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Video of this presentation is found at https://youtu.be/bbmiMr54678
BIO: Dr. Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at University of Toronto. He leads the “Third Space” research group there. He conducts research in the intersection between Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Information and Communication Technology and Development (ICTD). He received his PhD from Cornell University in 2017.
Dr. Ahmed established the first HCI research lab in Bangladesh in 2009. He also launched the first open-source digital map-making initiative in Bangladesh in 2010. Very recently, he and his colleagues founded an “Innovation Lab” in Bangladesh to promote grass-root level innovation in the country. Dr. Ahmed received the prestigious International Fulbright Science and Technology Fellowship in 2011. He also received Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing graduate fellowship in 2015. Very recently, in 2018, he has been awarded the Connaught Early Researcher Award from the University of Toronto. He has also received multiple awards for his publications including a Best Paper award in ICTD and a Best Paper Honorable Mention Award in ACM CHI. Dr. Ahmed’s work has been supported by various national and international organizations including the National Science Foundation (NSF) of USA, National Institute of Health (NIH) of USA, Intel, Microsoft Research, IBM Research, Samsung Research, the World Bank, and National Institute of Mental Health of Bangladesh. His current research is being supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, and Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).
ABSTRACT: The top Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations, including poverty alleviation, literacy, and gender equality, are closely tied to the problem of exclusion from core economic, social, and cultural infrastructures. As a potential tool for sustainable development, technology has the responsibility to make these infrastructures more inclusive. However, to date, many of the world’s biggest technological advances have primarily benefited only a small fraction of the developed world. The goal of my research is to leverage ethnographic methods to understand the underserved populations in low-income regions, and design and develop appropriate technologies to bring sustainable positive change in their lives.