About CET

    The Center for Expressive Tech (CET) is an award-winning research and teaching center housed in Cal Poly's College of Liberal Arts. The primary goal of the CET is to promote critical and creative engagements with new and emerging technologies. The CET conducts social studies of technology in the tradition of science and technology studies (STS) as well as carries out a range of basic and applied research projects involving the design of interactive and ambient computing environments. The CET also facilitates groundbreaking research on the expressive potential of technology, with a current focus on explanatory artificial intelligence (XAI).


    • March 2018: New CET research will be presented at the 13th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction (HRI 2018).

    • Dec. 2017: The CET's XAI working group is meeting this month. Contact Brian Beaton for more details.

    • Oct. 2017: The CET's XAI working group is meeting this month. Contact Brian Beaton for more details.

    • Sept. 2017: CET Director Brian Beaton has a new book chapter coming out as part of the running series Dynamics of Virtual Work (Palgrave).

    • June 2017: CET Director Brian Beaton is co-chairing the HICSS-51 minitrack on Critical and Ethical Studies of Digital and Social Media. Deadline for paper submissions: June 15, 2017.

    • May 2017: CET researcher Charmaine Farber's "Grid Structure" mobile app received an award from Cal Poly's Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (RSCA) Grant Program.

    • Jan. 2017: "Debating Data Science," a roundtable organized by CET Director Brian Beaton, is being published in a special Science, Technology and Society (STS) issue of RHR (January 2017). 

    • Jan. 2017: CET researcher David Askay is presenting new work on crowd-based platforms at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-50). 

    • Jan. 2017: New CET research on creative uses of mobile devices will be presented at HICSS-50. The work was a collaboration between CET and Amelia Acker (U. Texas). The work has been nominated for the 2017 Best Paper Prize. 

    • July 2016: The Center for Expressive Tech has been awarded a federal research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its work on the social facets and creative potential of data science.

    • July 2016: CET Director Brian Beaton has new research being published in Information & Culture (Vol. 51, no. 3) on data science and the emerging field of data criticism. 

    • Jan. 2016: Cal Poly student Nick Ramon (a senior in the College of Business) is working with CET during the 2016 winter quarter on a project about expressing spatial data in new and creative ways. 

    • Jan. 2016: New CET research on software updates, which was conducted with Amelia Acker (U. Pittsburgh), is being presented at HICSS-49 as part of the Digital and Social Media track.

    • Oct. 2015: CET Director Brian Beaton has a new article being published in Persona Studies (Vol. 1.2: 31-41) that looks at personal expression among petroleum geologists. The work began as a background study for a new design project. 

    • Oct. 2015: Students in James Werner's "Art Theory and Practice" course (ART 203) are collaborating with CET on concept work for Lockheed Martin's Ethics Group.

    • Sept. 2015: CET Director Brian Beaton has a new article being published on open innovation platforms and crowdsourced app design. See MediaTropes 5(1): 105-124.

    Campus Events

    • March 2018: CET is co-sponsoring a public lecture by Paul N. Edwards (U. Michigan & Stanford) on March 15.

    • June 2017: CET is helping to design the California Cyber Innovation Challenge (CCIC), an initiative sponsored by the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.

    • May 2017: CET is co-sponsoring a public talk by Tania Munz, author of The Dancing Bees (U. Chicago Press): May 2, 6pm, Baker Center, Room 102. 

    • April 2017: CET is co-sponsoring a public talk by Jenny Reardon (UC Santa Cruz): April 10, 4pm, Advanced Technology Labs (Bldg. 7). 

    • Jan. 2017: CET is co-sponsoring a public talk by David Serlin (UCSD): Jan. 26, 6pm, Bldg. 26, Room 103. 

    • Jan. 2017: CET researcher Charmaine Farber is organizing Cal Poly's annual hackathon: Jan 13-14. This year's focus: apps, augmented reality, and the internet of things. 

    • Nov. 2016: CET is sponsoring a public talk by Katie Shilton (University of Maryland) as part of the "Social Facets of Data Science" NSF Workshop (Nov. 10, Bldg. 35, 2pm). ​

    • Nov. 2016: CET is sponsoring a public talk by filmmaker Rachel Mayeri (Harvey Mudd College) as part of the "Social Facets of Data Science" NSF workshop (Nov. 10, Bldg. 35, 3pm). ​

    • May 2016: CET is co-sponsoring a public lecture by Daniela Rosner from the Human Centered Design and Engineering program at the University of Washington (May 16th). 

    • Feb. 2016: CET Director Brian Beaton is participating in the Conversations with Cal Poly Authors series (Feb. 19) to debate a new book by Jennifer Denbow (College of Liberal Arts) that focuses on the politics of technology.

    • Feb. 2016: CET Director Brian Beaton is giving a student-focused talk on "Data Visualization & Digital Storytelling" as part of the Emerging Markets series, Feb. 9.

    • Jan. 2015: CET is sponsoring two prizes at Cal Poly's Design & Dev Hackathon.

    Project Support

    • Jan. 2018: CET researchers Charmaine Farber and David Askay are helping to coordinate Camp Polyhacks at the SLO HotHouse.

    • June 2017: CET Intern Christian Salyer is working with CET Visiting Artist David Minor on a new project about robotics and dance. 

    • Nov. 2016: CET researcher David Askay is working with the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to co-develop a course on "Solving Big World Problems."

    • Nov. 2016: The Center for Expressive Tech is collaborating with the California Cyber Training Complex (CCTC) to research and  design new kinds of interactive simulations and immersive environments, along with new approaches to STEM learning.

    • March 2016: CET is helping Leah Horner (College of Liberal Arts), a senior in the Journalism Department, explore new approaches to reporting using immersive media technologies.

    • March 2016: CET is working with Cal Poly's Kennedy Library on a project about augmented research practices in special collections.​​​​ 

    • Sept. 2015: CET is funding research by Zoe Wood (College of Engineering) and Zahra Alghoul (College of Science and Mathematics) to develop a set of animations that express key ideas from the field of chemistry.

    • Sept. 2015: CET is funding Coleen Carrigan and Dawn Neill (College of Liberal Arts) to carry out anthropological research on the U.S. maker movement.

    • Sept. 2015: CET is funding a team of faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts to explore digital storytelling tools and filmmaking techniques in the Federated States of Micronesia.

    • Jan. 2015: CET is helping to fund the Re/Collecting Project, which uses digital tools to document under-represented communities on California's Central Coast. The project is directed by Grace Yeh (College of Liberal Arts). 



    Beyond Poly

    • Aug. 2017: CET researcher Charmaine Farber published a new paper in The International Journal of the Image (Vol. 8). 

    • July 2017: CET researcher Charmaine Farber gave a design typography course at CETYS Universidad in Baja California (BC), Mexico. 

    • July 2017: Digital Culture & Society is soliciting research papers for a special issue on "Rethinking Artificial Intelligence."

    • June 2017: The latest issue of Digital Culture & Society (Vol. 3, Issue 1) is now out. The focus is on Making and Hacking. CET Director Brian Beaton serves on the journal's editorial board. 

    • June 2017: CET Director Brian Beaton will be the featured speaker at the 2017 Littleton Seminar at NC State. Beaton will be speaking about creative approaches to cybersecurity. 

    • May 2017: CET Director Brian Beaton is giving a public lecture at KAIST on emerging trends in scientific lab design and the benchside effects of IT policy. May 14, 2017.

    • April 2017: CET Director Brian Beaton is speaking at the Central Coast Technology Alliance (Softec) TechBrew: April 10, 2017.

    • March 2017: CET researcher Charmaine Farber is giving a paper at the 13th International Conference on Technology, Knowledge, and Society at the University of Toronto. 

    • Jan. 2017: CET researcher David Askay is participating in the Data & Society Workshop on "Work, Labor, and Automation" in New York City. 

    • Dec. 2016: CET Director Brian Beaton is featured in the latest issue of the EASST Review (Vol. 35, No. 4), which is published by the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology. The article is titled "Data Practice, Data Science."

    • Aug. 2016: CET Director Brian Beaton is chairing a panel at the 2016 4S/EASST Conference (Barcelona, Spain) on how to creatively engage with data science and how to potentially make data science more creative. 

    • May 2016: CET Director Brian Beaton is speaking about new and emerging creative fields at the "Technologies of Digital Work" PhD Training School in Dubrovnik, Croatia.​​

    • March 2016: The latest issue of Digital Culture & Society (Vol. 2, Issue 1) is now available online. CET Director Brian Beaton is on the editorial board for the journal, which is based in Germany.​

    • Dec. 2015: CET Director Brian Beaton is serving in Washington D.C. on a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) panel, as part of a digital projects competition.

    • Nov. 2015: CET Director Brian Beaton is chairing a panel at the 2015 4S conference (Denver, CO) on how to creatively engage with data science.

    • March 2015: CET is sponsoring the premiere of a documentaty at the 2015 SLO International FIlm Festival on creative transformations in American eating habits and the agriculture industry.