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I've been privileged to work with and learn from some exemplary people.  Isaac Newton had it right (no, not the part about needing two sized doors for his two pets, but standing on the shoulders of giants).    

Ph.D. Students [Primary/Committee]

   * Topics are simplified version of Dissertation titles

Other Students [Projects/Thesis]

 I've worked with a number of  highly motivated students, especially through TechBridgeWorld. Selected students include:  

   (D) = Ph.D. Student

   (M) = Masters

   (U) = Undergraduate 

(D) Sean Green - Machine Learning for Human Development - The case of water technology and policy in developing regions

(D) Ling Xu and (M) Vinithra Varadharajan - DeSIGN: An Intelligent Tutor for American Sign Language

(M) Abhilash Edakadampil - Yuj: A non-profit program to harness academic resources in developing communities

(M) Kiran Bellubi - GIS-based optical fiber routing for Africa - the FiberAfrica model

(M) Jawad Khan - ICTD

(M) Ajay Bhatt - Digital Divide

(U) Kiran Shenoy - Energy

(U) Clinton Loo and (U) Bradley Miller - Tools for enhancing Same Language Subtitling for literacy (working with PlanetRead)

Primary Collaborators

Raj Reddy

Raj Reddy

Dr. Raj Reddy is the Mozah Bint Nasser University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.  He was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford from 1966-69 and a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon faculty since 1969. He served as the founding Director of the Robotics Institute from 1979 to 1991 and the Dean of School of Computer Science from 1991 to 1999.

Dr. Reddy's research interests include the study of human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence. His current research interests include Million Book Digital Library Project; Fiber To The Village Project;  and Learning by Doing.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was president of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence from 1987 to 89. Dr. Reddy was awarded the Legion of Honor by President Mitterand of France in 1984. He was awarded the ACM Turing Award in 1994, the Okawa Prize in 2004, the Honda Prize in 2005, and the Vannevar Bush Award in 2006. He served as co-chair of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) from 1999 to 2001.

Raj is a true visionary, and a mentor to not only me but generations of luminaries in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, speech, ICT and development, and computer science.  Raj is able to grasp the big picture ("high level bit") instantly, in diverse fields, and has seeded (and supported) a number of my projects.  

V. S. Arunachalam

Dr. V. S. Arunachalam is Chairman of the Center for Study of Science, Technology, and Policy (CSTEP), Bangalore, a not-for-profit Think Tank specializing in interdisciplinary technology and policy.  He. is also Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon in the Departments of Engineering and Public Policy, Materials Science and Engineering, and the Robotics Institute (on leave).  He has been Scientific Advisor to the Defense and Prime Ministers of India,  Secretary, Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), and Director, Defense Metallurgical Research Laboratories (DMRL), India.

During his tenure as Scientific Advisor, he served five Prime Ministers, ten Defense Ministers and initiated several major programs in defense technologies, Light Combat Aircraft and other defense hardware, as well as numerous projects on technology and education for national development. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet and Core Group of the Secretaries of the Government of India.

A few of his numerous honors and awards include Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for engineering sciences. He is Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering, Past President and Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering and other leading national academies.

"Arun" is another visionary who also has a keen eye for details.  I was his first Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon (I guess everyone makes some mistakes!) His scientific prowess is legendary, but it is his humanity that has inspired generations of scientists and scholars. Arun is building up a new non-profit Think Tank in India on Technology Policy (CSTEP), and this is his second "retirement."

M. Granger Morgan

Dr. M. Granger Morgan is Lord Chair University Professor in Engineering; Professor and Department Head, Engineering and Public Policy; Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering and The H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Morgan is an authority on areas spanning, energy, environment, and risk, with specializations in climate change, electric power systems, and quantitative policy analysis.  He has served or serves on the advisory board of the Electricity Power Research Institute (EPRI), EPA, and ES&T, amongst others.  

He is a Fellow of AAAS, Society for Risk Analysis, IEEE, and the Natl. Academy of Sciences.  

Granger is a tireless scholar, mentor, and educator, and single-handedly has changed the face of interdisciplinary education and research in Engineering and Policy.  

Anshu Bharadwaj

Dr. Anshu Bharadwaj is Director of the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP).  Dr. Bharadwaj is interested in technology and fuel options in India’s electric power, energy, and transportation sectors. His current research includes bio-fuels such as ethanol from cellulose, biomass and coal gasification for producing electricity and synthetic fuels, utility scale solar thermal power, hydrogen and fuel cells. He specializes in computational modeling of energy systems also in using mathematical tools such as Linear/non-linear programming, uncertainty analysis and stochastic programming for his research. Dr. Bharadwaj also has extensive administrative experience, having been a part of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) for 15 years before joining CSTEP.

Anshu is one of the most qualified (and brilliant) persons I know, with a B.Tech. from IIT, Kanpur, and MBA from IIM, Calcutta, and a double Ph.D. in Engineering & Public Policy and Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon.  He left the exceedingly prestigious and important IAS to serve the public through science, technology, and policy, and we have been collaborators for many years.  

Eswaran Subrahmanian

Dr. Eswaran Subrahmanian is Research Professor at the Inst. for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES), and Visiting Researcher at the Natl. Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).  His specialization is in creating information systems that support the social processes that are integral to design.  

He has a Ph.D in Urban and Public Affairs (Information Systems), School of Urban and Public Affairs (SUPA, now the Heinz School of Public Policy), Carnegie Mellon University, and an M.S. in Computer Science, University of South Carolina, and a B.E. (Honors) in Chemical Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India.

"Sub" convinced me about the importance of design, and I continue to be amazed by his insights.  E.g., his paper on comparing voting systems in the US vs. India really struck home as to the importance of standards and design, and that voting equipment is not the only challenge - electoral rolls can be as or more important. 

David Victor

Dr. David Victor is Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and Director of the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. PESD focuses on power sector reform, the emerging global market for natural gas, energy services for the world's poor, the practical challenges in managing climate change, and the role of state-controlled oil and gas companies in the world's hydrocarbon markets. 

Previously, Dr. Victor directed the Science and Technology program at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where he remains Adjunct Senior Fellow. His Ph.D. is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Political Science and International Relations), his B.A. from Harvard University (History and Science).

David led a multi-institute, multi-year study on the Political Economy of Reform in Developing Country Power Sectors, where I did the India study.  I found that David is not merely a fantastic writer, but an efficient (if not "ruthless") editor, helping pare down my chapter by 50%, to about 70 pages.  David is also an experienced pilot, flying his plane to meetings around the country (he promises that it is not nearly as glamorous as this sounds).  

M. Bernardine Dias

Dr. M. Bernardine Dias is an Assistant Research Professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon, and the Founding Director of TechBridgeWorld. Her robotics expertise is in autonomous team coordination, but her passion is in the use of technology for underserved communities.   She will be Chair of ICTD2009, to be held at CMU's Doha, Qatar Campus. 

Bernardine and I have been collaborating in the space of ICT and Development (ICTD) for over half a decade.  A native of Sri Lanka, she knows first-hand the horrors of a Tsunami.  She works tirelessly on solutions for disaster response, healthcare, education, and empowerment, especially through ICT.  I will admit I do not know how she finds the time and energy for her advising, outreach, travels, dance, cooking and more.    

Ernest Wilson

Dr. Ernest James Wilson III is Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication and Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Wilson’s scholarship focuses on the convergence of communication and information technology, public policy and the public interest. He is also a student of the “information champions,” who are leaders of the information revolution around the world. His current work concentrates on the politics of global sustainable innovation in high-technology industries; on China-Africa relations; and the role of culture in U.S. national security policy.

He is the founding Editor-in-chief (emeritus) of ITID (Information Technology and International Development), MIT Press, and the ranking senior member of the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Ernie and I have been collaborating for many years on ICTD, and he got MIT Press to make ITID their first open access journal. 

Kentaro Toyama

Dr. Kentaro Toyama is assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India (MSR India), which opened in Bangalore in January, 2005; he played a critical role in establishing the lab and is responsible for helping guide its direction and growth. In addition to his responsibilities to MSR India overall, Kentaro leads the Technology for Emerging Markets and the Digital Geographics research groups as a principal researcher.

Before being named assistant managing director of MSR India, Kentaro spent seven years in MSR Redmond, Washington, U.S.A., and in Cambridge, U.K., working on computer vision, multimedia and geographic information systems. Kentaro earned his Ph.D. in computer science at Yale University and received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University. During the autumn of 2002, he took personal leave from Microsoft to teach mathematics at Ashesi University in Ghana.

Kentaro has been a global leader (and collaborator) in the emerging space of ICTD.  I haven't been able to get him to come to CMU for his promised visit, but his colleague, MSR India Director P. Anandan, has come by. One area they are working on is expanding Ph.D.s in Computer Science.  For a nation graduating over 100,000 engineers per year, and well known in IT, India only produces on the order of 50 Ph.D.s/year in Computer Science.   

N. Balakrishnan

Dr. N. Balakrishnan is Associate Director of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.  He is a Professor of the Dept. of Aerospace Engineering and the Supercomputer Education and Research Center.  He is a leader in the fields of Computing and IT in India, having established one of India's first (and still leading) supercomputers.  He is one of the leaders in the Million Book Project, which, to date, has crossed its goal.  Also known as the Universal Digital Library, it is unique in its focus on developing nations, especially India and China, creating new technologies to transcribe and add meta-data to dozens of local languages.  

He is a Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, Allahbad, and Institution of Electronic and Telecommunications Engineers.

I had the chance to first work with "Balki" a decade ago on a major networking project for India.  Generous with his time (and ideas), I still find him more likely to be in the lab at 3 AM than 3 PM.  I'm glad he is a regular visiting faculty member at CMU, so we can chat even when not actively working together.  

Roni Rosenfeld

Dr. Roni Rosenfeld is a Professor in Language Technologies Institute, Machine Learning Department, and Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon.  His wide research spans computation molecular virology and vaccine design, computational biolinguistics, and his coined area of Speech and Language Technologies for Development (SLT4D). 

A current project, HealthLine, investigates the use of spoken language interfaces for community health workers across Pakistan (with support from Microsoft Research).

I work with Roni on ICTD topics, and he has convinced me that speech interfaces and technologies might be niche compared to text/visual, which allows much greater non-linearity.  However, with billions of illiterate in the world, this is a huge "niche" and important area for research.  I will mention that much of the excellent work in this space is done by his CSD Ph.D. student Jahanzeb Sherwani.  

Ashok Vasudevan

Ashok Vasudevan is a co-founder and Principal in ASG-Omni, a niche consulting and incubation firm specializing in technology development and commercialization, with a focus on the US and India.  He was previously with PepsiCo, where he led their India entry into India.  He is the Chairman of  TastyBite, which is a leading producer of ready-to-eat, all-natural foods.  He was instrumental in the establishment of Tejas Networks, India's leading optical networking company.  

A seasoned lecturer and speaker, he is also a Professor of International Entrepreneurship at Great Lakes Inst. of Management.  

Ashok knows much about what many academics only talk about: the Real World.  He worked with us on the India networking project for several years as a Labor of Love (it didn't commercialize, due to political considerations).  One of the many things he taught me, about thinking big, and seeking good people and rewarding them, was "If you throw peanuts, you get monkeys."

Richard Heeks

Dr. Richard Heeks is Professor of Development Informatics at the Institute for Development Policy and Management, at the University of Manchester, UK.  He is a leading expert in ICT for development (ICTD), with specific experience and interests in: Information systems; ICTs for development; e-Government; IT sector industries; Mobiles and development; ICTs in remote regions; Small enterprise development; Social outsourcing; Offshoring.

He is Program Co-Chair of ICTD2009, which will be held at Carnegie Mellon's Doha, Qatar, campus in April 2009.  

I have read with interest (and, for years, assigned to my students) publications by Richard critiquing e-governance projects and ICTD as currently promulgated by governments. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Richard on ICTD2009, and look forward to bigger and bolder things from (and hopefully with) him in the coming years.