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The mission of my research lab is the design and development of interactive technologies and practices that promote socially responsible and culturally meaningful artifacts. Our major aim is to increase the efficacy and development of technological artifacts that promote the retention and propagation of cultural knowledge sources and societal improvements of underserved and marginalized communities through the design, development and scientific testing methods within the Human Computer Interaction domain. We pose the following questions:

  • RQ1:  How can people in traditionally technically marginalized communities benefit from culturally and socially responsible computer interactions and artifacts?

  • RQ2:  How can computational interactions promote cultural preservation among marginalized communities?

Our lab's current research in mother tongue preservation focuses on the development of innovative physicalized devices for tonal language acquisition and voice-assistive technologies for cultural name recognition. 


The language that a person acquires from birth and speaks at home is known as their Mother Tongue. Although this language is central to their cultural and ethnic identity, in many communities across the globe, it is often overshadowed by the official language spoken in schools or by the majority in the country. Mother tongues are not just beneficial for communication, but also preserve cultural traditions and heritage through artifacts such as proverbs, prayers, songs, games, fables, name translations, and community titles, which hold a deeper significance than just national identity.


Decolonizing Knowledge (ways of knowing):

Decolonizing knowledge in the sciences is crucial because it involves examining and challenging the ways in which Western knowledge systems have dominated and excluded other forms of knowledge production. This includes acknowledging and incorporating the knowledge of Indigenous communities and other marginalized groups and recognizing the impact of colonialism and imperialism on scientific research and practice. Decolonizing the sciences can lead to more inclusive and diverse perspectives, as well as a greater understanding of the interconnectedness between knowledge systems and social justice issues.


Rooted Cultural Artifacts:

Our projects are situated in cultural knowledge sources such as names, texts, proverbs, and other forms of traditional knowledge because this approach allows us to extend our scientific contributions beyond Western knowledge systems. Incorporating diverse knowledge sources can provide new perspectives, insights, and approaches to scientific research and problem-solving. By acknowledging and valuing diverse forms of knowledge, we can create more inclusive and equitable scientific practices that better reflect the diverse communities we serve. Additionally, working with cultural knowledge sources can help preserve and promote cultural traditions and identities, which is essential for promoting social justice and equity.


N'Dewo Uwa:  Hello World - is a virtual dialogue agent that engages members of the diaspora with mother tongue languages.

Gángan:  The talking drum (Summer 2023)

Our primary project, "Gángan: The talking drum – A haptic interface for tonal language learning," endeavors to create an immersive, engaging learning experience for tonal languages by utilizing physical, touch-based interactions. This research builds on our previous success with "Ndewo Uwa {Hello World}: A Language-Based Chat Bot for Children of the Diaspora," which introduced young learners to African languages and cultures.

Considerations of Voice Design for Cross-Cultural Robotic Identity (Summer 2023)

Additionally, our lab is exploring the use of voice-assistive devices to facilitate cultural name recognition and understanding among Africans of the diaspora. This study expands on our workshop paper, "Considerations of Voice Design for Cross-Cultural Robotic Identity," which discussed the importance of inclusive voice design in the development of AI and robotics. 

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