Colloquium Details

Enabling Information Access under Poor Connectivity

Speaker: Jay Chen, CIMS

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: March 28, 2012, 11:30 a.m.

Host: Denis Zorin


A significant fraction of Internet users who reside in low-income regions in developing countries (emerging regions) are subject to very poor network connectivity. In these contexts, the World Wide Web is largely unusable or prohibitively slow. In a similar vein, despite the high penetration of mobile devices, a lack of affordable data connectivity prevents wide-scale adoption of many new mobile information services. This situation is unfortunate because information technologies can potentially benefit people’s lives through economic opportunities, improved efficiencies, and spillover effects. The conventional models for web and mobile information access are ill-suited for emerging regions due to underlying economic and technological trends. I will outline these trends and how they cause systemic problems throughout the networking stack resulting in broken information systems. I will then show how to address each of these problems and how to then build systems that work 'for real' in developing regions.

Speaker Bio:

Jay Chen is a Visiting Assistant Professor at NYU - Abu Dhabi. He received his PhD in Computer Science from New York University (NYU). His research is in the area of Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD). He is a researcher at the Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED) in Abu Dhabi. He has a background in Systems and Networking, and his current focus is on providing affordable information access for clients with low/poor connectivity and sustainable energy.


Refreshments will be offered starting 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the talk.

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