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Advisory Board

Prof. Alice Agogino

Alice M. Agogino is the Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering and affiliated faculty at the Haas School of Business in their Operations and Information Technology Management Group. She directs the Berkeley Expert Systems Technology /Berkeley Energy and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Laboratories, and founder of the Engineering Pathway educational digital library. Her research interests include: Community-based design; sustainable engineering, Intelligent learning systems; multiobjective and strategic product design; intelligent control and manufacturing; sensor validation, wireless sensor networks; design theory and methods; and gender/ethnic equity.

Dr. Melissa Densmore - De Novo Group Co-Founder, Advisory Committee Chair.

Melissa is a Researcher in the Technology for Emerging Markets Group at Microsoft Research India. She completed her PhD at University of California, Berkeley School of Information in Information Management and Systems, has an MSc in Data Communications, Networks and Distributed Systems from University College London, and holds a BA in Computer Science from Cornell University. Densmore’s research examines the ways in which people choose and use information technologies, especially new information technologies. As part of TIER, she completed a dissertation based on a 3 year ethnographic study of the use of Internet and mobile technologies by health practitioners and NGO staff in a health financing program in Uganda. Prior work includes a delay-tolerant tele-consultation system for doctors in Ghana and contributions to infrastructure enabling village health centers to consult with doctors at the Aravind Eye Hospitals. Recipient of the 2008 Yamashita Foundations for Change Prize, she has been doing ethnographic fieldwork, systems design, and deployments in Ghana, India, Mexico, Rwanda, and Uganda since 2004.

Prof. Sachin Katti

Sachin received his PhD in EECS from MIT in 2009, and his B.Tech in EE from IIT Bombay in 2003. His research focuses on designing and building next generation high-capacity wireless networks using techniques from information and coding theory. His research has won numerous awards including the 2008 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award – Honorable Mention, the George Sprowls Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation in EECS at MIT, the MIT Deshpande Center Innovation Grant, the 2009 William Bennett Prize for Best Paper in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking and an Okawa Foundation Fellowship. His research interests are in networks, wireless communications, applied coding theory and security. Sachin is also the CEO and Co-Founder of Kumu Networks.

Prof. Tapan Parikh

Tapan Parikh is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, where his research interests include human-computer interaction (HCI), mobile computing, paper and voice UIs and information systems for microfinance, agriculture, health, governance and education. Tapan’s
students have started several successful social enterprises, including Awaaz.De, Captricity, NextDrop, Acopio and MobileWorks. He holds a Sc.B. degree in Molecular Modeling with Honors from Brown University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Washington, where his dissertation received the William Chan Memorial dissertation award. Other recognitions include the NSF CAREER award, TR35 Humanitarian of the Year, UW Diamond Award, and several best paper awards for his group’s research.

Prof. Vern Paxson

Vern is a professor on the EECS faculty at UC Berkeley, and in addition leads the Networking and Security Group at the International Computer Science Institute.  His research focuses on measurement-based analysis of how the Internet functions and in particular the nature of Internet attacks and how to defend against them. He is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery and a recipient of the ACM’s Grace Murray Hopper Award, given to “the outstanding young computer professional of the year”.  He has also received the ACM SIGCOMM Award for lifetime contribution to the field of communication networks, and the UC Berkeley Jim and Donna Gray Faculty Award and the Diane S. McEntyre Award for excellence in teaching.

Mr. James Prince

Jim is the founder and president of the Democracy Council. He was a Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Financial Advisory Services where he developed engagements in the US and the Middle East, including an international corruption investigation of the Palestine Investment Bank. Jim served as a senior professional staff member for the House International Relations Committee. He also worked as a foreign policy advisor during the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign and in the Middle East Studies department at the Council on Foreign Relations. He managed a National Endowment for Democracy grant to establish a public policy institute at a university in northern Iraq. He was the only American to attend the first meeting of the Iraqi opposition in Iraq during 1993. Jim participated in various multi-national missions, including missions in South Africa, Cambodia, and Northern Iraq, and led a congressional-staff fact-finding mission to India and Pakistan.

Dr. Divya Ramachandran – De Novo Group Co-Founder

Divya Ramachandran earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. She is affiliated with both the Berkeley Institute of Design and Technology and Infrastructure for Emerging Regions (TIER) research group. Her research is in Human-Computer Interaction, in the area of using mobile, persuasive applications for addressing challenges in health information access and delivery in developing regions.
Divya is currently working on the design and evaluation of a mobile phone application that helps rural health workers in Orissa, India access and share information with their pregnant and postnatal clients using digital media. For this project, she has been conducting fieldwork over the past two years to better understand the social context and design an appropriate, sustainable solution. Her previous work on evaluating the persuasive power of speech interfaces won a best paper award at the Persuasive conference in 2008. She has also previously worked on speech recognition for low-resource languages.
Divya has co-organized a number of workshops on technology design and development, including one held at the Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD) conference in 2009. She has also worked at Microsoft Research India in the Technology for Emerging Markets group as an intern. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Utah.

Prof. Sylvia Ratnasamy

Sylvia Ratnasamy is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley in 2002. Prior to joining U.C. Berkeley, Sylvia was a senior research scientist at Intel where her work focused on the design and implementation of energy-efficient and programmable networks. She is a recipient of the ACM SIGCOMM test-of-time award (2011), the ACM SIGOCMM rising star award (2011), the Alfred P. Sloan research fellowship (2011) and the Yahoo ACE award.

Prof. Scott Shenker

Scott Shenker works in a variety of areas, including Internet architecture, Software-Defined Networking, data analytics, and large-scale distributed systems. Scott received his bachelors degree from Brown University (1978), his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Chicago (1983), and spent a postdoctoral year at Cornell University. He became a member of the research staff at Xerox PARC in 1984, left to found and direct the AT&T Center for Internet Research at ICSI in 1998, and then joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 2004. Scott was awarded the SIGCOMM award (2002), the IEEE Internet awards (2006) and an honorary doctorate by the University of Chicago (2007).

Prof. Ion Stoica

Ion’s main research emphasis is on cloud computing and networked computer systems. Past work includes the Dynamic Packet State (DPS), Chord DHT, Internet Indirection Infrastructure (i3), declarative networks, replay-debugging, and multi-layer tracing in distributed systems. His current research includes resource management and scheduling for data centers, cluster computing frameworks, and network architectures. He is the recipient of a SIGCOMM Test of Time Award (2011), the 2007 CoNEXT Rising Star Award, a Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2003), a PECASE Award (2002), and the 2001 ACM doctoral dissertation award. In 2006, he co-founded Conviva, a startup to commercialize technologies for large-scale video distribution.

Dr. Sonesh Surana – De Novo Group Co-Founder

Sonesh Surana focuses on the design and implementation of low-cost ICT and related power infrastructure for developing regions. He received his PhD in Computer Science with the TIER research group at UC Berkeley in 2009. As part of TIER, he co-developed new WiFi-based long-distance technology enabling inexpensive targeted rural broadband coverage, and demonstrated high bandwidth point-to-point links as long as 380 Kms, a new world record. He also led the deployment of this technology for a live video-based rural telemedicine network at the Aravind Eye Hospital in South India, managing a range of non-profit, government, university and private stakeholders. This network, now financially and operationally sustainable, provides coverage to 500,000 people in areas with no other option for eye care. It has enabled over 100,000 remote patient examinations in three years, and 20,000 of those patients have received their sight back due to early diagnosis.
In the past, Sonesh has also worked on automated/assisted diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy to enable patient triage in areas with a shortage of doctors. He has also worked on the use of mobile phones as shared platforms for accurate and timely health care data collection in rural areas. He has done ICT work in Romania, Rwanda, India and Venezuela. He advises several non-profit development organizations and is also the co-founder of QVSense Inc, a company focused on building photovoltaic power management hardware solutions.

Prof. Umesh Vazirani

Umesh Vazirani received his B.Tech. in computer science from MIT in 1981 and his Ph.D. in computer science from U.C. Berkeley in 1986. He is a professor of computer science at U.C. Berkeley and director of BQIC – the Berkeley center for Quantum Information and Computation. Prof. Vazirani is a theoretician with broad interests in novel models of computation. He has done seminal work in quantum computation and on the computational foundations of randomness. He is the author of two books “An introduction to computational learning theory” with Michael Kearns and “Algorithms” with Sanjoy Dasgupta and Christos Papadimitriou.