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CITRIS Research Exchange – Margaret Burnett on Inclusive Design

A CITRIS Research Exchange Seminar with speaker Margaret Burnett 

TALK TITLE: “Doing Inclusive Design: From GenderMag to InclusiveMag”

SPEAKER: Margaret Burnett, Professor School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Oregon State University 

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BIO: Margaret Burnett is a Distinguished Professor at Oregon State University. She began her career in the industry, where she was the first woman software developer ever hired at Procter & Gamble Ivorydale. A few degrees later, she joined academia. She co-founded the area of end-user software engineering, which aims to enable computer users not trained in programming to improve their own software, and co-leads the team that created GenderMag (gendermag.org), a software inspection process that uncovers user-facing gender biases in technology environments. Together with her collaborators and students, she has contributed some of the seminal work in both of those areas, and also in explaining AI to ordinary end users. Burnett is an ACM Fellow, a member of the ACM CHI Academy, and an emeritus Chair of the NCWIT Academic Alliance.

ABSTRACT: How can technology professionals assess whether their technology supports diverse users? And if they find problems, how can they fix them? Although there are empirical processes that can be used to find “inclusivity bugs” piecemeal, what is also needed is a systematic method to assess technology’s support for diverse populations. To fill this gap, we developed GenderMag, a method for finding and fixing “gender inclusivity bugs” — gender biases in technology interfaces and workflows. We then introduced InclusiveMag, which can be used to generate systematic inclusiveness methods for other dimensions of diversity. In this talk, we explain how GenderMag works, present the latest GenderMag results, and then introduce InclusiveMag and our early experiences with it. We conclude with actionable steps for industry and university professionals.

ABOUT THE SERIES: CITRIS Research Exchange delivers fresh perspectives on information technology and society from distinguished academic, industry, and civic leaders. Free and open to the public, this series highlights leading voices on societal-scale research issues. Each seminar takes place on Wednesdays from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm PT. Have a suggestion for a great speaker? Please use this form to suggest potential speakers for our series.

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