Sayamindu Dasgupta

Assistant Professor

Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE)

University of Washington

I am an assistant professor at the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, University of Washington (UW).

I study new ways in which young people can learn with and about data—especially in contexts of the communities that they live, learn,and play in. As a part of my research, I have designed systems to enable children to design and develop their own data analysis tools, evaluated design changes in existing systems that allow more creative possibilities with data, and studied how children question and critique data and data-driven systems. I am committed to learning experiences and communities that are welcoming to all. Toward this, I have studied learner experiences with digital tools translated into the languages they speak at home, and have analyzed differences in participation patterns across genders in interest-driven and informal online learning.

As our society becomes increasingly data-driven and data-mediated, it is important to have more voices heard in imagining and shaping how and if data gets collected and used. Through my work with young people, I attempt to sow the seeds for such futures.

I received my doctorate from MIT in 2016, where I was a part of the Lifelong Kindergarten research group, and my work was centered around the Scratch programming language and online community. Before coming to UW as an assistant professor, I was an assistant professor at the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before that, I was a Moore-Sloan and WRF postdoctoral fellow with the eScience Institute at the University of Washington (UW. During this time, I was hosted by the Community Data Science Collective at the UW Department of Communication, and I was also affiliated with the Human-Centered Data Science Lab.

My research has received recognition and awards at several human-computer interaction conferences (CHI, CSCW, VL/HCC, IDC). In 2014, I was selected as a member of the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Education.


Peer-reviewed publications

  • How Interest-Driven Content Creation Shapes Opportunities for Informal Learning in Scratch: A Case Study on Novices’ Use of Data Structures

    Ruijia Cheng, Sayamindu Dasgupta, and Benjamin Mako Hill

    Honorable mention ACM CHI 2022 [ACM DL ]

  • The social embeddedness of peer production: A comparative qualitative analysis of three Indian language Wikipedia editions

    Sejal Khatri, Aaron Shaw, Sayamindu Dasgupta, and Benjamin Mako Hill

    Honorable mention ACM CHI 2022 [Pre-print] [ACM DL ]

  • Wikipedia Edit-a-thons as Sites of Public Pedagogy

    Laura March and Sayamindu Dasgupta

    Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction - CSCW 2020 [UNC Institutional Repository] [ACM DL]

  • Gender, Feedback, and Learners’ Decisions to Share Their Creative Computing Projects

    Emilia Gan, Benjamin Mako Hill, and Sayamindu Dasgupta

    Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction - CSCW 2018 [ACM DL ][Blog Post]

  • How “wide walls” can increase engagement: Evidence from a natural experiment in Scratch

    Sayamindu Dasgupta and Benjamin Mako Hill

    ACM CHI 2018 [ACM DL ][Blog Post]

  • Scratch Community Blocks: Supporting Children as Data Scientists

    Sayamindu Dasgupta and Benjamin Mako Hill

    Honorable mention ACM CHI 2017 [ACM DL ][Blog Post]

  • Youth Perspectives on Critical Data Literacies

    Samantha Hautea, Sayamindu Dasgupta, and Benjamin Mako Hill

    ACM CHI 2017 [ACM DL ][Blog Post]

  • Learning to Code in Localized Programming Languages

    Sayamindu Dasgupta and Benjamin Mako Hill

    ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale (L@S) 2017 [ACM DL][Blog Post]

  • Children’s Civic Engagement in the Scratch Online Community

    Ricarose Roque, Sayamindu Dasgupta, and Sasha Costanza-Chock

    Social Sciences. 2016; 5(4):55 [MDPI ]

  • Skill Progression in Scratch Revisited

    J. Nathan Matias, Sayamindu Dasgupta, and Benjamin Mako Hill

    ACM CHI 2016 [ACM DL ]

  • Remixing as a Pathway to Computational Thinking

    Sayamindu Dasgupta, William Hale, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, and Benjamin Mako Hill

    Honorable mention ACM CSCW 2016 [ACM DL ][Blog Post]

  • Extending Scratch: New Pathways into Programming

    Sayamindu Dasgupta, Shane M. Clements, Abdulrahman Y. idlbi, Chris Willis-Ford, and Mitchel Resnick

    Best short paper IEEE VL/HCC 2015 [pre-print PDF][IEEE DL]

  • Engaging Novices in Programming, Experimenting, and Learning with Data

    Sayamindu Dasgupta and Mitchel Resnick

    ACM Inroads (2014) [ACM DL]

  • Surveys, Collaborative Art, and Virtual Currencies: Children Programming with Online Data

    Sayamindu Dasgupta

    International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction (2014) [ScienceDirect]

    Extended version of IDC paper listed below.

  • From Surveys to Collaborative Art: Enabling Children to Program with Online Data

    Sayamindu Dasgupta

    IDC 2013 [ACM DL]

    Extended version invited and published in IJCCI as part of “IDC 2013 best papers” section.

  • Rope Revolution: Tangible and Gestural Rope Interface for Collaborative Play

    Lining Yao, Sayamindu Dasgupta, Nadia Cheng, Jason Spingarn-Koff, Ostap Rudakevych, and Hiroshi Ishii

    ACE 2011 [ACM DL]

Extended abstracts, posters, and workshop papers

  • Measuring Learning of Code Patterns in Informal Learning Environments

    Sayamindu Dasgupta and Benjamin Mako Hill

    Poster for the ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (2017) [ACM DL (abstract)] [Poster]

  • Learning With Data: Designing for Community Introspection and Exploration

    Sayamindu Dasgupta and Benjamin Mako Hill

    Position paper for Developing a Research Agenda for Human-Centered Data Science (a CSCW 2016 workshop). [PDF]

  • Block-based Programming with Scratch Community Data: A Position Paper

    Sayamindu Dasgupta

    Position paper for Blocks and Beyond: Lessons and Directions for First Programming Environments (a VL/HCC 2015 workshop). [IEEE DL]

  • RopePlus: Bridging Distances with Social and Kinesthetic Rope Games

    Lining Yao, Sayamindu Dasgupta, Nadia Cheng, Jason Spingarn-Koff, Ostap Rudakevych, and Hiroshi Ishii

    ACM CHI 2011 Extended Abstracts (alt-chi) [ACM DL]

  • Multi-jump: Jump Roping over Distances

    Lining Yao, Sayamindu Dasgupta, Nadia Cheng, Jason Spingarn-Koff, Ostap Rudakevych, and Hiroshi Ishii

    ACM CHI 2011 Extended Abstracts (CHI work-in-progress poster) [ACM DL]

  • Interactive Ebooks: Experiments on the OLPC XO-1 Book-reading System

    Sayamindu Dasgupta

    International Conference on Designing for Children - With focus on ‘Play + Learn’ (2010)

Book chapters

  • Engaging Learners in Constructing Constructionist Environments

    Sayamindu Dasgupta, Benjamin Mako Hill, and Andrés Monroy-Hernández

    In Designing Constructionist Futures: The Art, Theory, and Practice of Learning Designs. Edited by Nathan Holbert, Matthew Berland, and Yasmin Kafai. MIT Press. (2020) [MIT Press]


  • Children as Data Scientists: Explorations in Creating, Thinking, and Learning with Data

    PhD Thesis, MIT (2016)

  • Learning with Data: A Toolkit to Democratize the Computational Exploration of Data

    Masters Thesis, MIT (2012)


Programming for Information Professionals

Programming for Information Professionals (INLS 560) provides an introduction to computer programming focusing on language fundamentals and programming techniques for library and information science applications. With a focus on Python as a programming language, course content emphasizes problem-solving through the development of practical applications.

UNC Chapel Hill, Spring 2020
[Sample course syllabus]

Programming for Data Analysis

This course introduces basic programming and data science tools to give students the skills to use data to answer questions about local and online communities. Students in the class learn to write software in Python (using Jupyter notebooks) to collect data from public datasets and web APIs and process that data to produce numbers, tables, and graphical visualizations that answer questions that they are interested in.

UNC Chapel Hill, Spring 2020
[Sample course syllabus]

Designing for Creative Learning

This course examined theories of learning and design to identify best practices and strategies that support personally meaningful creative learning experiences for young people in a variety of settings. The material in the course covered foundational theories of creativity and learning, their design implications, as well as emergent creative learning technologies and environments (e.g., online communities, makerspaces). Additionally,a focus area of the course was on equity and inclusion—students were be encouraged to think about who gets to participate in certain types of creative learning experiences, and who gets left out.

UNC Chapel Hill, Fall 2019
[Course website]

Foundations of Information Science

Foundations of Information Science (INLS 201) is an undergraduate level course at UNC where students examine the conceptual and technical foundations of representing, organizing, retrieving, and using information. Additionally, the interplay between the conceptual and technical foundations of information is examined critically to understand the implications of information use in our day to day and societal lives. This course is a requirement for students at UNC who wish to major in Information Science, or are minoring in Information Science.

UNC Chapel Hill, Fall 2018; Spring 2019; Fall 2019
[Sample course syllabus]

Unpacking Impact: Reflecting As We Make

In this course, we took a reflective and critical look into the wider implications of technologies in society, developing intentional awareness on those implications in our design, making, and research. I co-designed and co-taught this course along with two other PhD students at the Media Lab—Ricarose Roque and J. Nathan Matias.

MIT, Fall 2015
[Course website][Reflection blog post]

Learning Creative Learning

Learning Creative Learning was an introduction to ideas and strategies underlying the design of new technologies to support creative learning experiences, with special focus on technologies from our Lifelong Kindergarten research group. This course was taught by Mitchel Resnick, Natalie Rusk, and Philipp Schmidt. I was a teaching assistant in this course.

MIT, Spring 2013
[Course website]


The best way to contact me is over email. I’m not very good about monitoring my social media accounts, so Twitter DMs, Facebook messages, LinkedIn messages, etc. are most likely to go unanswered.