researching at the intersection of tech and society

Applications for the 22-23 Faculty Fellows program will open on this page in spring 2022

scientist works in lab with safety glasses
Faculty Fellows listen to Director at reception

About the Faculty Fellows Program

The goal of the annual fellows program is to develop a cohort of academics who are able to understand technology challenges in interdisciplinary terms: engineers who can talk supply chain management and the role of public engagement in federal regulation; journalists who can speak fluently with entrepreneurs and critically interrogate lawyers advocating for preferred policies; entrepreneurs who can ground technologists in the reality of what can be and push lawyers past their focus on what can’t be; and other permutations involving the law, humanities, sciences, and other fields.

Faculty Fellows mid discussion at reception

2021-2022 Program

The fellows are academics with an interdisciplinary inclination who are interested in the challenges of changing technology and are drawn from across the university. The program also includes a smaller number of visiting fellows from other institutions

This years fellows programming will focus on communicating policy-relevant STEM topics to the public in an era of mis- and dis-information; the role of technology in responding to a rapidly changing world; and designing technology that is responsive to human needs and expectations. Fellows will participate in a variety of sessions, lectures, collaborative feedback sessions, as well as networking opportunities.

headshots of the 2021 2022 faculty fellows

2021-2022 University of Nebraska Faculty Fellows

Headshots of the 2021 2022 Visiting Faculty Fellows

2021-2022 Visiting Faculty Fellows



2021-2022 Academic Year Faculty Fellows Overview and Schedule

During the 2021-2022 academic year there are 14 remote sessions for resident and visiting faculty fellows. Fellows are asked to participate in these sessions as their schedules allow, with the hope that most fellows will attend at least half. In addition, fellows should try to participate in one of the following activities: an explainer video (as detailed below), a rough script or flushed out a podcast idea, or participation in a podcast or video recording. 

Each regular session features either an external speaker presenting on a topic of interest to the overall group, a discussion led by a faculty fellow.

In addition, we anticipate hosting six receptions next year (three each semester, roughly monthly), to which faculty fellows are invited. Some of these may have an internal audience or feature presentations or structured discussions. Others will have an external audience or regional stakeholders working or otherwise interested in an area adjacent to technology and regulation. For instance, we may organize discussions about interdisciplinary research with our Office of Research and Economic Development, informal sessions with the local startup community, or panel discussions on topics of interest to local civic groups.

Schedule: Fellows meet biweekly, generally altering between Mondays at 12pm CT and Wednesdays at 2pm CT. A full schedule of meetings is below.

Workshop structure: Roughly half of the workshop sessions will be led by external speakers presenting their work. These sessions will be open to all Nebraska faculty and students. Faculty fellows, however, will have priority in asking questions or will be invited to a private follow-on Q&A session with speakers following their public lecture. 

Where appropriate and possible, fellows will be provided copies of materials relating to the speaker’s talk (including copies of books) prior to the session.

Other workshops sessions will be led by faculty fellows. These discussions may be traditional workshop-style presentations of research, but may be less formal discussions on topics of relevance to the cohort of faculty fellows. The defining feature of this program is its interdisciplinarity: faculty fellows are encouraged to take advantage of this, bringing topics of interdisciplinary character to the table.

Additional Opportunities: The center will produce 3-5 "interdisciplinary concepts" explainer videos in the spring semester, in which fellows explain important concepts from their field that are of general interest. These will be produced asynchronously from our other programming, working with a professional video production team. They will be shared and highlighted by the Center, published online, and free for individual fellows to use for their own purposes. Additionally, the center continues to produce its podcast, Tech Refactored. Fellows are always encouraged to submit topic and speaker ideas for episodes of this podcast.

If you are interested in developing an idea for an explainer video or podcast, please contact Elsbeth (elsbeth@unl.edu).

Fall Semester:

Remote sessions are in Elsbeth Magilton's zoom room, fellows should receive that information via email or in the google calendar. 

September:

  • Wednesday September 1 at 2pm, regular remote session, Welcome and Discussion theme: Recent updates in your field
  • Monday September 13 at 12pm, regular remote session, Discussion theme: Commonly misunderstood issues from each field 
  • Wednesday September 15 at 5:30pm, in person reception at Turbine Flats, 2124 Y St Lincoln, NE
  • Wednesday September 29 at 2pm, regular remote session, Discussion theme: communicating complex STEM ideas to a generalist audience 

October:

  • Monday October 11 at 12pm,  Lecture and discussion with Woody Hartzog, professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University School of Law and the Khoury College of Computer Sciences
  • Monday October 25 at 12pm, in person lunch on campus with student fellows at Hawks Hall Multipurpose Room, College of Business 
  • Wednesday October 27 at 2pm, regular remote session, discussion theme: Designing technology to be responsive to human needs

November:

  • Monday November 8 at 12pm, Lecture from Dr. Christine Wieseler, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at California State Polytechnical University, Paloma on the philosophy of disability 
  • Wednesday November 10 at 5:30pm, in person reception at the NIMBUS Drone Labrotory in the South Stadium, followed by a reception in their lobby
  • The Monday November 22 at 12pm has been CANCELED. No meeting this day. 

December:

  • No regular or in person sessions – Happy Holidays!
  • We are happy to schedule recording sessions or work on other projects during this time.

Spring Semester:

January:

  • Monday January 24 at 12pm, regular remote session (lecture/workshop)
  • **CANCELLED** Wednesday January 26 at 12pm, in person lunch with student fellows in at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Room 336 of Andersen Hall

February:

  • Wednesday February 9 at 2pm, regular remote session, Lecture from Brian Christian discussing his book "The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values" at the College of Law
  • Friday Feburary 25th at 12pm, Lecture event in collaboration with the Rural Reconciliation Project,  Christopher Ali from the University of Virginia Department of Media Studies (location and whether this will be in-person or zoom pending)
  • Monday February 28 at 6:00, in person dinner in Lincoln, NE

March:

  • Monday March 7 at 12pm, regular remote session (lecture/workshop)
  • Wednesday March 23 at 2pm, regular remote session (lecture/workshop)
  • Wednesday March 30 at 5:30, final in person reception with student fellows at the Nebraska Governancen and Technology Suite at the College of Law

April:

  • Monday April 4 at 12pm, final regular remote session (lecture/workshop)