Kayla DesPortes

Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interactions

Kayla DesPortes


Kayla DesPortes is an Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interaction and the Learning Sciences at NYU Steinhardt in the Department of Administration Leadership and Technology. Prior to her appointment she gained a Bachelor's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University, and a PhD in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Kayla’s research focuses on understanding how to create dynamic, interdisciplinary physical computing environments that stimulate students to use computing as a medium for expression as they learn the fundamentals of computing and electronics. Her work investigates the design of equitable and inclusive learning activities that integrate participatory design methods to scaffold reflections and discussions around culture and values in the context of computing. Within these investigations she also explores the design choices embedded in the educational tools for physical computing. Examining the tools for their potential to support learning, collaboration, and integration with different artistic disciplines, Kayla’s work builds an understanding of how tools can contribute and detract from the ability to promote diverse values in educational computing contexts.

Kayla has received recognition for her work, earning her a Foley Scholarship and a Graduate Engineering Minority (GEM) PhD Engineering Fellowship for her research in equity in computing education at Georgia Tech. Furthermore, her work exploring commercialization of the design of equitable educational technology has led to acquisition of National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps (I-Corps) Grant and Georgia Tech’s Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER) Fellowship.