Hi, I'm Dr. Megan Levis!
I'm a postdoctoral fellow with Notre Dame's Technology Ethics Center and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. I recently finished my Ph.D. in bioengineering (July 2021) here at Notre Dame. I studied the development of organs and associated chemical/mechanical signaling. I built biomicrofluidics, validated multi-scale models of morphogenesis, and poked a lot of fruit flies. While working in the lab on my Ph.D., I couldn't help but wonder how the biological tools I was developing would be used, and how that use might impact society. That led me to my postdoc in tech ethics, which involves thinking deeply about the social and philosophical dimensions of technologies.
I developed this course after my First-Year Engineering students (and lab mentees) asked repeatedly how they could engineer for the good.
Within "Technology, Self, and Society”, we will engage with ethics involving the personal and social dimensions of engineering work. In particular, we will use the lens of computational engineering as it enters biotech spaces to examine larger ethical debates. As advances in technology continue to reshape the human experience, we will use our engineering expertise to engage long-standing ethics questions and raise new ones.
I have called South Bend home for the past six years with my rescue fish named Fishawaka (yes, you read that right). If you ask me about organoids, microfluidics, or Lake Michigan, I might never stop talking. I'm excited to spend time thinking about engineering, technology, and ethics with you this semester!
Hey, I’m Nat Todaro!
I’ll be the Head Student Assistant forTech, Self, and Society this semester! I'm a Senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering, originally from Tullahoma, TN. I serve as the Engineering Career Counselor Assistant and as an Office of Military and Veterans Affairs Intern. My friends and I also founded the Aviation Association of Notre Dame, and I’m the Howard Hall (now off-campus) Flag Football Captain. Be sure to ask me about any or all of these clubs and resources if you’re interested!
I took Tech, Self, and Society in its inaugural semester during Spring 2022, and absolutely loved the class. The ethical dilemmas and their corresponding readings Dr. Levis has chosen to center this course around are all incredibly relevant to our world and what we may encounter as future engineers. I found that the conversations held in class were never confined to the 75 minutes scheduled for them - they seeped into many interactions during my weeks I was enrolled, and I hope they have the same effect on you.
Post-grad, I will be moving to Wentzville, MO to work as a Manufacturing Engineer for General Motors. This was hardly on the radar when I took this class, yet I find myself facing the same questions I did then. Autonomous driving and robots replacing humans are just some of the conflicts that continue to run through my head daily, which makes me all the more excited to be able to re-enter these conversations with you all. This is almost certainly unlike any engineering class you’ve taken before, and you will get out what you put in!
Hey, I’m Mike Calcagni!
I will be the Student Assistant for Perusall and Peer Dialogue this semester. I'm a Senior majoring in Computer Science, and I am originally from Yardley, Pennsylvania, which is just outside Philadelphia. Although I am now off-campus, I lived in Keough Hall for my first three years – Roll Roos! I am a big fan of Philly sports and I enjoy working out, playing tennis, and hiking in my free time. On campus, I am primarily involved in the First Aid Services Team, which is a medical volunteer organization (you might see us wearing the red shirts and radios at sporting events).
I took Tech, Self, and Society during Fall 2022 and really enjoyed the collaborative nature of the class. The reading and videos led to some interesting discussions, and I found the opening portion of the class, “Tech In the News”, to be a great way to better understand and keep up with current engineering issues. These conversations in class and in our peer dialogue groups almost always exceeded their allotted time because of the variety of perspectives that students of different engineering backgrounds had to offer.
After graduation, I plan on attending medical school and using my background in Computer Science to create new innovations in healthcare. Coming into this course, I had many concerns surrounding the ethics of controversial medical technologies as well as data privacy. What I found was a much more hopeful outlook on the future, as I learned about the incredible lengths many scientists and engineers are taking to make modern medicine, like gene therapies and medical data sharing, as ethical as possible. I hope you can find your own inspiration in this course to be better engineers, and I look forward to hearing your perspectives on these issues in our discussions.
Hi everyone, I’m Ben!
I am a pre-med senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Bioengineering. I am originally from southern California but now live in Dunne Hall and am the RA for 3S, or as we call it the Southside. On campus, I am involved with Enable ND a club that makes low-cost prosthetic and assistive technologies for users as well as the Matriculate Notre Dame cohort which is a nonprofit organization that pairs low-income high-achieving high school students with college students to help guide them through their college applications. Additionally, I participate in undergraduate research in Professor Glen Niebur’s lab which focuses on bone mechanobiology. After graduation, I am taking a gap-year while applying to medical school with the plan of one day becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
I am excited to TA for Tech, Self, and Society as I absolutely loved the class when I took it last semester. The conversations in and outside of class were captivating and relevant to what is going on in the real world and to the problems we might face in our future careers. I look forward to being a resource for you as you take this class and please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have :)