Mike Skirpan

Who Am I?

I am a data ethicist, writer, artist, educator, and concerned citizen based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Currently, I am nearing the defense of my PhD thesis at CU-Boulder. However, I am also now the executive director at Community Forge, a mission-driven organization dedicated to rehabbing the Johnston Elementary School in Wilkinsburg, PA into a community and small-business center. Please explore my website, which stays (somewhat) up-to-date with my current projects and writings.

Outside of community-driven work, my intellectual interests involved ethics; particularly data ethics and how to develop technology in the public-interest. Over the coming months, I'm working to expand an arts/education outreach effort that was first piloted with support by the John S. and James L. Knight News Challenge. The immersive theater piece, "Quantifed Self" brought audience members into the center of a sci-fi drama about the ethics of personal data use, where their own data personalized the experience. A passion project I put my free time into involves taking care of a beauitful piece of land in Tennessee with a community of artists and engineers called CoLab. In the past, I've done projects with Fast Forward Labs, the Inclusive Design Institute, and the EQUIP research team.

Recent Projects

Quantified Self: Immersive Data Experience

Quantified Self: Immersive Data Experience

We produced an immersive theater piece that incorporated personal data shared by the audience to customize the narrative and personalize 10 interactive installations within the set.

Spring 2016 - Now


In collaboration with Maotik, I did data engineering for the interactive, immersive installation "Flow," presented at Ars Electronica 2016.

September 2016
Research on Project-Based Learning and In-Class Hackathons

Research on Project-Based Learning and In-Class Hackathons

With my PhD advisor, Tom Yeh I helped redesign two upper-level college coding courses on Big Data and Rapid Prototyping.


Contact Me

Feel free to get in touch with me about my work or for collaboration or whatever else.

  • Inquiries related to my research at CU-Boulder: michael [dot] skirpan [at] colorado [dot] edu
  • Inquiries for contracting work or my art, design, or writing projects: doorsofskirpan [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Inquiries for related to Community Forge: mike [at] forge [dot] community