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CHCI Student Member Highlight: Chandani Shrestha

March 28, 2022

Chandani Shrestha

Chandani Shrestha is a PhD candidate in Computer Science advised by Deborah Tatar. She is working on the ThoughtSwap project for her dissertation research. ThoughtSwap tool can be used in classrooms to change the infrastructure of discourse by changing the information available to instructors and students. The project started with a vision - Conscientious Discourse, a discussion where the participants reflect on their own values and beliefs, while also engaging with other people’s ideas. In changing the discourse infrastructure with ThoughtSwap, she hopes to create a space for conscientious discourse to take place. ThoughtSwap, the tool is a supplement to pedagogy, so the project has many interdisciplinary elements. It involves discourse pedagogy, teaching and learning, the efforts and values that instructors bring in when they use ThoughtSwap to facilitate related activities.  

Chandani joined the ThirdLab at Virginia Tech as a PhD candidate. She describes being a part of the ThirdLab team has been one of the most pivotal experiences for her as a researcher (and also as a person), “ 1) It is the projects that we work on - We talk about power in design, who are we impacting and how? 2) We have conversations that prompt a lot of reflection, which I find crucial as a HCI researcher. For example, once we were having a conversation about the term “enable” in my writing. We talked about “do we really enable it though?” It seems like a minute detail, but it is exactly what I value the most -  this sincere responsibility towards the work we put in as computer scientists that I observed and learnt from my advisor, Dr. Deborah Tatar.”