in STEM fields. His work has appeared in the following journals: Learning, Media and Technology, International Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, and Computational Culture: A Journal of Software Studies.

Workshop Schedule