216 Gates Hall
adityav (at) cornell.edu
Cornell University INFO 4940: Computing and Global Development
To date, most computing technologies have primarily benefited urban, affluent, and literate people in developed regions by empowering them with more information, resources, and agency. These technologies currently exclude billions of people worldwide, such as rural residents, people with disabilities, and indigenous communities, who are too poor to afford modern devices, too remote to be connected, or too low-literate to navigate the mostly text-driven Internet. In recent years, researchers and practitioners have examined how computing technologies can be designed or appropriated to empower such underserved communities. This course introduces students to the field of Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD). Through discussions of case studies from the Global South, students will study how computing technologies are used in different global development domains, such as agriculture, finance, health, social justice, and education. They will gain understanding of socio-economic, cultural, and political forces that impact technology adoption in low-resource environments and will learn to design, build, and evaluate inclusive technologies to empower marginalized people.
Cornell University INFO 6600: Technology for Underserved Communities
This course examines the design, deployment, and adoption of computing technologies that aim to improve the lives of underserved populations in low-resource environments. Through discussions of case studies from all across the world, we will study how computing technologies are used in different global development domains, such as agriculture, finance, health, education, civic engagement. We will also explore many of the big debates in the field of ICTD through reading and discussing seminal papers, including how to approach and measure success, how to consider failure, what constitutes 'good' research, how to broach the 'digital divide'. The course will enrich students’ foundational knowledge and information about current research in ICTD, and will better equip them to create and evaluate computing technologies for people in low-resource environments.