Bio: Steven Dow is an Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego, where he is also an affiliated faculty member of The Design Lab. Prof. Dow researches human-computer interaction, social computing, and creativity. Dow received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2015 for research on "advancing collective innovation." He was co-PI on three other National Science Foundation grants, a Google Faculty Grant, Stanford's Postdoctoral Research Award, and the Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Grant. 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. See FULL CV, PORTFOLIO, and the PROTOLAB research site.
Research: Design can no longer be seen as a solitary endeavor where a designer, through pure force of talent, improves a product or service, and then hands it off to a community of use. Prof. Dow's research empirically examines design practices and develops technology to support creative individuals, groups, and crowds. His research explores if (and how) online crowds can provide value for design — through guided exploration of concept spaces, by providing formative feedback to student designers, and by collaboratively solving ill-defined problems. This research seeks to deepen our understanding of how the creative process works, to improve design practice for teams, and to teach design more effectively to larger audiences. Prof. Dow leads research in the ProtoLab, where his team investigates the intersection of social computing and design with the goal of developing tools, processes, and instructional techniques that change the way people solve complex problems creatively and collaboratively. They develop technology related to social media, crowdsourcing, mixed-initiative systems, and mixed physical-digital interactions to enable large-scale online creativity and to study the cognitive, social, and cultural aspects of design.