David, Colorado, Chaz discussed on Papa Phd Podcast
Realize that my there was nobody to look forward to to say. Okay this is how you do it. This is what the decision is. Because what i wanna do is not really something that's been done before Not exactly otherwise. Why am i doing and so it stops being looking ahead and seeing who's advanced who's further. Who's better who can tell me things and start looking to the side. And saying who's doing something different power. They accessing their paths of success. Howard bay managing their work life balance. How are they succeeding cooler. Who are my allies. Who are who are people who i feel safe around as we move forward together. Welcome to pop up each with david. Mendez the podcast where we explore careers and life after grad school with guests who have walked the road less traveled and have unique stories to tell about how they made their place in the world of constantly evolving rules. Get ready to go off the beaten path and hop on for an exciting new episode of papa phd. Welcome to today's episode of papa peachy today with me. I have has more chaz neuro- engineer and steam coordinator at cu boulder looking to revolutionize access to steam learning hsieh's creating innovative interactive tools aimed at intersectional minorities middle school students outside of work. Chaz has a penchant for creative. Coding snowboarding baking bread and woodworking. Welcome to apiece says. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. It's good to be here. I'm super happy to have you here. And i think it's it's not going to be difficult for listeners. To consider the idea that diversity is is a very present question in our society. And i think it's something we'll have to focus in the near future and then going forward and that's why i'm super super excited to have you here because This is something that is very close to your heart and that you work on. And i think it's going to be really interesting to have this conversation because i've i've just recently a day. We're recording published an interview for example about a woman in academia and you know having kids etc etc and inclusivity is something that i think the the field the team feels gain with. But there's there's a culture that may comes from far behind. That has some resistance to this change and this why. I'm really really happy to have you here today to talk about this. I'm i'm so excited to talk about it. It's such a. it's a cool time. Now to see it being brought to the forefront and seeing so many institutions really taking it seriously and really trying to take risks dec- how they can make these changes in start to integrate a little bit more and so yeah. I think about it a lot. I work at pretty much. Twenty four seven in all these different avenues. I'm really excited to get into it. Yeah so to begin. Maybe just give a little introduction of who you are as a neural engineer. What's what is it that you do. And specifically i would really love you to also give a view of what you do relating to this aspect of of inclusion and diversity and also you mentioned that you see things happening around you. I love you to share a little bit about that too absolutely so i'm chas aka dr z. by pronouns are them nonbinary I am a narrow engineer. I work at the atlas institute which is a creative tech institute at cu boulder and as narrow engineer. I like to build design fantasize gadgets that will augment or help explorer our nervous systems work And so primarily. I've most recently. I should say. I've been using a vr and three d gaming platforms like unity three d to create these tools for exploring vision and other scientific explorations so kind of taking these tools. That are amazing. In powerful people are using them really entertainment and catering them designing them for a more scientific exploration. I came to this path quite. Interestingly i really love neuroscience i have a phd neuroscience. But i i realize looking back at my all of my projects. The part that i did the best was coming. Up with the experimental setup building wind tunnels making these vr arenas All sorts of devices building devices making all sorts of designing my own circuits writing my own code really creating the environment And then moving forward thinking about where. I can actually make an impact in some progress. That was really it. It wasn't really so much. What's the assessment that i can make. It's what's the tools. I can build heavily. Best answer this question which leads really nicely into diversity and inclusion which is kind of so one half of my job is creative. Portion making all of these tools and gadgets for exploration in learning neuroscience learning neuroscience learning about how our bodies work and then the other half is helping atlas institute get better integrated in various levels of community so integrated through cu boulder integrated in the tech community. That's burgeoning in the boulder. The front range areas that's boulder denver fort collins and then Also integrates in in the general public. Where what's our online presence like. What are we doing in the actual physical community And boulders a really interesting place to do this Colorado's really interesting place to do this. Because it's demographics are not very. It's more typical for the south west but not typical of the like the demographic of the country Where we see. The the largest minority group in colorado is out Latino x. community and then. There is a pretty sizable asian pacific american pacific islander community. And then there's a fairly small black community and of course a very small indigenous community. It's a different shift where a lot of people tend to Reach for the needs of Black communities which they absolutely shed cure the target in what people have been working on and looking at. Who's around us has been linked the latino community which is a whole wealth of problems to solve for me. Which is it's a fun. It's a fun way to expand and see what's out there So i'm integrated thinking about diversity all of the time with my Very brand new company create. I'm making these informal stem kits that and comics that feature kids from really their kids from the hood. Their kids from all over look like all different. You know. there's a muslim character is character in a wheelchair We have a single parent household. We really just trying to get a an image of what my childhood was really like and so now with cranny eight. I'm creating these tools that are kits that help these students that really are not included in the educational studies Which is a lot of. Lgbtq kids it's hard to find data on how lgbtq plus kids learn in the classroom especially in them who is in stem like like that. That data were not collecting that data as in general and low income other other minority groups Black indigenous pacific islander latina Just trying to make something for them by them and see what what is your version of stem. And how does it show up in your life. And what are the problems that stem helps you solve. And that that's really where where my heart lies is a.