Geetanjali Date

Research Scholar, HBCSE


I am an advanced doctoral student at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, T.I.F.R. Mumbai, India. I have a Masters in Communication Studies and a Bachelors in Electronics Science, with 18 years of work experience in media and software industries. My thesis work is about socially-engaged engineering education with a focus on design of equitable, sustainable, and appropriate technologies for development. My research area is understanding the design processes and thinking of 'grassroots designers' (formal and mostly non-formal practitioners who design engineering solutions to address the needs of the 'base of the pyramid' sections of the society). Specifically I am characterizing the design thinking in the domain of micro hydro power systems.

I have data in the form of interviews, artifact (design) histories, photos, and secondary data. At the Learning Sciences Research group, Harshit Agrawal and I have also developed a web-based simulation of Micro hydro power system, as a novel probe for design data collection in this context. We analyze the data, by tracing the historical trajectory of artifact design changes, in order to understand the interaction of need, problem context, and various kinds of technical knowledge in such designing.

The educational objective is to bring insights from this analysis to engineering curricula / pedagogy using integrated case studies, such that undergraduate engineering students are better trained at innovating for socially relevant problems. The learning sciences objective is to understand the role of formal and non-formal knowledge in designing technological solutions.

Research Areas

Engineering design education, engineering studies, design cognition

Refereed conference papers
  • Date, G. R., & Chandrasekharan, S. (2016). The Socio-Technical Connection is Plastic, but Only When Design Starts from Need Formulation. Proceedings of the 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27019.
  • Date, G., Chandrasekharan. S. (2014). Beyond interfaces: Understanding the process of designing grassroots technologies, to develop sustainability case studies for engineering education. Proceedings of the 6th IEEE International Conference on Technology for Education, Kerala, India. DOI 10.1109/T4E.2014.16
  • Chandrasekharan, S., Date, G., Pande, P., Rahaman, J., Shaikh, R., Srivastava, A., Srivastava, N., Agrawal, H. (2015). Eye to I: Males Recognize Own Eye Movements, Females Inhibit Recognition. Proceedings of the 37th Annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Pasadena, USA.
Refereed conference abstracts
  • Date, G. (2016). Learning from grassroots innovation: Case studies for a socially engaged engineering education. Poster presented at the ASEE Engineering Education Graduate Research Consortium, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
  • Date, G. & Chandrasekharan, S. (2016). Teaching for socially-engaged engineering and innovation: a case study of grassroots design. Paper presented at the Second Graduate Seminar, School of Public Policy & Governance, TISS, Hyderabad, India.
  • Date, G., Chandrasekharan. S. (2015). Characterising the grassroots innovation process, to develop value-driven case studies for engineering pedagogy. Abstract book of the 3rd International Conference on Creativity and Innovations at Grassroots, Ahmedabad, India.

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