In the winter of 2016, David Chesney was approached with a unique challenge: help a current University of Michigan undergraduate student who is severely disabled adapt to his environment and learn as his classmates do.
Chesney, a lecturer in electrical engineering and computer science, has been teaching EECS 481 (listed as EECS 498 in fall 2017) for nearly a decade. The course is funded by a grant from the Mott Golf Classic and challenges students to utilize rapidly developing technology like motion sensors and augmented reality headsets donated by the Microsoft Corporation to help “clients” with unique physical and cognitive challenges.
“It’s a very unique relationship,” Chesney said. “Software developers want to build the thing they can sell to a million or 10 million people, but working with a single person with very unique user needs, it flips the students upside down a bit.”