Diversity in Computing: Dr. Theodore Kim (Yale University) on Anti-Racist Computer Graphics Research
The Barnard CSC is excited to kick off our first Diversity in Computing Speaker series with Dr. Theodore Kim, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Yale University.
Anti-Racist Computer Graphics Research
Many of the basic research problems we take for granted in computer graphics contain insidious assumptions about race. These troubling issues pre-date computer graphics, and can be traced back to the film technology and techniques from the analog era. Far from being incidental, they directly determine the physical formulations and numerical algorithms we use to depict virtual humans today. Instead of perpetuating the prejudices of previous eras, can we engage in anti-racist research that works to dismantle it?
Theodore Kim is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at Yale University, where he investigates biomechanical solids, fluid dynamics, and selected topics in geometry. Previously, he was a Senior Research Scientist at Pixar Animation Studios. He is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, multiple Best Paper awards, and a Scientific and Technical Academy Award (SciTech Oscar). His algorithms have appeared in over 20 films, and he has screen credits for Cars 3, Coco, Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4. His first (uncredited) work appeared on-screen on the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
As part of the Year of Science @ Barnard College, the Vagelos Computational Science Center (CSC) is excited to announce our first Diversity in Computing Speaker Series. This series will run for the 2021–2022 academic year and will feature talks from scholars and practitioners in computational fields who explore what DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) looks like in STEM.
There is an urgent need to more fully consider the ethical and social implications of computing and its applications: for example, in designing addictive social media platforms or in using AI for facial or name recognition, which can lead to housing discrimination, racial biases in job hiring, or restrictions on personal freedoms through public and private surveillance.
To better understand how to counter these biases, this series rethinks STEM disciplines from the inside out. We invite one leader in a STEM field every month to speak about the work they are doing to diversify and broaden inclusion in their fields by either sharing their research, their experiences and initiatives in industry or academia, or their thoughts on how power structures within computing disciplines should be transformed to create more equitable systems.
This talk will take place online. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants shortly before the event.