Dr. Sepehr Vakil
Associate Professor, School of Education and Social Policy
Evanston, Illinois, USA / Iranian/Middle Eastern
🎓 PhD in the Education in Mathematics, Science, and Technology program at UC Berkeley
🎓 B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA.
😁 Sepehr is a “baba” to 5 beautiful kids. And it's the greatest joy and adventure of his life.
Dr. Vakil contributes to computer science education through his teaching and research that helps youth examine the ethical and social implications of technology.
ABOUT HIS WORK
Dr. Sepehr Vakil has contributed to CS education in various contexts through innovative curriculum design with teachers and youth examining technology's ethical and social implications. His research and writing have helped reveal the political dimensions of computer science and computer science education. His teaching and research have elevated questions of the ethics and values of computer science.
WATCH & DISCUSS
ADVICE TO YOUNGER SELF
Dr. Vakil first learned computer science after high school.
“I would tell my 18-year-old self that CS is more than just coding and that I should think about the personal, social, and ethical dimensions of technology as part of CS education.”
HOW HAS DR. VAKIL'S WORK CONTRIBUTED TO OR HARNESSED COMPUTER SCIENCE'S GOOD, NEUTRAL, AND NEGATIVE IMPACTS?
Good: Sepehr’s work advocating for a more comprehensive and inclusive computer science education has contributed positively to the field. By emphasizing the importance of teaching the complex histories of computing and the ethical implications of technology, Sepehr aims to provide students with a more holistic understanding of computer science. This approach can empower students to make informed decisions and foster a sense of social responsibility within computing.
Neutral: Sepehr’s focus on the historical and ethical aspects of computing education highlights the importance of addressing these topics in the curriculum. However, the impact of such efforts may vary depending on the implementation and reception by educators and students. Some may view these topics as essential components of computer science education, while others may perceive them as supplementary or unnecessary.
Negative: Sepehr acknowledges the challenges of attracting and retaining students who are passionate about technology but have concerns about the ethics of the tech industry. This highlights a potential negative impact where students may be discouraged from pursuing computer science careers due to moral or ethical conflicts with the industry's practices. Addressing these concerns and nurturing students' desire for moral substance within computing education is a complex endeavor that may require significant changes within the field.