I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science and a Schwartz Reisman Institute graduate fellow at the University of Toronto. I am a member of the Dynamics Graphics Project (DGP) lab and Third Space research group, where I am supervised by Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed. In addition to my CS Ph.D., I am doing a doctoral specialization in South Asian Studies from the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.
My research in human-computer interaction (HCI) and information and communication technologies for development (ICTD) is at the intersection of faith and computation. Through ethnographic, computational, and design research, I study organized religious groups to make technologies more faith-inclusive. I develop theories and design novel technologies for the communities where religiosity dominates modern and pragmatic values. In doing so, I often draw on theories and concepts from the sociology of religion, anthropology, theology, and information science.
I was born and raised in Bangladesh, a beautiful South Asian country. I speak Bengali and English. If we ever meet, please call me Rifat -- I go by my last name. When I am not reading, writing, researching, or teaching, I am running (I ran a half-marathon), visiting new places, singing or humming songs, cooking, or watching a TV serial.
**Consider submitting to our CHI 2022 workshop on integrating religion, faith, and spirituality in HCI. The first round submission deadline: Jan 31, 2022 (AoE). We will invite some papers from the 1st round for a special issue of the ACM Interactions. Find the CFP and more about the workshop here: https://sites.google.com/view/faithchi
- June 17, 2022: Attending FAccT CRAFT 2022 on Big Data and AI in Global South with the proposal paper, "Uncertainty in AI Technologies: Trust, Fairness, and Justice of AI Technology Platforms in the Global South."
- June 06, 2022: Received the Schwartz Reisman Institute graduate fellowship!
- March 18, 2022: Workshop proposal on big data and AI in Global South has been accepted to the ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAccT 2022)!
- April 30 - May 06, 2022: [Upcoming travel: CHI 2022 at New Orleans] I will present a paper, co-organize a workshop, and work as a student volunteer at CHI 2022.
- March 22, 2022: [Upcoming talk] Speaking at Cornell Information Science Graduate Seminar Series.
- February 11, 2022: Position paper accepted to the CHI 2022 workshop, integrating religion, faith, and spirituality in HCI! In this paper, we present a system for moderating online contents to detect and mitigate Islamophobic posts.
- December 7, 2021: Passed my Ph.D. candidacy exam!
- December 2, 2021: Workshop proposal on integrating religion, faith, and spirituality in HCI has been accepted to CHI 2022! The call for participation is coming soon.
- December 1, 2021: Our workshop proposal, "Decolonizing AI: Developing Data-driven Tools, Techniques, and Methodologies with Historically Marginalized Communities," has been accepted into Decolonized AI Futures at MozFest 2022. We invite you to participate in this event! Details of how you can participate are coming soon.
- November 27, 2021: Paper accepted to CSCW 2022!
- November 14, 2021: Got one paper accepted to CHI 2022. Here I come, New Orleans!
- Winter, 2022: Teaching CSC300 (Computer and Society) in the Department of Computer Science at UofT.
- Nov 17, 2021: Co-organizing the critical computing seminar (second season) at UofT.
- Nov 02, 2021: Guest lecturing for ENV261 (Is Internet Green?) in the Department of Environmental Engineering at UofT.
- Oct 08, 2021: Co-organizing the panel, "Designing Technologies at the Intersection of Faith, Religion and Nationality" at 4S 2021. Come join us! See all news->
What I am upto
- Research and Academic Travels: CHI 2022, New Orleans, LA (April 29 - March 5, 2022).
- Leading the Ethics and AI reading group at Third Space, UofT.
- Volunteering now: CHI 2023 (AC, subcommittee: Understanding People - Qualitative Methods).
- Reading Now: On Justification (Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot), The Cultural Politics of Emotion (Sara Ahmed), The Promise of Happiness (Sara Ahmed). Find what books I am reading here (2020 onwards).
- Compiling: Compiled a reading list for HCI enthusiasts.
- Watching: Friends (Always watching this!), Ms. Marvel, High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America.
- Find me on Twitter (@rifat_R2D2) and LinkedIn