Computing and Stories Banner, upside down cartoon creatures and symbols get turned upright by smiling computers

Computing & Stories

We are excited to announce the first Computing and Stories Summit at the School for Poetic Computation, co-organized by Linda Liukas and Taeyoon Choi, featuring Amy Wibowo, Jie Qi, Jenna Register, and Natalie Freed. We’d like to invite the wider community to explore following questions through workshops and presentations:

How can we illustrate complex technical concepts through playful and inviting visuals? How can we contribute to a culture of engineering and science that’s respectful and inviting to women, people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community? How can we use storytelling as a vehicle to bring change to the unequal and unethical systems around technology? How can we create stories that reveal these complex questions through engaging narrative?

Check out our interview to find out more about us.


Computing & Stories is a collective of artists and engineers who love to write and draw about computers. We are passionate about making computing more accessible and inclusive through comics, zines, children’s books, kits and workshops.

Linda Liukas (Co-organizer)

Linda is the author and illustrator of Hello Ruby, a children’s picture book about the whimsical world of computers, as well as the founder of Rails Girls, a global movement to teach young women programming in over 260 cities. She loves Muji, Zelda Fitzgerald, software and sparkly things. Currently, she is a TED Resident in New York.

Taeyoon Choi (Co-organizer)

Taeyoon Choi is an artist and educator based in New York and Seoul. His art practice involves performance, electronics, drawings, and installations that often leads to storytelling in public spaces. His projects were presented at the Whitney Museum and LACMA. Choi co-founded the School for Poetic Computation where he continues to organize sessions and teach classes on electronics, drawings and social practice. Recently, he’s been focusing on unlearning the wall of disability and normalcy, and enhancing accessibility and inclusion within art and technology.

Amy Wibowo (Presenter)

Amy is a technologist/artist who cares about STEM and STEAM education and making the world better through human-centric design and technology. She is the founder of Bubblesort Zines—zines that explain computer science concepts via drawings and stories. Previously, she was a web developer at Airbnb, machine learning researcher at Honda Research Institute in Japan and HCI researcher at the University of Tokyo.

Jie Qi (Presenter)

Jie Qi is an artist, engineer and designer who blends paper craft and storytelling with electronics and programming. She holds a PhD from the MIT Media Lab and a BS in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. Jie is cofounder and creative director of Chibitronics, which produces friendly toolkits for learning and making electronics using paper craft.

Jenna Register (Presenter)

Jenna graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in Cognitive Science (studying animal and machine intelligence). She is currently the Lab Manager at the Computation and Language Lab at the University of Rochester. Jenna uses machine learning, in her words “…to learn… about learning!” She’s a cognitive scientist whose life passion is to communicate difficult programming concepts to marginalized communities. She’s a researcher with big dreams; mostly to help engage learners in seemingly impossible STEM problems. Jenna loves honeybees, combinatory logic, artificial intelligence, and building educational games.

Natalie Freed (Presenter)

Natalie Freed is a maker and teacher based in Berkeley, CA. She holds an M.S. in Computer Science from Arizona State University and an M.S. in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab. She currently teaches computer science and digital fabrication at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco, electronics at Autodesk Pier 9, and collaborates with NEXMAP on creative curriculum. Some recurring obsessions include books in all forms, miniaturized things, interesting materials, CAD-with-code, and making math and computer science concepts more physical and crafty.

Natalia Cabrera (Assistant Organizer)

Natalia is a Chilean filmmaker media artist and creative technologist specializing in interactive narratives. Her projects primarily deal with immersive documentary experiences that address social and environmental issues. She is also a graduate from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and a scholar from the Chilean National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research. She is co-founder of Chilean Art+Tech project Coded, Escuela de Artes y Oficios Electronicos.


Session 1:

Toys to Think With by Linda Liukas

This workshop is inspired by Seymour Papert’s ideas. We will explore both digital and physical toys to help us think through bigger questions. Bring your ideas about toys that you like and toys you want to think with. No technical skills necessary to participate in the workshop.

Bookbinding and the Math behind it by Natalie Freed

This workshop is an introduction to Asian Stab Bookbinding and Graph Theory Math. We will learn how to stitch our own books with any kind of spine pattern you can think of using math. Bring some patterns inspiration to make them into your very own handmade book. Materials will be provided.

Handmade Computer by Taeyoon Choi

What if we hand make our computers? Participants will learn to use breadboard, switch, LED and NAND (which is short for not AND logic) Integrated Circuit chips. By combining NAND gates in various arrangements we will make every possible binary logic pattern. We will make Half-Adder which has an arithmetic function that performs Boolean algebra. This workshop is geared for someone without prior experience.

Session 2:

Friendly Introduction to A.I. by Jenna Register

This workshop is for anyone who’s interested in Artificial Intelligence. We will learn about the fundamental concepts and terms such as Search, Constraint Satisfaction, Classification, and Inference. We will explore the topic through fun activities, discussions with a focus in storytelling.

Zines as a Friendly Introduction to Complex Concepts, by Amy Wibowo

This workshop centers on hands-on zine making activities. We will explore the possibilities of zines; characters, stories, and diagrams to tell complex computer science concepts. We will focus on making zines friendly and inclusive for a community that is often left outside of the engineering world. Tools and materials will be provided.

Storytelling with Paper Circuit Posters by Jie Qi

In this workshop, we will start from simple paper circuits with copper tape and circuit sticker LEDs and move on to making an interactive poster using a pre-programmed microcontroller board. Bring ideas and short stories to add! Materials will be provided.

*Registered participants will be able to sign up for two workshops, one in each session.


June 1st, 2017 At the School for Poetic Computation, 155 Bank Street, NYC.

Noon - 1:00 Workshop session 1
1:00 - 1:15 Break
1:15 - 2:15 Workshop session 2
2:15 - 3pm Coffee Break / General Admission

3:00 - 4:15 Presentation session 1
4:15 - 4:30 Break
4:30 - 5:30 Presentation session 2
5:30 - 6:00 Break / Participatory experience

6 - 7 Keynote presentation
7 - 8 Soapbox session
8 - 9 Afterparty :)

*Schedule has been updated since the initial announcement.

*SFPC is located on the ground floor and accessible by wheelchair. If you have any accessibility requests, sign language interpretation or other inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact


Register on Eventbrite

General Admission: $100

This ticket will give you access to presentations from 3 pm and After Party.

General Admission + Workshop: $200

This ticket is for an intimate workshop session with the presenters that begin at 12pm. This ticket also gives access to presentations and After Party.

Limited numbers of student tickets are available at 50% discount.

* We are thankful to our sponsors including SFPC, Hello Ruby , The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Paul Ford and Processing Foundation. We are actively looking for sponsors. Please contact if you are interested in supporting this event