Steven Dow is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego, Director of the ProtoLab research group, Co-Founder of the Design for San Diego initiative, and a member of the Design Lab. Steven conducts research on human-computer interaction, social computing, and creativity and seeks to improve communities’ abilities to creatively solve their own challenges. Steven received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2015 for research on “advancing collective innovation.” He was co-PI on five other NSF grants, a Google Faculty Grant, a Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research Award, Stanford’s Postdoctoral Research Award, and a Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Grant. Steven was on the faculty in the HCI Institute at CMU from 2011-2015. He holds an MS and PhD in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a BS in Industrial Engineering from University of Iowa.
email@example.com office hours: by appt lab: SSRB room 100 office: DIB room 365 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0515
Past and Present Affiliations
Can undergrads and master’s students get involved in the Protolab research group? If you are interested in our lab’s research, I would advise you to check out the ProtoLab website and read a few of our papers. If you are an undergraduate or master’s student who wants to get involved, please check this page periodically for job and volunteer opportunities. We usually bring on new students for the start of the school year and for summer internships.
Are you looking for graduate students? If so, what are you looking for in candidates? Maybe. I am always on the lookout for strong graduate students to join the PhD programs at UC San Diego. I am generally looking for students who have some mix of design, computer science, and human sciences. Our lab often designs and develops prototypes of interactive systems that allow us to experiment on some aspect of the human experience. Prospective PhD students should apply either to the Cognitive Science PhD program or the Computer Science and Engineering program, and if you would like to potentially work with me, make sure to mention my name in your application.
Can I get your advice on my applications to graduate school? No, I advise you to just apply. I get tons of email these days, and my response to the question is always that you should go ahead and apply to the best of your abilities. Apply to extra schools so that you hopefully have several options available. If you are a top candidate, we will get a chance to talk before you are admitted or before you accept the offer to join the program.
How can I become an IA for one of your classes? Thank you for your interest in assisting my classes on Social Computing, Prototyping, Startup Studio, and Civic Design. Becoming an undergraduate IA (instructional assistant) is a great way to get mentoring experience and to reinforce the course material. To become an IA, first take my course and do a good job; students must earn an A or A- to be considered. Take the course early enough so that you can serve as an IA in your senior or junior year. If you’re ready, apply to be an IA here and send me a quick email to let me know you’re keen.
How can I earn your letter of recommendation when I apply for jobs or graduate school? I am more than happy to write a letter of recommendation for students who do a good job on either a research project in the lab or as a teaching/instructional assistant. Unfortunately I do not have capacity or enough history to write letters for students who only take my classes (even if you do earn an A). I need to work with you so that I have material to write about. When you are ready to ask me for a letter, be sure to give me a few weeks advance notice and to create a list of your activities and accomplishments. Once I agree to write your letter, please fill out this release form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. When you apply for jobs/schools, make sure to list my UCSD email address so that I receive the letter requests.
Talks and Travel Log
Academic life has provided wonderful opportunities travel, give talks, and see the world. I often try to extend my trips to conferences so that I have time to experience the local culture and food. This record of travel helps me remember all the places.
Personal travel Chicago, IL; Atlanta, GA; New Orleans, LA; Truth or Consequences, MN; Flagstaff, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Arcata, CA; Portland, OR; Boise, ID; Denver, CO; Des Moines, IA; Chicago, IL
Backpacking in Africa Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Nairobi, Kenya; Zanzibar, Tanzania
Mar 23-May 1
Backpacking in Europe London, UK; Berlin, Germany; Prague, Czech Republic; Budapest, Hungary; Venice and Rome, Italy; Montpellier, France; San Sebastian and Barcelona, Spain; Interlaken, Switzerland; Paris, France; Amsterdam, Netherlands