Jerry Alan Fails is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. His general area of research is Human-Computer Interaction, with a current focus on technologies that support children’s creativity, mobility, and collaboration. The primary goals of Dr. Fails current research is to leverage technology to encourage children to engage with their environment and with one another (two things technology is blamed for doing the exact opposite), and to engaging children in generative activities as opposed to consumer oriented activities. As part of this, Dr. Fails leads a collaborative effort Geotagger which enables children to make and share environmental observations.
As part of his research he directs an intergenerational design team called Kidsteam. The team consists of young children and adults who work together as partners to improve and design new technologies. Previously he founded a Kidsteam in New Jersey at Montclair State University. He received his Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland in 2009, where he was an active member of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) for six years while working with Dr. Allison Druin and with the Kidsteam there. In 2003, he received his MS in Computer Science from Brigham Young University where he worked with Dr. Dan Olsen Jr. on perceptual user interfaces.