I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Learning Sciences in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.

My research focuses on how to design computational learning environments with queer and trans experiences at the forefront that support critical conversations on gender and sexuality and understandings of interconnections with systemic issues of marginalization, injustice, and social change. I explore computing at the intersections of critical theory, queer and trans theories, virtual reality, complexity, STEM education, and interactive art. Using this approach, I design immersive learning environments to engage in-service and pre-service teachers, as well as members of the broader public in critical conversations about socio-political-scientific issues.  My designs involve interactive and immersive computer simulations that integrate narrative storytelling with coding, computing, and digital art. I study experiences of participants in these environments across various time scales, including how to support and deepen their engagement over long periods of time (e.g., over a few months). My work has been shown at public art and science exhibits and online installations, and in facilitated workshops with students, teachers, and community members, both in Canada and in the US.

Research interests:

Critical Theory

Virtual Reality

Computational Modeling and Simulations

Computing Education

Gender and Sexuality Studies

Complexity Theories

Digital Art

Public Computing

Selected publications and presentations:

Paré, D. (2021). “A Critical Review and New Directions for Queering Computing and Computing Education.” In George Noblit (Ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford University Press.
Post-print version available at

Paré, D., Windsor, S., & Craig, J. (2021). Mementorium: Designing for playful and interactive learning about gender and sexuality-based marginalization. Paper presented at the ACM SIGGRAPH 2021 Immersive Pavilion, Virtual Event, USA.

Paré, D., Shanahan, M-C. & Sengupta, P. (2020). Queering Complexity Using Multi-Agent Simulations. In M. Gresalfi & L. Horn (Eds.), Interdisciplinarity in the Learning Sciences, 14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS), (pp. 1397-1404). International Society of the Learning Sciences. Nominated for Best Student Paper at the 2020 International Conference of the Learning Sciences.

Paré, D., Sengupta, P., Windsor, S., Craig, J., & Thompson, M. (2019). Queering virtual reality: A prolegomenon. In Sengupta, P., Shanahan, M-C., & Kim, B. (Eds). Critical, transdisciplinary and embodied approaches in STEM education. (pp. 307-328). Springer. /

Paré, D., Sengupta, P., Windsor, S., Craig, J., & Thompson, M. (2018, November). Queering virtual reality: A preliminary design study. In Proceedings of the 5th International STEM in Education Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, 21-23 November (pp. 306-314).

Hladik S., Sengupta, P., Grovet, K., Kidney, J., Marasco, E. A., Mattingly, P., & Paré, D. (2018, November). Pivots, professional vision, and reflective design in public computing. In Proceedings of the 5th International STEM in Education Conference. Paper presented at the 5th International STEM in Education Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, 21-23 November (pp. 127-134).

Sengupta, P., Shanahan, M-C., Hladik, S., & Paré, D. (June, 2018). Coding science as boundary work: The role of publicness in scientific computing. Paper presented at “Unpacking Signs of Learning in Complex Social Environments: Desettling Neoliberal Market-driven Educational Methodologies, Epistemologies and Recognitions of Learning”, International Conference of the Learning Sciences, London, England.