My teaching goals are to help students see as political that which they previously did not, identify how politics impacts their lives directly, and identify and question naturalized discourses, all while promoting marginalized voices in both the classroom setting and the course content.

Office Hours

5408 Sage LaborAtories

During the school year, Dr. Tyrol has drop-in face-to-face office hours (see below). She is also available to meet by appointment – virtually or face-to-face – at these times and others. Please email to schedule appointments.

Summer 2024:
By Appointment

Selected Courses

Understanding Technological Society

We live in an exciting era of technological innovation and accessibility. Yet many people in the world don’t have access to the benefits of cutting edge science and technology, and even with those benefits, myriad problems still face humanity: disease, physical ailments, safety hazards, mental health problems, and loneliness & alienation all take their toll on each individual on the planet.

The discipline of Science and Technology Studies attempts to look critically at the broad impact of science and technology on the world. It asks what the human costs of research and development are and what the human impact is on that research and development. Science does not exist in an isolated bubble, it is both informed by and informs the society in which it is being done.

This course investigates different ways of defining and doing science, the historical and political significance of various technologies, and the deeper meaning of abstract notions like “truth” and “goodness”. Students are tasked with developing a greater appreciation and understanding of the many different perspectives that are brought to bear on scientific and technological decision-making and to begin envisioning a more diverse range of possibilities for future technoscientific design and innovation.


Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind

What does it mean for a machine to know? What does this say about the possibility of human knowledge? In this course, we will explore what artificial intelligence (or, AI) is, how it works, how the field has developed, how the specific technical implementations of AI influence and are influenced by sociocultural factors, what barriers exist to AI research, what threats AI development may pose, and what AI can tell us about ourselves.

This is not a programming course, and although some attention will be paid to AI technologies and algorithms, no coding will be involved. This course is appropriate for students at any level of previous AI experience.


Video Game Psychology

There are many questions one can ask about video games: How does one make video games? How can we evaluate the quality of a video game? How can video games be used to improve health and ability levels?

In this class, we look at just two such questions:

  • What happens in our minds when we play video games?
    What facets of our psyches are revealed through gameplay?

Virtual environments – because they are leaner mediums than RL, allow for programmatic and precise control, and can effectively replicate certain aspects of the human experience – are ideal settings for study of the human psyche. For this class, they may also give you a level of detachment from the regular judgements, habits, and assumptions that prevent you from observing your own psyche.



This course discusses how the basic tenets of psychology change (or don’t) in online interactions and with exposure to online environments. Students design and complete a project over the course course of the semester using psychology and qualitative social science research methods to analyze and understand actual online social groups and interactions.

Student Links


Intro to Sociology

Sociology uses qualitative and quantitative methods to help us understood how human behavior and how it results in various social structures. My goals in teaching this class are to provide students an understanding of the major areas of sociological scholarly inquiry and to help them to connect those inquiries to their own lived experiences. Weather permitting, students also conduct practice field work excursions during class time in order to try out the tools of sociological inquiry for themselves.


Storytelling for Videogames

Like the screen, stage, and novel before them, videogames have introduced new possibilities for storytelling – new mechanics and new modes of engagement for audiences. This class discusses traditional storytelling tools and how they can be adapted to take advantage of these new possibilities, and then presents students with some novel tools for storytelling in videogames.


Medicine, Culture & Society

Like all of science and technology, medicine doesn’t have to work the way it does; it doesn’t have to be structured the way it is. This course presents some of the historical influences that have produced the healthcare arena as it stands today, outlines how seemingly “natural” facets of the practice of medicine are, in fact, socially constructed, and challenges students to envision alternative structures for health practices, knowledge of disease and healthcare, and the institution of medicine.