Diversity Speaker Series, November Edition: Audrey Bennett and Ron Eglash

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s (RPI) Audrey Bennett and Ron Eglash gave a talk on Culturally-Situated Design Tools for the November Edition of the Diversity Speaker Series.

Their tools examine the algorithmic underpinnings of traditional design in African, Native American, and urban American cultures. Two examples from their paper on “Fractals in Global Africa:”


Centre International du Commerce Extérieur du Sénégal , Dakar


Kente cloth, Bonwire Ghana.

At RPI, Prof. Audrey Bennett is working on a Google-funded project to promote computational thinking in local, public, high schools within the Capital Region of Upstate New York. She is teaching art teachers, through a workshop (http://cs4hs.rpi.edu), how to use Prof. Ron Eglash’s Culturally-Situated Design Tools (http://csdt.rpi.edu) to generate computational art. They, in turn, relay what they’ve learned to their students–particularly those who are ethnically underrepresented in computer science. The project culminates in an innovative exhibit that brings together CSDT and MIT’s App Inventor at EMPAC (http://empac.rpi.edu).