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Brown University


Dr. Suresh Venkatasubramanian


Professor of Computer Science and Data Science; Deputy Director of the Data Science Initiative



Brown University is currently in the process of internally approving the establishment of a new Center for Technological Responsibility, Re-Imagination, and Re-Design (CNTR), which is expected to launch in early 2023. This Center will be led by Suresh Venkatasubramanian and housed within Brown’s Data Science Initiative. CNTR’s mission is to redefine computer science education, research, and technology to center the needs, problems, and aspirations of all those that technology has left behind. CNTR aims to achieve its vision through the following goals focused on education, research, and engagement:

  1. REFRAME education. Building a people-centered, equitable, and accountable vision of technology starts with education. Students doing data science and computing need to be trained to incorporate these considerations into technology design. And students who study society in all its forms must understand the presence of underlying automated systems that are reshaping the world. This effort is aligned with the field-building area of supporting curriculum and faculty development.
  2. REIMAGINE computing research. The goal of the Center is to develop methods for technology design that actively seeks to promote human well-being and flourishing, while also protecting our rights, opportunities for advancement, and access to vital services. The goal is to view technology as a piece of a broader socio-technical system in which feedback from outputs can affect future decisions by the system, and so a single output can have tremendous impact over time. Research should understand not just the immediate impacts of a system, but its long-term effects as well. This effort will support both curriculum and faculty development and
    experiential learning opportunities. 
  3. REIGNITE engagement with stakeholders. Technology development is typically framed with two entities in mind: the companies developing it, and the people using it. But the impact of technology goes far beyond these two entities. The Center will connect with stakeholders in the community and in civil society at large to amplify their concerns, identify solutions, and communicate with and educate policymakers and the media to effect change. This effort will support experiential learning opportunities and secondarily, through the development of a stakeholder network, support graduates looking for careers in public interest technology.