Technology for Developing Regions

Eric Brewer   Eric Brewer,   UC Berkeley

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University December 1, 2006

Moore's Law and the wave of technologies it enabled have led to tremendous improvements in productivity and the quality of life in industrialized nations. Yet, technology has had almost no effect on the other five billion people on our planet. In this talk I argue that decreasing costs of computing and wireless networking make this the right time to spread the benefits of technology, and that the biggest missing piece is a lack of focus on the problems that matter. After covering some example applications that have shown very high impact, I take an early look at the research agenda and present some our own preliminary results, including the use of novel low-cost telemedicine to improve the vision of real people. Our technology supports over 2000/examinations per month in the initial pilot. My goal is to convince EECS researchers that technology for developing regions is an important and viable research topic.

Eric Brewer focuses on all aspects of Internet-based systems, including technology, strategy, and government.  As a researcher, he has led projects on scalable servers, search engines, network infrastructure, sensor networks, and security. His current focus in (high) technology for developing regions, with projects in Cambodia, India, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Bangladesh, and including communications, health, education, and e-government. In 1996, he co-founded Inktomi Corporation with a Berkeley grad student based on their research prototype, and helped lead it onto the Nasdaq 100 before it was bought by Yahoo! in March 2003. In 2000, he founded the Federal Search Foundation, a 501-3(c) organization focused on improving consumer access to government information. Working with President Clinton, Dr. Brewer helped to create <>, the official portal of the Federal government, which launched in September 2000. He was named a "Global Leader for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum, by the Industry Standard as the "most influential person on the architecture of the Internet", by InfoWorld as one of their top ten innovators, and by Forbes as one of their 12 "e-mavericks", for which he appeared on the cover..

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

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