Laura Tomokiyo

Clinical Assistant Professor
Falk Laboratory School
School of Education
University of Pittsburgh

tomokiyo - at - pitt - dot - edu

Research Interests

Computer Science Curriculum
At the University of Pittsburgh Falk Laboratory School, I focus on development and implementation of comprehensive computing curriculum for grades K-8. Although computer science education is increasingly available at the high school level, these opportunities are often self-selected. What in a child's early education puts them on this pathway? I am principally interested in the years before high school, when disparities in identity - who "belongs" in the computer science classroom - can be addressed.

Language Technologies
I have a long involvement in spoken language technologies, spanning the breadth of the field from phonetics and sociolinguistic issues in human speech and automatic speech recognition (ASR) to machine translation, text learning, text-to-speech synthesis, and dialogue systems. Currently, I co-teach the long-standing Seminar on Endangered Languages at Carnegie Mellon University.

Cultural Documentation and Intercultural Dialogue
Through my involvement with UNESCO-IBE and the
Gigapan project, I have been privileged to work with communities around the world to document language and cultural practices, and offer a platform for dialogue around hyperlocal issues that often turn out to be universal. The image below is one of my favorites - while a "mistake" from a photographic standpoint, the goggle effect serves as a metaphor for looking deeply. The instruments in this image sparked a discussion around sustainability - of great interest to young people around the world but with a different level of urgency to these youth from north Alaska, where human life depends on understanding and stewardship of the local environment.

publications | vita