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Cal Poly State University


Matthew Harsh


Associate Professor of Science, Technology and Society



Cal Poly intends to continue our work with public and private sector partners to assess how to best to train students for new careers at the intersection of technology and ethics; to develop new educational opportunities and support for faculty through our Strategic Research Initiative on Data Science that focuses on data science for good and data science for all; and to work with other PIT university members in California and local community colleges to explore models for how PIT can be used to increase access to higher education and create a more inclusive tech workforce.

Matthew Harsh, Associate Professor of Science, Technology and Society

Educational Offerings

Learning Across Domains: Developing an Inclusive Pipeline of Global Experts Skilled at Examining Ethical Risks and Social Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technologies

This project will create an on-line, collaborative training program in ethics and
risks related to the use of technology across sectors, while conducting research
on these topics in teams. The project is an extension of a program just completed with an online conference at Stanford, involving 50 highly qualified advanced level students from a diverse selection of renowned universities across more than 20 countries. We are currently expanding the reach of our second cohort to bring even greater diversity of perspectives to our work. Given the global reach of technology and its impacts, and the concentration of technological influence among a proportionally small number of nations and groups, it is vital that these collaborations include the perspectives and experiences of many nations, regions, and groups, particularly those currently underrepresented in these dialogues.

Principal Investigator

Elise St. John, Researcher and Academic Strategist, Digital Transformation Hub (DxHub)

Strengthening the Public Interest Tech University Network

Promoting Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in the Local Community Through Collaboration on Interactive Virtual Reality (VR) Training Tools

Historical inequities in academia and healthcare professions are major barriers to the advancement and wellbeing of marginalized populations. We aim to improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the local community by incorporating immersive (virtual reality) VR components into existing sexual and gender harassment, and transgender awareness training. With local partners and research assistants, we will assess training needs and develop 2 screenplays for DEI VR simulations. The impact of novel training methods will create better prepared public sector and health workers and stronger relationships with marginalized communities, increased resources available for the PIT UN network, and ultimately a reduction in health disparities.

Principal Investigator

James Werner, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Media Arts