Elizabeth (Liz) Gerber earned her MS and PhD in Product Design and Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. She is the Cordell Breed Junior Professor of Design at Northwestern University, specializing in design and human computer interaction, particularly how social computing supports the innovation process. Her current research investigates crowdfunding as a mechanism for reducing disparities in entrepreneurship. Her NSF- and NCIIA-funded work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including Transactions on Computer Human Interactions, Design Studies, and Organization Science.
As an award-winning teacher and researcher, Gerber has touched the lives of more than 6,000 students through her teaching at Northwestern’s Segal Design Institute and Stanford’s Hasso Plattner’s Institute of Design and most important, through her paradigm-shifting creation, Design for America, a national network of students using design to tackle social challenges. Beyond her thought leadership, award-winning research and educational initiatives, Gerber’s impact is most evident in her students’ success. In the past five years, her students have won more than 25 local and national awards for their technical innovations, such as the Dell Social Innovation Award and Federal Health Design Challenge, and they have launched companies to address complex societal problems such as hospital-acquired infections and Type 2 Diabetes. Her students been featured in outlets such as MIT’s Technology Review, The Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, ABC News, and more.