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Undergraduate/Graduate Research

Important: Research is education, but a personalized approach via work with a faculty member. It is not reserved for graduate students, or only persons who want to go to gradute school.


  • Fitting it Into Your Curriculum: Research described below would be novel, impactful, and some of it would be used in the Antiracist Technology course. It can be used in Independent Study, UG research, Capstone Design, Honors Theses, BS-MS theses, MS theses, and several can be studied as part of the PhD dissertation. 
  • A Way to Start - Have a Can-Do Attitude: Consider the ends of Chapters 1-4 in the Humanitarian Engineering book where mathematical and computational approaches (Matlab) are used, and taught in the associated course to undergraduates and graduate students (all engineering majors).  Topics studied in those chapters/lectures include mathematical and computational modeling and analysis of: (i) poverty, financial advisors, and sustainability; (ii) social justice, democracy, and environmental justice; (iii) economic growth, technology diffusion, breaking poverty traps, and sustainable development; (iv) cooperative management of community technology and analysis of sustainable community development as a sociotechnical design challenge. “King’s Life,” donated by artist Larry Winston Collins, is part of the Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center collection at Ohio State University.
  • Use in Antiracism: Approaches to antiracist mathematics and antiracist computational methods are not the same as in humanitarian engineering, but the methodology there provides is useful for advancing antiracism technology.
  • STEM Skills Are Valuable in Addressing Social Challenges: Expected to parallel the research in humanitarian engineering, the value includes: (i) obtaining a deep understanding, one that cannot be obtained with only words and philosophies (mathematics and computation can cope with with incredible complexity); (ii) gaining an understanding of previously believed intractable social issues in a STEM context and extending existing ideas by incorporating a systems view, distributed dynamics, nondeterminism, humans, sociality, and the environment; (iii) using this understanding to give ideas on the solution to challenging social issues via the embedding of technologies. Can engineers contribute in a meaningful way to help alleviate the challenges of racism? Definitely yes!

Undergraduate Research:

Topics within antiracist technology and diversity, proposals/design that could be considered:

  1. Current Need: Inequality: Develop a computational model and analysis of inequality (using Atkinson quantification of the UN, the human development index (HDI)), with explicit connection to Kendi's definition of the goals of the antiracist
  2. Current Need: Diversity and Inclusion: Modeling of group problem solving with diversity and inclusion or uniformity; computational exploration of advantages and disadvantages of uniformity vs. diversity and inclusion in problem solving and task completion effectiveness.
  3. Current Need: Intersectionality: Mathematical and computational modeling and analysis of intersectionality and interactions (see link under Community tab in menu), analyze the impact of types and numbers of dimentions of intersectionality on impact severity, sensitivity analysis showing magintude of impact of intersectionality as a function of a change in individual and cross-dimension intersectionality.
  4. Current need: Role of Socio-economics: Development of the role of poverty and Humanitarian Engineering in antiracist technology.
  5. App development team to support the antiracist
  6. For promotion of equitable policing
  7. To support antiracist community development
  8. To support trategies for anticorruption technologies
  9. To support the fight against human trafficking


BS-MS, MS, and PhD Research Ideas:

From the area of dynamical systems, optimization, and feedback control the following would be useful:

  • Antiracist Technology as Feedback Control Design: Develop a control-theoretic model and analysis of antiracism and a feedback control problem, one that employs idea from current antiracist strategies (see the first part of Chapter 4 of the Humanitarian Engineering book on the systems theory view of communities, participatory development, and the relation to AI planning theory that was developed based on Egan's theory of helping). This would be analogous to the feedback control perspective that is the theme for the analytical studies in the Humanitarian Engineering book, that is taught in the ECE 5550 Computational Humanitarianism course, and is related to general/conventional adaptive model predictive control (MPC).
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Intersectionality: Building on the above projects, mathematically and computationally model and analyze trade-offs in uniform vs diverse groups in problem solving and task completion. Uncover funadmental relationships between diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality.
  • Inequality: Mathematical and computational modeling and analysis of inequality using a general social justice context (extending what it said above).
  • The Common Good: Mathematical and computational modeling and analysis of the "common good," as it relates to principles of cooperation (network case), social network models, and cooperative management of community technology (see homework problem at the end of Chapter 2 and also Chapter 4 of the Humanitarian Engineering book).
  • Social Justice: Mathematical and computational modeling and analysis of a system of social justice, starting with influence diagrams, then social networks, and proceeding to a nonlinear discrete time model and Matlab simulations.