AccessComputing Student Profile: Alison Kim

Alison Kim Headshot

My name is Alison Kim (they/she), and I am a current junior at Swarthmore College, a liberal arts college near Philadelphia, studying computer science, science technology studies (STS), educational studies, and religion. This past spring semester, I had the fortunate opportunity to design a curriculum with Professor Edwin Mayorga from the Educational Studies Department about the introductory principles of science technology studies. The curriculum covers a myriad of subjects, ranging from tech colonialism, technofeminism, tech orientalism, and more. This semester, I am teaching a course from the curriculum that I constructed called the Critical Theory of Technology with student facilitator Sidhika Tripathee, supervised by Professor Kevin Webb from the Computer Science Department. This course, officially registered through the Computer Science Department, is a seminar-style course that holds 12 students—some with computer science backgrounds, some without.
Furthermore, because of the transient nature of the student-led course, I have also been working on an STS website, one that features different modules within STS and showcases a narrative-style introduction to canonical readings, available courses at Swarthmore regarding each specific topic, Swarthmore faculty who specialize in these fields, and external resources. This initiative is originally aimed for students in computer science to reexamine their relationship with their work and critically explore the societal implications of their attributions to the tech industry. By encouraging students to become autodidacts and take charge of their own educational trajectories, both the course and the website embody the true essence of a liberal arts education.
Through designing and implementing curriculums related to computer science, I believe that it is an apt starting point for following my dreams of becoming a computer science professor and revolutionizing the computer science pedagogy offered in undergraduate institutions.
For all inquiries about my work, please feel free to contact me at