Susan Reiser works at the intersection of computer science and art, developing software and creating tangible forms. One large and exciting project she worked on is an animatronic sculpture fabricated at UNC Asheville’s STEAM Studio and installed at Times Square. The figurehead design was the student project in a Mechatronics capstone class co-taught with Professor Emeritus Rebecca Bruce. The students were also mentored by Sara Sanders, Linnea Linton, and Brent Skidmore. The entire sculpture was designed and constructed by students, faculty, and staff, under the art direction of Mel Chin. Susan teaches STEAM (STEM + Art) courses at UNC Asheville in the Departments of Computer Science, New Media, and Mechatronics; collaborates and teaches workshops and an introductory computer science course at Cherokee High School using culturally-relevant projects, and creates data materializations with Texas A&M’s Courtney Starrett.
Susan’s interests and publications are in 3D computer graphics, tangible computing, and computing in the arts. She thoroughly enjoys the creativity inherent in human-centered design and fabrication, and tries to convey that to her students. Before teaching at UNC Asheville, she worked in industry as a software developer and principal engineer. In addition to corporate work, she developed visualization applications for Duke’s Electrophysiology Lab.