Neha Kumar

I am an Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech, with a joint appointment in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Interactive Computing. My work lies at the intersection of human-centered computing and global development. I was trained as a computer scientist, designer, and ethnographer at UC Berkeley and Stanford University, and thrive in spaces where I can wear these three hats at once. My research investigates emerging technological practices in underserved contexts to design and deploy appropriate interventions for community-driven social change. Central to my work are themes of access, equity, and participation in technological engagements that I use ethnographic methods to examine. I then engage in the assets-based design of information-centric mobile technology interventions for the resilience of underserved communities. Learn more about our lab–TanDEm (short for Technology and Design for Empowerment). Learn more about inspirit and our work on virtual reality and learning.

I got my Ph.D. in December 2013 from UC Berkeley’s School of Information under the incredible guidance of Prof. Tapan Parikh. That was after my Master’s degrees at Stanford University, first in Computer Science and then in Learning, Design, and Technology. In between those degrees, I worked at Microsoft Corp. for two years, as a software design engineer on the Powerpoint team. I also did my undergrad at UC Berkeley, double majoring in Computer Science and Applied Math.

From Fall 2013, I spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher. I was a Research Associate at the University of Washington, where I was mentored by Profs. Richard Anderson and Gaetano Borriello in the Computer Science and Engineering department. I was also at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication as their Digital Diversity Postdoc. That’s a lot of school. At heart, I’m covered in blue and gold. A decade at Berkeley can do that to you. Four years into Georgia Tech, though, and I find myself increasingly drawn to white and gold instead.