CS&E Colloquium: Fernando Maestre

The computer science colloquium takes place on Mondays from 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. More details about the fall 2022 series will be provided at the beginning of the semester. This week's speaker, Fernando Maestre (UMN CS&E), will be giving a talk titled "Participatory Design as a Method for More Ethical Computer Science". 


Technology can have unintended negative impacts or consequences in people’s lives. For example, the design of a user interface may exclude certain populations by having a text-field data entry for gender including only the binary option of man and woman. More recently, technologies which use machine learning and artificial intelligence may reflect and even exacerbate systemic bias and inequalities experienced by racial and gender minorities and other vulnerable groups. In my work, I aim to reduce these unintended consequences in the design of technologies through participatory design (PD) methods. During the talk, I will discuss how PD methods as well as value-sensitive and speculative design approaches can help include and amplify the voices of study participants and stakeholders throughout the design process. This has been particularly important in my research as I have been working with vulnerable and marginalized populations such as people living with stigmatized conditions like HIV, or those with non-normative gender identities. I will go over a few examples of my prior work with these populations where I used PD in both in-person and online settings. I will end the talk with next steps for ongoing and future work that explores potential ways in which PD could be used in a more ethical design of algorithm-based technology that would take in account multi-stakeholder values and that could be more sensitive and reactive to historical and systemic inequalities.


Fernando Maestre (he/him/his) is an Ecuadorian researcher and educator. After moving to the United States in 2013, he obtained a Master’s degree in Informatics from the University of Iowa and a PhD degree in Human-computer Interaction Design from the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University. Fernando conducts Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research with stigmatized and marginalized groups. He applies participatory design methods to conduct research in in-person and online settings regarding technology design for stigma management, health informatics, and transportation access. Fernando is currently a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow and member of the GroupLens Lab in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota.

Start date
Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, 11:15 a.m.
End date
Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, 12:15 p.m.