Brown CS alums Shira Abramovich, Jessica Dai, and Hal Triedman are three of thirteen students chosen for the inaugural 2022 design and technology program of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE).
Now in its twelfth year of operation, FASPE, which is based in Germany and Poland, engages graduate students and early-stage practitioners in an intensive course of study focused on contemporary ethical issues in their professions.
The FASPE design and technology program offers an approach that differs from the usual classroom experience in design schools by providing a holistic curriculum that looks beyond the specifics of formal rules to focus on ethical problems faced by individual design and technology professionals in the various settings within which they practice. Fellows participate in a two-week program which uses the conduct of design and technology professionals in Nazi-occupied Europe as a way to reflect on ethical issues currently facing architects, engineers, designers, and other technologists today.
By educating students about the causes of the Holocaust and the power of their chosen professions, FASPE seeks to instill a sense of professional responsibility for the ethical and moral choices that the Fellows will make in their careers and in their professional relationships,” said David Goldman, FASPE’s founder and chairman.
FASPE studies the perpetrators to emphasize the essential role of professionals and to ask how and why professionals abandon their ethical guideposts. The design and technology program examines the roles and responsibilities of designers of built environments and the design and technology professions in the Nazi state, underscoring the reality that moral codes governing professionals can break down or be distorted with devastating consequences.
Jessica Dai is a researcher and engineer currently working at Arthur AI as a Machine Learning Engineer. She is also co-founder and editorial lead at Reboot, a publication and community dedicated to thoughtful, critical techno-optimism. While at Brown she worked on the first iteration of Brown CS’s Socially Responsible Computing program.
Shira Abramovich is a writer, translator, and software engineer. Her work has appeared in Kernel Magazine and Revue Fragile, among others. She holds degrees in computer science and comparative literature from Brown University, where she was a leader in Brown CS’s Socially Responsible Computing program. In the past, she was a civic digital fellow at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. She is now a software engineer at Studio, a contributor to the techno-optimist publication and community Reboot, and an active member of the French-American translation collective Connexion Limitée.
Hal Triedman is a technologist, journalist, and political organizer who lives in Denver, Colorado. After graduating from Brown University in 2020 with degrees in computer science and history, he found work as a privacy engineer at "the last best place on the internet" — Wikipedia — where he is working on differential privacy, algorithmic accountability, anti-censorship, and other issues at the junction of technology and policy.
Hal, Jessica, and Shira join a diverse group of eighty FASPE fellows who were chosen from across the US and the world. To date, FASPE has over 650 alums.
For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication and Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.