Virtual Technology and Design Professor Involved in Amazon-Funded Project to Design Visual World, Increase Number of Women in Engineering
September 13, 2019
Jean-Marc Gauthier, associate professor in the College of Art and Architecture's Virtual Technology and Design Program, is part of a team recently awarded a grant from multinational tech giant Amazon to develop a virtual world that encourages women to pursue traditionally male-dominated engineering fields.
The grant was awarded by Amazon Catalyst, a program launched by Amazon.com in partnership with the University of Washington and Washington State University (WSU), to fund innovative projects at universities that make positive impacts on the world. WSU Sociology Professor and Principal Investigator Julie Kmec was awarded the grant and formed "Team Cross-Cultural Optics," which includes Gauthier, along with additional faculty and students from WSU, Purdue University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Gauthier will help develop a virtual world that allows U.S.-based female engineers to "visualize social interactions" and experience the workplace environments of countries with higher levels of women in engineering, he said. The visual world will include narratives from engineers across the globe so women can learn from their experiences and work toward solving the gender gap in the engineering industry.
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