From a wall in the schoolhouse of my ancestral village, Patli Gaam, Gujarat, India
I completed my Ph.D in Summer 2011 from the Computer Science department at Stanford. You can watch my thesis defense and read my dissertation at the links below. I am now working full time on Awaaz.De, a company I co-founded with Tapan Parikh.In grad school, I worked in the HCI Group and was advised by Scott Klemmer and Tapan Parikh (at the UC Berkeley iSchool). Earlier, I worked at various places in industry for a couple of years, most recently at a startup called Searchforce. Before that, I had some of the best times of my life studying Computer Science and Business Administration at UC Berkeley.
I'm also generally passionate about service, both globally and locally. If you are interested in finding volunteer opportunities in the Bay Area, or have served with a cool organization yourself, send me an email... I'd love to exchange notes!
I am broadly interested in researching the appropriate design and deployment of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) for empowering underserved populations, particularly in developing regions. My goal is to discover ways in which ICTs can support socio-economic development for populations who have limited or no access. Currently my focus is on designing rural information systems for small farmers in India; particularly these systems should leverage local infrastructure and capabilities to enable improved market access, relevant and timely agricultural advice, active farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing, and the building of meaningful consumer-producer relationships.
(2008 - 2011)
|Voice-based social media for rural developing regions to access and share relevant, timely information over the phone|
Publications, Posters and Workshop Papers
"Power to the Peers: Authority of Source Effects for a Voice-based Agricultural Information Service in Rural India" To appear in Proceedings of IEEE Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD 2012). [pdf]
"An Asymmetric Communications Platform for Knowledge Sharing with Low-end Mobile Phones" In ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2011). [pdf]
"Information Service Or Online Community? Putting 'Peer-to-Peer' in Social Media for Rural India" Presented at the Workshop on Social Media for Development at ACM Conference for Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2011). [pdf]
"Avaaj Otalo - A Field Study of an Interactive Voice Forum for Small Farmers in Rural India" In Proceedings of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2010). (Best paper award) [pdf]
"Designing and Evaluating Voice-Based Virtual Communities" Presented at the CHI 2010 Doctoral Consortium. [pdf]
"A Comparative Study of Speech and Dialed Input Voice Interfaces in Rural India" In Proceedings of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2009). [pdf]
"Experiences Designing a Voice Interface for Rural India" Presented at the IEEE Workshop on Spoken Language Technology for Development (SLT 2008). [pdf]
"Harvesting Helpfulness: A Case Study of an Online Farmer's Forum" In Proceedings of ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2008). [pdf] [poster]
"Designing a Farmer Centric Organic Certification System" Presented at the Workshop on HCI for Community and International Development at ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2008). [pdf]
"A Survey of Information Systems Reaching Small Producers in Global Agricultural Value Chains" In Proceedings of IEEE Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD 2007). [pdf]
"Trickle: A Self-Regulating Algorithm for Code Propagation and Maintenance in Wireless Sensor Networks." In Proceedings of the First USENIX/ACM Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 2004). (Best paper award) [pdf]
"Automatic Tuning of Collective Communications in MPI." In SIAM Conference on Parallel Processing for Scientific Computing, February 2004. [poster]
"Not Your Average Farmer: Designing for Lead Users in ICT4D Research " In ACM Interactions Magazine, Volume 17, Issue 5 (Sept + Oct 2010). [pdf]
|Avaaj Otalo||Voice-based social software|
|Flash-to-Bluetooth||A toolkit to connect a Macromedia Flash application to a Nokia Series-60 mobile phone through Bluetooth|
Currently I use some of my spare time to volunteer with CharityFocus. I highly recommend it if you are looking for ways to get inspired and serve. I also enjoy dancing, reading books, and playing sports.