CS Distinguished Lecture - Kentaro Toyama

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"Shared Use of Technology in the Developing World"

Kentaro Toyama, University of California, Berkeley

(Reception will precede lecture, 2:30 p.m. in Klaus Atrium)


The commoditization of electronic hardware has brought PCs, mobile phones and other digital devices to some of the world's poorest environments. Local communities, however, invariably adapt technology to fit their unique constraints, and this is no less true for digital technology. One adaptation that is strikingly consistent is the sharing of technology.

In this talk, I'll highlight two interesting cases of technology sharing: The simultaneous sharing of PCs by students in schools, augmented by a technical aid to enhance sharing called MultiPoint; and intermediated use of mobile phones, in which beneficiaries of technology are not always the manipulators of the device. These cases will also provide an entry point for discussing prevailing myths of technology for global development, which are commonly believed, but rarely true.


Kentaro Toyama is spending a year at UC Berkeley’s School of Information to write a book on global development. From 2004 through 2009, he was assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India, in Bangalore, where he founded the "Technology for Emerging Markets" group, which conducts multidisciplinary research to identify applications of computing and electronic technology for socio-economic development. Prior to his work in India, Kentaro did research in computer vision, multimedia, and digital graphics in Redmond and taught mathematics at Ashesi University in Ghana. Kentaro graduated with a Ph.D. in computer science from Yale and a bachelor’s in physics from Harvard.




  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Louise Russo
  • Created: 02/17/2010
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016


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