I'm a researcher and software engineer working on digital tools to support social practices for learning meta-cognitive skills.
My 3-year professional goals include gaining more experience and recognition as an HCI researcher. I also want to become a better design thinker and educator in this space (i.e. get more comfortable at things like brainstorming, prototyping and modeling solutions).
from 2015 to present day
Studying how online crowds on Twitter engage with rumors during crisis events such as hostage-situations, riots and false-hijackings.
Currently, I am examining what motivates people to engage in different patterns of behavior when it comes to correcting information in these environments. I first reconstruct these patterns by analyzing large social data-sets, and then talk to the people who demonstrate them to understand what drew them to correcting information in those specific ways.
Mapping practices that support reflective thinking by students in higher education. I help synthesize and organize these findings into field guides that provide realistic, local use cases.
I am also studying the resources and resistances students bring to these reflective and contemplative practices.
from June - September 2015
Using tools like Hadoop and R, I carried out correlational studies to explore relationships between certain user login behaviors and mail-abusing behaviors. This was done to support feature engineering for machine-learning classifiers that need to work fast and have low false positive rates.
from September to December 2014
Helped teach a masters level course on using quantitative research methods for user research. Apart from evaluating assignments and helping students troubleshoot their experiment designs, I delivered tutorials on statistical softwares like R and SPSS.
from October 2013 to September 2014
Acted as team manager and senior developer for a start-up web-consultancy which focuses on establishing online products for early-stage start-ups.
~ from August 2013 to November 2013
Helped research and write a strategy report on the use of mobile-banking to promote financial inclusion in Papua New Guinea's rural areas.
from July 2012 to July 2013
A startup helping the Pakistan education sector deploy sustainable, open source infrastructure to citizens with open data.
As CTO, I managed an eight member technology team and had a role in handling a wide range of business activities, including fundraising, product development, engineering, human resources, and day-to-day operations across multiple locations.
Whilst the company and website are now defunct, I can offer you a peek into the past if you're curious.
from November 2011 to July 2012
Studied coordination and information practices around the monitoring and evaluation of public schools and health facilities via interviews and observations at the Punjab Directorate of Staff Development and Lady Health Workers Program.
I used what I learned from others to help design, develop and deploy pilot interventions that got information to decision-makers faster, more reliably, and in a more usable manner. The intervention involved field staff being equipped and trained to use low-cost Android smart-phones that could pipe data to online systems faster than the traditional paper-based model.
from September 2010 to June 2011
Produced research that delivers up to 15% more cost effectiveness than state-of-the-art independent DSM and economic dispatch models for a neighborhood by devising and evaluating a genetic-algorithm based technique which provides an integrated methodology for optimizing DSM and economic dispatch in a localized setting.
Helped engineer RFID based smart-plug solution for low-cost remote monitoring and control of household electrical devices by creating software interfaces and programming micro-controllers in C.
At various times from August 2008 to May 2011
Evaluated student theses and assisted students in crafting defensible theses and with general writing. Delivered a course lecture on the subject of Deconstruction as a Literary Theory for multiple course offerings.
Co-taught a Junior level undergraduate course offering of Graph Theory. Designed and delivered 12+ lectures using a pedagogy of discovery based collaborative learning.
Co-taught an introductory level programming course.
from May 2008 to April 2009
Developed back-end functionality modules in Ruby on Rails that enabled users to specify their personal preferences and confidential information, improving the quality of service, and created basic reporting mechanisms to monitor the performance of twenty company agents.
from September 2014 to 2019 (expected)
from 2010 to 2012
from 2006 to 2010
My constructivist views on technology nudge me towards research through design and qualitative methods. When possible, I also really enjoy using a mixed-methods approach where the quantitative analysis of large datasets can play a synergistic role in answering questions.
I'm not a designer by profession but I want to get better at it. My experiences in HCDE and the industry have taught me the importance of design thinking and using paper-prototypes to test my ideas before building.
Writing & Technical Communcation
Studying practices that support reflective thinking by engineering students.
How do people correct themselves and others on Twitter during crises?
Studying login patterns to identify mail-abusing botnets
Using smartphones for public-sector reform.
Using open data to drive change.
Using Genetic Algorithms for demand and supply side management.
ahmer.arif (at) gmail.com
Sieg Hall, UW, Seattle, WA