Ron Eglash discusses ethnocomputing on Chicago’s WBEZ

Aug. 27, 2019

Author: ahunn

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Ron Eglash, Professor of Information and Professor of Art and Design was recently featured in a wide-ranging interview on NPR affiliate WBEZ’s program Worldview, a show about how race, ethnicity, gender, identity, the environment, religion, politics and economics drive and shape the news.

In the segment titled “Could Indigenous Knowledge Dismantle White Supremacy?” Eglash describes his work in ethnocomputing, which Worldview host Julian Hayda describes as “a neat way of understanding algorithms through non-western and colonized cultures.”

Eglash discusses his passion for bringing the sophisticated math and computing ideas at the center of cultural traditions to classroom settings to inspire underrepresented students to pursue studies in STEM fields.

Also covered are the ideas of rethinking the relationships between science and technology and the social dynamics that underlie them; how the history of abolitionist movements in Appalachia shows up in quilt designs; and how Georg Cantor, the father of fractal geometry, seems to have based his famous Cantor set on the geometry of ancient Egyptian columns.

“It’s kind of neat to think that it may actually be an African influence in western history that gave Cantor that first idea of fractals,” says Eglash.

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