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I am an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. I direct the Third Space research group at the DGP Lab. I am also an affiliated faculty at the UofT iSchoolSchool of Environment, School of Cities, and Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society.

 

I co-organize the monthly UofT Critical Computing Seminar that hosts speakers analyzing computer science and its applications from the perspectives of marginalization, bias, and oppression. I co-direct the PRISM program at the CS Department that trains students from marginalized communities for higher education in computer science. I also lead the weekly Critical Data Science reading group that studies and analyzes recent scholarly work around AI and Machine Learning from various critical points of view.

 

My research interest is situated at the intersection of computer science and the critical social sciences. My work is often motivated by social justice and sustainability issues, and I put them in the academic contexts of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Information and Communication Technology and Development (ICTD). I operate through a wide range of technical and methodological apparatuses from ethnography to design, and from NLP to tangible user interface. 

I earned my PhD at Cornell University, where I was advised by Steve Jackson. Before moving to North America, I studied and taught Computer Science at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). I developed and still mentor the first HCI community in Bangladesh. 

 

My work has been recognized, celebrated, and supported by Microsoft AI & Society Fellowship ('24), Google Award for Inclusion Research ('23), Connaught Scholarship ('23), Facebook Faculty Research Award ('22), Schwartz Reisman Fellowship ('21), Massey Fellowship ('21), Google exploreCSR Award ('20), Youth Policy Forum Fellowship ('20), Fulbright Centennial Fellowship ('19), Global Young Academy Membership ('19), Connaught New Researcher Award ('18), Intel Technology and Society Fellowship ('15), Fulbright S&T Fellowship ('11), and OpenStreetMap Scholarship ('10). My research has also received generous support from all three divisions of Canada's federal tri-council research agency: NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC. 

I was the Program Committee Chair for ICTD 2022 and IndiaHCI 2022. 

My full name is Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed, which I use for all formal purposes, including publications. 

Recent Highlights: (see all news here)

* Aug '24: Keynote at PDC'24

* June '24: Tenured and Promoted to Associate Professor! 

* June '24: Mentioned in a Broadview article on AI Ethics!

* May '24: Named the "Future Leader" by the Computing Research Association (CRA)!!

* Apr '24: CHI Best Paper Award!!

* Apr '24: Keynote at 'Cultures of Datafication In and Across South Asia' workshop at UPenn

* Mar '24: Co-organizing Workshop on Reliable Evaluation of LLMs (REAL-Info) at ICWSM '24

* Jan '24: Co-organized the Fairness-ChatGPT workshop at the Data Sciences Institute, UofT

Jan '24: Microsoft AI & Society Fellowship!

* Oct '23: Google Research Award for Inclusion! [news]

* July '23: Connaught Scholarship!

* Mar '23: Became a Father of a beautiful son!! 

In Public Press:

* Mar '21: Interaction article, "Designing with Internally Displaced Slum Dwellers in Bangladesh"

* Sep '20: (IIE Centennial Blog): Repairing and Recycling of Digital Electronics during COVID-19

* Sep '20: Blog post (ACM Interactions): "Fighting Coronavirus with Faith"

* May '20: Op-ed (Daily Star): "COVID-19 and the economization of life in Bangladesh

* Apr '20: Op-ed (Prothom Alo): "করোনা মোকাবিলা: ডেটানির্ভর প্রযুক্তি ও ব্যক্তিগত তথ্য নিরাপত্তা"

* Apr '20: Talk Show Interview on Ekattor TV on COVID19. [Link]

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